Mould removal in homes is something that you should be aware of. People who live in older homes, or who have experienced water damage of any kind can be very susceptible to mould.
Mould is a potentially dangerous health problem. The main problem with mould is that it can be easily disturbed and can spread throughout the house.
Mould produces spores which are invisible to the naked eye. These spores may be inhaled, and can cause anything from as a mild allergy to a more toxic reaction such as chronic respiratory problems.
Learning to recognize if you have a mould problem can be simple as mould can be recognized with the naked eye. However, mould can also be invisible as there are many places in a home that can conceal mould colonies such as behind drywall for example.
What is Mould?
Mould is a fungus. It grows on damp materials. Mould can be invisible when dormant, and can appear in a variety of colours as there are over 1000 species of mould in North America.
Mould grows as colonies and can spread when disturbed through microscopic spores. It can be spread by the slightest of breezes such as simply walking by it, or from briefly opening a window. Mould spores can also be disturbed when you are trying to remove it.
Mould can appear in a variety of colours such as black, green, orange, red and white. When inactive, mould can appear as dry and crumbly and may appear as harmless. Do not be fooled because mould is very difficult to eliminate.
Types of Mould Typically Found in a House
Mould can be found anywhere in the house which is exposed to persistent or long periods of exposure to moisture, water accumulation and dampness.
Before starting any renovations you want to be sure it is a safe environment. We hired a top rated home addition contractor in Toronto who brought in a mould specialist when they suspected mould in the attic. They were right.
Some common species of mould found in homes which require mould remediation in include:
• Aspergillus – This is a common mold that is found in many Toronto homes and buildings. This form of mould needs substrate which is rich in carbon and a moist humid environment. The existence of Aspergillus can cause such health problems as respiratory difficulty, shortness of breath, coughing, fever and headaches, and even chest pains.
• Alternaria – Alternia generally can be found in carpets, curtains and window frames which are often damp. This form of mould may be considered toxic mold but may not necessarily cause severe health issues.
• Penicillium – Although Penicillium is known for its medical benefits, it also is a common variety of mould which can be found in wallpaper, carpets, paint and decaying vegetation. Penicillium mould is not generally known as being responsible for causing significant health problems.
• Cladosporium – This form of mould often grows in damp places such as refrigerators, and can also be found in window frames. It is mostly non-toxic but can cause health problems in people who suffer from asthma or allergies.
• Stachybotrys – This form of mould is also often referred to as black or toxic mould. It is often found in damp places such as near a sink, or located close to leaking pipes and air conditioners. This mould is viewed as one the most dangerous indoor moulds. It contains enzyme mycotoxins which can be very toxic. Exposure to mycotoxins has been known to be responsible for a variety of health related problems such as headaches, fatigue, vomiting, and even has been known to cause bleeding in both the nose and lungs.
Health Risks to the Family
The presence of mould should not be treated lightly. Mould removal from your Toronto home should be addressed immediately. Although many types of mould are relatively harmless, some are not. Since there are so many species of mould, its presence should be treated seriously.
Some health effects caused by mould may disappear soon after the person leaves the infected area, or they can be permanent, chronic or severe. Some people may have allergic reactions to even the least dangerous species of mould.
Other types of mould can cause severe respiratory problems especially with the elderly, pregnant women, young children, or those who have existing allergies, respiratory, or immune problems.
Health problems and symptoms from mould exposure can vary. Symptoms can include the following:
• Irritation – Mould can act as an irritant to the eyes, nose, and skin. It can cause runny eyes, persistent coughs, headaches, fatigue or even a sore throat.
• Allergic Reactions – Allergic reactions can appear as headaches, body aches, nose and throat congestion, irritated eyes, irritation in the nose and throat. People who suffer from either asthma or hay fever can be especially susceptible to mould.
• Infection – Mould can also cause infections, but this type of reaction is less common. Infections can occur from minor skin or mouth infections to serious and harmful lung infections.
• Toxic Reactions – These are the most serious health reactions to mould exposure. Toxic reactions from mould occur when certain species of mould produce what is called mycotoxins which is a toxin or form of poison. Health effects can be relatively mild such as producing health symptoms which can appear like flu, lesions (appears like wound), bleeding from the nose, laboured breathing, severe lung impairment, and weakening of the immune system which can make you more susceptible to other illnesses or even nerve problems.
Areas of the Home Susceptible to Mould
Mould can exist anywhere in your home which is exposed to dampness, excess humidity, or has been exposed to leaking pipes or flooding.
Spotting mould can be difficult. A musty smell can be a good clue that your home might have a mould problem. Mould can be concealed in ducts, under carpets, and can flourish behind drywall and in insulation.
Mould can usually found in basements, attics, cold storage/cantina, bathrooms and kitchens. You can also find it in ceiling tiles, drapery, carpets, air ducts, around air conditioners, filters, furnaces and humidifiers.
How to Get Rid of Mould in your Home
Mould removal from your home can be relatively easy providing you are only dealing with small areas of visible mould.
One of the first things you should be aware is that you have to also eliminate the moisture problem which may have the mould to occur. Otherwise, it will be ongoing problem.
Any areas which have mould must be must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and must be able to dry properly.
Once you have determined that you have environmental damage which may result in mould then you should call in a certified professional to assess your issue, and prescribe a work scope to safely and effectively remove the damage.
When to Call in the Pros
Mould remediation in your home may require the use of properly equipped professionals. If you have experienced severe flooding, ongoing plumbing problems or have experience leakage from the roof, or see large areas which are infected with mould, you need to call in professionals.
Mould remediation specialists can properly test and recognize the types of mould found in your home. They also know to isolate, and remove or remediate mould contaminated items so that it is not a recurring problem.
Mould remediation specialists also know how to properly contain and safely dispose of mould contaminated building materials, and to properly clean infected areas. They also have the proper ventilation and safety equipment to avoid further exposure in your home.
You should never try this on you own, because if you don’t know what you’re dealing with, you can end up causing yourself sever health problems and still not solve your mould problem, and even make the mould problem worse.