Common Air Pollutants & How To Improve Indoor Air Quality In Your Home Or Office

Common Air Pollutants & How To Improve Indoor Air Quality In Your Home Or Office
We spend most of our time indoors. We think we’re safe inside, but poor indoor air quality can put us at risk for health problems such as sore eyes, burning in the nose and throat, headaches or fatigue. Indoor air pollutants can cause or worsen allergies, respiratory illnesses (i.e. asthma), heart disease, cancer and other serious chronic conditions.
Some pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, can cause death! Take the time to learn about indoor air pollutants and you may be saving the health of yourself and others.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants

Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from soil. It can enter the indoors through cracks and openings in the floors and walls. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in general.
Secondhand Smoke
Created by burning tobacco products, secondhand smoke can cause cancer and other respiratory illnesses. In children, secondhand smoke can cause or worsen asthma symptoms and has been shown to be linked to increased risk of ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Combustion Pollutants
These are pollutants that come from burning materials, such as are generated from improperly vented or unvented fuel-burning appliances (space heaters, woodstoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers and fireplaces).
Common combustible pollutants are:
Carbon monoxide (CO) – CO is colourless and odourless gas. It can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and death.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – NO2 is a colourless and odourless gas. It can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, and
  increase the risk of respiratory infection.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are chemicals that evaporate from paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, varnishes and waxes, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment, moth repellents, air fresheners and dry-cleaned clothing. VOCs irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and can cause headaches, nausea, organ damage, and sometimes cancer.
Asthma Triggers
Commonly found in homes, schools and offices, asthma triggers include mold, dust mites, secondhand smoke and pet dander. Mold can grow on shower curtains, dust mites can live in pillows, blankets or stuffed animals, secondhand smoke could pollute the air, and pet hair could litter the carpet or floors.
Asthma triggers cause coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and breathing problems. They can even trigger an asthma attack, which can be life threatening. Asthma triggers can be easily reduced by professional cleaning and air quality expert service.
Molds
Molds produce spores that float through the air and find damp surfaces upon which they grow. Inhaling or touching molds can cause hay fever-type symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash.
Protect yourself and your family from indoor pollutants by contacting our office to schedule an indoor air quality test.
You can improve indoor air quality at your home or business by performing these simple steps:
1. Have an Indoor Air Quality Inspection
    One cannot control indoor pollutants if they are unknown. An indoor air quality
    inspection can identify the presence and potential sources for many pollutants.
    Give us a call to schedule a free inspection at your home or business.
2. Control the Sources of Pollution
    Ventilate the area by increasing the amount of fresh air and therefore reducing the
    concentration of indoor air pollutants.
3. Change Filters Regularly
    Change the filters in your central heaters and air conditioners. They serve to trap
    dust and other pollutants in the air.
4. Adjust the Humidity
    High humidity can increase the likelihood of mold growth. Keep indoor humidity
    30-50% by using a moisture or humidity gauge, which are available at
    most hardware stores.

If you are interested in an indoor air quality test call today for peace of mind! Serving all of Saskatchewan & Alberta.

 

Mold Awareness Month Part 4 of 4

As the month is coming to an end and the leaves begin to change as well, we remind ourselves of all the things to prepare for with the upcoming months ahead. Having a fall inspection done should be one of the first things to consider as the winter months will make you eventually turn on your furnace possible blowing up any airborne particles that could be in the basement. You may want to start looking at the foundation of your home as well to make sure water can not enter once the upcoming snow begins to melt. Here are some helpful tips to prepare for the upcoming winter months.

