Whenever elevated moisture levels are present in your home, whether through flooding or because of high humidity, microbial growth can occur – in other words, mold and mildew. The byproducts of these growths can be hazardous to your health.
There are many sources of moisture in the home. Everyday living activities such as breathing, showering or bathing, laundry, and cooking are just a few. If your basement or crawlspace has open earth, the moisture levels will be much higher. Improperly adjusted humidifiers are another source of excess moisture. A home’s humidity should never exceed 50%.
Mold loves cellulose. Cellulose is a structural component of the cell walls of green plants. Wood and paper are especially prone to mold growth in high moisture situations.
When water enters the home accidentally, the problem is usually much greater than that which everyday living presents. Unwanted growth can begin 24-48 hours after a moisture event. It is imperative that water entry be addressed within this 48-hour window. After 72 hours, it is too late to use the standard abatement protocols of drilling holes and using fans to simply dry the saturated area. This method will only serve to distribute mold spores throughout the home.
Some symptoms of mold exposure are: headaches, sore or itchy eyes, burning nose and throat, rashes, and fatigue. Infants and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Mold spores may cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. Individuals who have these pre-existing conditions will find their symptoms worsened by these hazardous air pollutants. People who suffer a weakened immune system, or those receiving treatment for cancer, or who have received a stem cell transplant, or are taking medication to suppress their immune system are more likely to get mold infections.
Poor ventilation can allow indoor pollution to accumulate to dangerous levels.
Attic to Alley Home Inspections Inc. can test your home’s air quality and swab any suspicious areas to determine the microbial growth type and concentration. These samples are sent to an accredited microbiological lab for analysis. These laboratories produce results down to the genus level with an approximate 3 work day turnaround time. Where further classification is required, longer processing times are needed, usually 5 to 10 working days. The customer then receives a report explaining the findings. Recommendations are made based on the results.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, have seen evidence of suspicious growth, or detect musty lingering odors, it is time for an Indoor Air Quality test. Call to book today. Prices start at $295.00.