Do you have a healthy home? You might be surprised to learn that the air quality in your home may be worse than the outside air. Air quality in a home depends on a number of factors, including ventilation, dust, remodeling activities, pesticides, cleaning supplies and other contaminants.
The signs that you may have a home indoor air quality issue include lack of air movement, unusual odors, a tightly constructed home, or feeling healthier when you are outside the home. A common problem that can compromise and affect indoor air quality is mold.
Molds consist of fungi that exist naturally in nature in soil, an on dead and decaying matter. Mold assists nature by helping to break down wood, leaves and other plant byproducts. Mold come in a variety of colors, including black, green, white, brown, and orange, and often appears in slimy or fuzzy streaks. When present, molds permeate the air with an earthy or musty smell.
Types of Indoor Mold
Similar to the manner in which plants produce seeds, molds reproduce by generating tiny spores. In homes and other indoor spaces, mold spores become airborne and settle on surfaces. When mold settles on a damp surface, it has the perfect conditions it needs to grow and multiply. Mold requires a food source, such as wood, cloth drywall organic dust and dirt, leather, skin flakes, body oils, and insulation. Mold can sprout in almost any place that has the presence of water or moisture. Wet material or surface creates the conditions that can facilitate mold growth within 24 to 48 hours.
Some of the most common categories of indoor molds include:
- Alternaria - These fungi appears under leaky sinks and in showers and other damp indoor locations.
- Aspergillus - A class of mold that grows on dust, powdery foodstuff and building materials like drywall
- Cladosporium - This mold grows in both cool and warm locations and is found on wood surfaces and fabrics
- Penicillium - Grows on materials that suffered water damage and typically has a blue or green appearance.
Indoor mold typically grows in the fall and winter months, and take over the walls, ceilings books, toys, DVDs, and clothing – nearly any surface.
The Health Effects of Mold Infestation
In the case of mold, the tiny, invincible airborne spores move through the air and eventually into the lungs. People also become exposed to mold through skin contact. The symptoms most associated with a reaction to non-toxic mold mimic those for other allergies, including runny nose, scratchy throat, and itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. However, some molds produce toxins that can have more serious health effects, including:
- Respiratory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Shortened attention span
- Memory loss
If you or a loved has suffered exposure to mold, you should consult your doctor.
Water and Moisture Problems
Any home that has a long-term moisture problem has a high risk for the growth of mold. The typical signs of a moisture problem include discoloration and water signs on walls, ceilings or floors in your home. If you detect this sort of condition, it may be a clue that you have mold growing underneath or behind the material. Cracking, peeling, and bubbling paint or wallpaper may also be a sign that you have a moisture problems. If your home has warped, building or bowed, walls ceilings or floors, you may have a moisture issue.
Homes that have previously flooded have a high probability of mold growth in the location that experienced standing water the longest, such as a basement or crawl space. In addition, the consistent presence of condensation indicates a high amount of moisture and a possible mold problem.
When to Consult a Mold Remediation Expert
For small problems, scrubbing or wiping contaminated surfaces with warm water and a non-ammonia detergent can remove the mold and help improve your indoor air quality. However, some mold infestations exceed the capabilities of the average person and require an experience mold remediation and removal plan. If you need mold remediation, contact Rainbow International® to take care of the problem and restore your air quality.
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