Three Reasons To Have a Fall Mold Inspection
Fall is here, soon temperatures will begin to drop and you will need to turn on your furnace. Here are three reasons to have a professional mold inspection:
1. Prevent Mold Spores From Getting In Your HVAC System
In most homes, the furnace is located in the basement, usually in the storage area. The basement is also one of the most common areas for mold to thrive and grow because it is a dark, moist area. You will know you have mold issues if you smell a musty, earthy odour. This past summer, many homes were flooded and if they were not dried properly, the prevalence of mold issues is highly likely.
If mold is prevalent in the basement, one of the major concerns is to prevent air borne spores from spreading throughout the rest of the home. In other words, turning on your furnace when there is mold in the basement could spread the spores throughout the home contaminating more areas.
The number one reason to get a Fall mold inspection is to prevent the spread of mold into other areas of your home when you turn on your furnace. If the mold inspector finds mold in the basement, then potential cross contamination can be prevented with a remediation plan.
2. Better Health
Unfortunately, when Fall and Winter arrive, many blame health issues on colds and the flu. However, what most people do not realize is that mold spores can cause many of the symptoms we experience when we think we have a cold or flu:
  1. The sudden onset of allergic symptoms involving the respiratory system such as cough, congestion, sinusinfection, asthma, and bronchitis.
  2. Unexplained headaches, decrease in attention span or memory, difficulty concentrating, or dizziness.
  3. Other physical symptoms of mold could include skin rash, itchy eyes, fatigue, and a general unwell feeling that disappears when leaving the house.
Many of the symptoms above would be diagnosed as cold or flu symptoms by a Doctor. As our toxic mold survivor interviews show, this is a common occurrence simply because most Doctors are not trained to identify sickness caused by mold.
If you experience these symptoms soon after turning on your furnace, then you likely have mold spores circulating in your home.
To verify that you have mold issues, you can check the furnace for black, gray-brown, gray-green, or white-and-orange spots. The insulation, condensers, cooling coils, and drip pans of furnaces and air conditioners, as well as the ducts are all potential areas where mold growth can occur. If you get mold in your HVAC system, you can get your ducts cleaned by a professional. Duct cleaning is only recommended, however, if the core problem causing the mold issues and the primary source of the mold contamination is properly cleaned.
3. Peace of Mind
Trained mold inspectors follow a step by step protocol to determine if there is a mold problem. They will do visual inspections; ask questions to get a better idea of the building history to find out about leaks, floods, etc. any indication of past moisture issues; measure the moisture levels; and may recommend that tape, swab, or air quality tests be done to determine the type of mold and the spore count in the home.
The relative cost of a mold inspection compared to the potential health issues and eventual structural issues that mold can cause in a property is minor and should give you a significant amount of peace of mind knowing that you have had a professional inspection done.
Bottom line, if you suspect that you have any mold concerns, particularly in your basement, we strongly recommend that you have a professional examine the problem so that you can prevent the spread of the mold throughout your home when you turn on your furnace.

Another thing to watch for in the upcoming months, once freezing starts you will want to watch for Ice Damming on the sides of your home, this is a very common occurrence once the weather starts to change it begins to freeze and then thaw and then freeze again causing many hazards for your walk-ways, driveway and other areas depending on where your eavestroughs are pointing. Keeping them clear of ice can potentially keep your home safe from water leaking in the side of the home.

HOW IS AN ICE DAM CAUSED?
According to the Ice Dam Company ice dams result from the escape of heat into the attic which eventually builds up and melts snow on the roof. The ice dam is the ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof which prevents melting snow from draining as it should. The water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak into the home and cause damage to walls, floors, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. This graphic, courtesy of the Ice Dam Company, provides you with visual warning signs to look for.
Pictured below is an image of a house we inspected. Apparently this home was just renovated, but the builder failed to insulate the attic properly and the end result was a significant ice dam, which ultimately will cause problems for this homeowner. Ice dams are preventable!

icedam

WHY DO ICE DAMS CAUSE MOLD?
The key problem caused by ice dams is the water and moisture that leaks into the home. Mold thrives on moisture and grows because it feeds on the materials that most homes are made of: wood, drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, etc. The final component required for mold growth is a temperature of 5 degrees to 38 degrees. As long as these three ingredients are present, mold will form and continue to grow provided it has food to feed on. This is the reason that the structural integrity of a home is compromised–mold is essentially feeding on the home.
As mentioned earlier, ice dams are caused by heat escaping into the attic. Temperature, as you know, is one of the key ingredients required for mold growth. Heat in the attic, which leads to ice dams is caused by everyday activities in the household, such as cooking, laundry, showering, washing dishes, etc. Normally, these activities should not cause problems, ie. excessive condensation and heat in the attic. However, problems will occur if the attic is not properly insulated. One of the major causes of condensation in the attic is the lack of proper ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom required to vent vapour out of the home. Another major reason excess heat may build up in the attic is a direct result of builder negligence that vent bathroom and dryer vents into attics, crawl spaces, or over hangs, and not onto the roof. This poor building practice will cause problems because moisture and heat will build up in the attic. The Ice Dam Company provides an excellent visual of why black mold begins forming in an attic…click here to view.
Here are some general tips to prevent ice dams.
1. Make sure you have proper ventilation in the attic. Keep your soffit vent clear and open. Have a roofing professional check your roof and calculate the proper ventilation requirements. A well ventilated cold roof prevents ice dams.
2. If you have gutters on the house – keep them clean and free from leaf debris.
3. Ensure that your bathroom exhaust is vented through the roof and insulated if necessary.
4. Ductwork in the attic should be well insulated and sealed from leaks.
5. Air bypass – where warm air leaks through small cracks and openings – should be sealed. Check attic access ports in closets and can lights in the ceiling as potential areas of concern.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CONDENSATION ISSUES IN MY ATTIC?
In addition to the visual external clues of ice dams, here are some tips to help you determine if you have condensation issues.
1. Check your attic for visual mold.
2. Check all penetrations in your ceilings such as light fixtures and make sure there is no excessive gaps between the fixtures and ceiling.
3. Make certain all drywall is finished properly with no gaps or cracks for moisture to migrate through.
4. Look for visible stains such as mold on the surfaces of the ceiling, walls of the living areas, floors, carpets, attic plywood sheathing, attic sidewalls, floor joist, wet insulation.
5. Check for moisture or high relative humidity over 65% and higher.
6. Smelling unusual musty or moldy odors is an indication that you may have a problem. High relative humidity or moisture may be the culprit.
If you are concerned that you may have ice damming issues, we recommend that you hire a professional to assess the situation
We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us. A mold inspection is a cost effective solution to determining if you have to worry about ice damming, and the potential moisture and mold issues it causes. Peace of Mind, just a phone call away! Toll Free: 1-888-909-MOLD (6653)

