Mold & Air Quality Testing across Niagara, Ontario
Every Canadian spends on average 90% of the time indoors, mostly in the home. Many of us are concerned about outdoor air pollution. Very few people, however, think about the quality of our indoor air. Do we really understand that this constant sneezing in the bedroom may be caused by a brand-new carpet we bought few months ago? Or that bleeding nose is attributed to the mold growing under the toilet tank? Probably not. But excessive moisture, mold, pets, chemical contaminants, other substances can cause a poor air quality that leads to health problems of the occupants.
A lot of people end up just treating the symptoms of mold exposure and never get to the root of the problem. Often times they don’t even know that mold is the cause of their allergies and skin problems.
You might not realize that mold spores are universal. They are outside and the moment you open your window or door they come inside. If the levels are low they present no problem. But when you have high indoor humidity and areas of high moisture the mold can grow to ten, or a hundred and even a thousand times higher than outdoor levels and this will clearly cause problems.
What is Mold?
Mold, also known as fungus, is a family of organisms that are found throughout nature. Unlike plants, mold need food and water sources to thrive. This food source is often in the form of a carbohydrate material, such as wood or cellulose. Mold grows in units called mycelium and reproduce through the formation of spores. Spores frequently become airborne, and like pollen, can cause allergic disease.
Symptoms that Indicate You May Have a Mold Problem
One of the factors that make diagnosing a mold allergy problematic is that mold can affect your body in several different ways. Some start having memory problems, while another may be experiencing a sudden change in disposition, such as agitation, anger, panic, or aggression. Headaches are common but don’t affect everyone exposed to mold. Other symptoms can include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Sinus problems and post-nasal drip
- Itchy rashes
- Joint pain
Mold in Your Home Can Cause Health Problems and Structural Damage
The home buying and selling community is abuzz with talk about insurance and liability issues involving stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold or toxic mold. Some homeowners have even burned down their homes, and everything in them, because they felt it was the only way to eradicate toxic mold from their surroundings.
What Types of Diseases Can Mold Cause?
Mold has well-known associations with human disease. People can develop fungal infections of various types, especially those with poorly functioning immune systems. Fungi are also known to produce toxins, which have been blamed for causing various diseases.
Molds can also cause severe immune reactions because of colonizing (living in, but not causing an actual infection) the lungs (hypersensitivity pneumonitis) and the sinuses. Molds are also well known to cause various allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.
What is Toxic Mold?
Toxic Mold is a type of mold that produces hazardous byproducts, called mycotoxins. While individuals with asthma and other respiratory problems may have reactions to many types of mold, it’s thought that mycotoxins are more likely to trigger health problems in even healthy individuals. These toxins are believed to be linked to memory loss and to severe lung problems in infants and the elderly.
Floating particles of mold are invisible to the naked eye, so it’s impossible to see where they might have landed until they begin to grow. Loose mold particles that accumulate on items within a house are easily inhaled and can be a constant irritation to the people and pets who live there.
The toxic mold we hear most about is Stachybotrys chartarum, a slimy, greenish-black mold that grows on moisture-laden materials that contain cellulose, such as wood, paper, drywall, and other similar products. It does not grow on tile or cement.
Even if the mold in your home is not toxic mold, it can still be a problem, because any mold growing on organic materials will in time destroy them–and too much mold of any type smells bad and degrades air quality.
Mold thrives in damp, humid conditions:
- Bathrooms with poor ventilation. Install an exhaust fan if possible. Leaky water pipes. Repair them immediately. Roof leaks. Repair them right away. Flood aftermath. Repair as soon as possible.
- Clothes dryers and exhaust fans that vent under the house or back into the room. Vent them to the outside.
1. If you suspect you have a mold problem, let us deal with it!
2. We will conduct a visual inspection of your property to identify sources of moisture and areas for sampling. We will then conduct the necessary air and/or surface sampling, and laboratory analysis to provide results and recommendations that you can understand. If necessary, we can set you up with the correct remediation services, and ensure that clean-up has been successful.