Household Mold and Mildew; a Serious Health Hazard
Jun 5 2013 - Posted by TrustedPros
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It may surprise many homeowners to know that even though they do not see or smell visible signs of infestation, their home could contain household mold. A harmful bacterium that can wreak havoc on building structure as well as a person's health.
Mold goes by a variety of names; including toxic mold, house mold, household mold, black mold, and toxic black mold. Mold and mildew belong to a family of over 1,000,000 different species of fungi. According to a 1994 Harvard University study of 10,000 homes across the USA and Canada, roughly 50% had some type of mold present.
A statistic that should stun many homeowners who take it for granted their homes are free from infestation simply because they cannot see or smell that a problem exists. Nevertheless, mold can be present even when not visible. And once a mold problem does exist, it is difficult to control and get rid of; requiring professional intervention for complete and safe removal.
Detecting mold within a structure is not always easy because many common breeding grounds are not easily viewable or accessible. This includes wall cavities, crawl spaces, beneath wallpaper, paneling, and carpet; inside heating and cooling equipment, and air ducts.
Telltale signs include a musty, earthy smell, or visual stains. Rust on plumbing beneath sinks, on fixtures, and behind washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, and ice makers can either mean a water condensation or leakage problem. Either could indicate a preexisting mold mildew problem, or one in the making.
Mold can develop wherever there are plumbing problems and septic sewage breaks. Neglected leaky roofs make the attic a favorite hiding place for house mold, and flooded or damp basements are especially inviting. In fact the desired comfort zone for a home is also the perfect environment for the development of mold. It can attach itself to numerous objects inside a room. Including walls, baseboards, framing members, clothing, drapes, carpeting and padding, books, newspapers, and ceiling tiles.
Humid-prone rooms of the house such as bathrooms — especially those without proper ventilation — often develop black mold. Look behind and under showers, tubs, toilets, tiles, and walls. Mold spore growth can develop, containing allergens; affecting other areas of the home, and creating even more of a health hazard.
What About Using a Mold Test Kit?
While some homeowners are comfortable using a home mold test kit or black mold test kit to determine if there is a problem, others rely upon more reliable resources. Factors such as heating, air conditioning, opened windows, etc. can drastically alter the outcome of home tests. A professional hygienist or home inspector trained in microbial testing will yield more accurate results.
According to the National Allergy Bureau (NAB), a mold spore reading of 0-900 is considered low; up to 2,500 — moderate, 25,000 high, and anything over 25,000 very high.
The risks and danger of black mold cannot be over emphasized. This type of mold is more than a health hazard mold; it can be life-threatening. The wise homeowner will not investigate for hidden mold themselves. They will hire trained professionals using state-of-the-art equipment, or even specially trained dogs to pinpoint problems not readily seen.
Mold Illness; the Danger of Black Mold
Although any type of mold and mildew can be hazardous to a person's health, one common culprit is Stachybotrys — also known as toxic black mold.
Symptoms of exposure to mold include abdominal, bladder, spleen, and kidney pain, asthma, cancer, skin diseases and rashes, emotional mood swings, dementia, eye and vision problems, hair loss, heart attack, nausea, seizures, and vomiting.
The U.S. Government Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that while many people are aware that outdoor air pollution represents a health hazard, not many persons know that indoor air quality (IAQ) also holds serious health risks. In fact, indoor air levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times (or even more) greater than levels found outdoors.
It is estimated that most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. It should not be surprising, then, that indoor air pollution has been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health by EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB).
But residents of households with high indoor pollution levels are not the only persons who suffer; employees of businesses with hidden mold and mildew problems are at risk, as well.
How to Get Rid of Black Mold
Mold and mildew removal should only be done by a trained mold inspector, black mold removal professional, or licensed mold mildew remediation service provider. However, there are steps a homeowner can take to control mildew and reduce mold growth in an effort to help protect their home and family.
While there is no quick home remedy or simple answer to the question how to get rid of mold, effective measures can be taken for mold mildew control. These include:
Containing the mold problem so that it doesn't spread
Killing the mold
Dead mold removal
Protection — removing the source of the problem
Prevention — against future infestation; such as moisture and humidity control
Find the Right Mold Inspector at the Right Price
Whether you need Toronto mold inspection services or have a mold mildew problem anywhere else in Canada; TrustedPros.ca can help connect you to a reliable mold inspector, free of charge.
Simply post your needs online with our easy-to-use tools, sit back, and let the specialists come to you. Within days, even hours, receive competitive bids from contractors in your area, trained in removing household mold and mildew.
Critique credentials, licensing, and references online, 24/7; and then select a contractor of choice — or none at all. At TrustedPros.ca there is no obligation whatsoever.
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