Mold awareness month part 1 of 4

Mold awareness month part 1 of 4

September is Mold awareness month and got mold? wants to help educate our readers on how to prevent mold before it starts and where to look. It’s not uncommon to have mold in your home, as many of you know already mold exists in our every day lives anywhere you go there are spores floating in the air. There are probably a few micro-sized spores floating past you right now as you read this.

For the first part of mold awareness month, we would like to re-share an article written:

20 Interesting facts about mold & What are the most common types and varieties of mold.

1. Mold is Linked to Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), also known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), is a combination of illnesses or aliments that are in direct relation with an individual’s place of work or home environment…read more
2. Spraying Bleach on Mold is not Recommended
There seems to be lots of mis-information on the Internet recommending that you spray chemicals on mold. This article explains why spraying mold will in fact make the situation worse…read more
3. There is a Link Between Mold and Miscarriage
There are countless stories of women being exposed to mold during pregnancy and suffering miscarriage or birth defects….read more
4. Vitamin D Supplements Help Fight Mold Allergies
If you are suffering from allergies caused by mold exposure, you may want to consider taking vitamin D supplements…read more
5. Mold Causes Rashes
Mold is an allergen. One of the prevalent symptoms of mold exposure is skin rashes….read more
6. Mold Will Not Eat a Happy Meal
Mold will eat almost anything including wood, fabrics, plastics, concrete, and even metals. However, mold will not eat a McDonald’s Happy Meal….read more
7. Dead Mold Spores Are Just As Harmful as Live Spores
There seems to be a misconception that getting rid of mold by applying bleach or chemicals is the answer to the problem. This is actually not the case because dead mold spores are just as harmful to the human lung as live spores….read more
8. Mold is Used in Biological Warfare
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring substances produced by mold and are pathogenic to animals and humans. An estimated more than 300 mycotoxins are produced by some 350 species of fungi. The T-2 mycotoxin, which is classified as a trichothecene mycotoxin, is elaborated from the fusariam, aspergillus, and stachybotrys (black mold) species of mold….read more
9. Mold is Linked to Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This demyelination affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other….read more
10. Mold in Schools Cause Sickness
CNN recently reported about a third-grader, Matthew Asselin, in Winsted, Connecticut who missed 53 days of school because he was getting sick at school. The sickness was caused by mold….read more
11. Mold Inspections Are Important When Buying a Home
The basic problem with mold is that it can be hidden. Home inspectors are not mold remediation specialists and do not have the expertise required to identify potential mold issues. Home buyers are well advised to invest in both a home inspection and mold inspection before purchasing a home, particularly if there is any indication that there are potential moisture issues….read more
12. Mold is Linked to Cancer
Aflatoxins are a type of mycotoxin produced by the Aspergillus species of mold. This common mold tends to grow on crops: primarily corn, peanuts, and grains. When we eat enough of these moldy foods, or eat animals that eat them, we can get liver cancer. For this reason, the FDA has established a maximum allowable level of total aflatoxin in food commodities of 20 parts per billion (ppb) and 0.5 ppb in milk products. There are other cancers associated with mold as well, including testicular, breast, and lung cancer….read more
13. Christmas Trees Cause Allergies Because of Mold
During the winter months, asthma and sinus complaints tend to increase. According to Dr. John Santilli, complaints from patients increase during the holiday season. This prompted a study of Christmas trees that made the following conclusion…read more
14. Mold Damage Costs More Than Half A Trillion Dollars Per Year
Earlier this year, we published an article that examined What is the True Economic Cost of Mold? Two key conclusions emerged from this article: 1. Mold adds $3.5 billion dollars to the annual US health care bill. 2. 21 percent of all asthma cases in the US are attributable to dampness and mold exposure. This figure may be higher after new research emerged this year….read more
15. Mold is a Crisis for First Nations
In 2006, the Auditor General and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts recommended that the government address the problem of air quality and mold in First Nations homes….read more
16. Mold Causes Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
According to the CDC a condition known as “hypersensitivity pneumonitis” can occur if a person is constantly exposed to mold. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis causes permanent lung damage and scarring and will eventually lead to bacterial pneumonia….read more
17. Mold Can Damage the Systems of Your Body
Untreated, exposure to indoor molds can have long term health consequences. According to mycotoxin expert Dr. Harriet Ammann, exposure to indoor molds can damage the systems of your body in the following ways…read more
18. Almost All Sinus Infections are Caused by Mold
In the 1990s the Mayo Clinic published findings from a study that suggests that NEARLY ALL chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the membranes of your nose and sinus cavities) is caused by mold, but blamed on bacteria—then mistreated using antibiotics….read more
19. Mold is Thought to be a Cause of Asthma
Up until now, mold was considered an asthma trigger that could exacerbate the condition and even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes there is some link between the onset of asthma and damp buildings…read more
20. Mold is Linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
There is some speculation that there is a link between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and mold growth. A study in New Zealand speculates that environmental poisoning may be the cause of infant mortality….read more
One of the objectives of mold remediation professionals is to determine what type of mold is present in a property. This is important because it will help the professional and the property owner determine the relative health risk that the mold poses and how best to remediate it. Unfortunately, not all molds are the same, in fact there are over 1.5 millions species of mold in the world. However, only about 100,000 have been identified.
Mold is a fungus, as are mushrooms and yeast, and has a biologicial function as nature’s recycler consuming dead organic matter. Understanding it’s biological importance is essential to understanding why it poses health hazards. For the purposes of mold inspections and remediation, one of our goals is to identify whether or not the mold is allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic.
1.  Allergenic Molds

