Living Healthy – How bad is Mold for You?
Indoor air quality is integral to our health. If you want good health, then you must breathe in quality air. It is your duty as a person to try to live healthily.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…
Since you spend a huge chunk of your life indoors (homes, offices, place of business, etc.), the quality of the air you breathe in directly affects your health. You should thus take steps to ensure optimal air quality. Steps like getting mold remediation that will help reduce the amount of mold in your homes to acceptable levels.
Before we go into the nitty-gritty of eradicating air contaminants that poses health risks to you and your family, let us understand what mold is.
What is Mold?
Mold is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multi-cellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Some molds cause food spoilage and play an important role in bio-degradation of organic compounds in the home.
It is impossible to completely eradicate mold from your home. This is because you can find mold both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems.
Outside, it can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets which are then carried indoors.
Mold which comes in a variety of colors is also found in damp building materials where it often appears like stains. A must smell is a sign of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. If we allow mold to grow in our homes or offices, it can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Mold and Moisture.
Although mold can be found everywhere, however, the one thing all molds need to flourish is moisture.
The sources of moisture in homes or offices could be Washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside.
Poor ventilation also contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth. This makes places such as bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces the ideal indoor environment for mold growth.
Also found in damp indoor environments are:
Break-down products of bacteria and molds, such as proteins, cell-wall particles (glucans) and volatile organic compounds (the actual cause of the musty odor associated with mold);
Airborne chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter caused by the destruction of materials by growing molds.
Why Mold Pose a Higher Health Risk Indoors than Outdoors
Mold exposure poses a higher risk for you and your family indoors than outdoors. This is because produces tiny “spore” particles into the air. Hence, when mold grows indoors, the number of spores and fragments are usually higher indoors than it is outdoors.
These tiny mold particles are then inhaled deep into the lungs. Inhalation of spores poses a risk of developing respiratory problems.
Health effects of Mold
Exposure to damp or moldy indoor environments may pose a variety of health risk. They act as a breeding ground for mold.
In 2004, there was enough evidence found by Institute of Medicine (IOM), which links mold to upper respiratory tract symptoms and cough in otherwise healthy people.
The IOM also found suggestive evidence linking exposure to a high amount of mold to shortness of breath and respiratory illness in healthy children.
If you are sensitive to mold, touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions. This may include sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may also have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath.
People must likely at risk of severely being affected by mold include:
Infants and children
People whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV infection, cancer, liver disease, or chemotherapy
People with chronic lung disease
How to Prevent or Control Mold Growth
To control the growth of mold to unacceptable levels in your homes or offices, here are some very effective ways of controlling mold indoors.
Controlling humidity levels:
You should keep humidity levels as low as you can. It shouldn’t be higher than 50% all day long. An air-conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
Prompt home repairs:
Fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes as soon as possible. Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
Cleaning and drying after flooding:
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly within 48 hours after flooding.
Fix moisture problem:
One way to fix the moisture problem in your home is to remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
Ventilate all the rooms:
in your home including your shower, laundry, and cooking areas. Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, which carries heat to cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.
Move moisture outside:
Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside (not into the attic) whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
Inspect your ductworks:
Ask a contractor to check your ductworks for air leaks, and proper size and air flow to each room. Air quality express offers such a service.
Other ways include:
Adding mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
Mold Remediation – Our Solution to Mold infestation
Mold exists naturally in a microscopic environment, both indoors and outdoors. While complete mold removal is near impossible, we understand the science behind mold and mold growth.
At air quality express, we have the expertise to remediate the mold in your homes and offices.
Our mold remediation process focuses on getting mold back to normal, natural levels. This process entails:
– Inspection and mold damage assessment
– Mold containment
– Air filtration
– Removing mold and mold-infested materials
– Cleaning contents and Belongings