Allergenic Molds: Not usually life-threatening but are most problematic for individuals with allergies or asthma. The challenge is figuring out what mold is triggering the reaction. Children are particularly susceptible to mold allergies.

Not usually life-threatening but are most problematic for individuals with allergies or asthma. The challenge is figuring out what mold is triggering the reaction. Children are particularly susceptible to mold allergies.
2.  Pathogenic Molds

Pathogenic Molds: Produce an infection of particular concern if your immune system is weak or compromised. This type of mold can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia. An example is Aspergillus fumigatus, which can grow in the lungs of immune-compromised individuals.

Produce an infection of particular concern if your immune system is weak or compromised. This type of mold can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia. An example is Aspergillus fumigatus, which can grow in the lungs of immune-compromised individuals.
3.  Toxigenic Molds (aka “toxic molds”)

Toxigenic Molds: Toxic molds produce mycotoxins that will make anyone sick. Possible reactions include immune suppression and cancer. Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched. An example of this is aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to mankind. Aflatoxin grows on peanuts and grains, and on some other foods.

Toxic molds produce mycotoxins that will make anyone sick. Possible reactions include immune suppression and cancer. Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched. An example of this is aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to mankind. Aflatoxin grows on peanuts and grains, and on some other foods.
In order to determine the exact species of mold, mold inspectors will usually recommend that a tape or swab sample is taken. Sometimes, air quality tests may also be recommend because air borne mold spores are not visible to the eye; such a test will enable the inspector to report back on the concentration of indoor spores. Samples are then sent to accredited laboratories who analyze them to determine the exact species. Over the years, we have received many lab reports that have identified these five most common indoor molds.
1.  Alternaria

Alternaria is commonly found in your nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract and can cause allergic responses.

Alternaria is commonly found in your nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract and can cause allergic responses.
2.  Aspergillus

Aspergillus is usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust. This mold produces mycotoxins which is a poisonous chemical compound.

Aspergillus is usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust. This mold produces mycotoxins which is a poisonous chemical compound. This mold variety can cause lung infections, aspergillosis.
3.  Cladosporium

Cladosporium is a very common outdoor fungus that can find its way indoors and grow on textiles, wood and other damp, porous materials. This mold triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.

Cladosporium is a very common outdoor fungus that can find its way indoors and grow on textiles, wood and other damp, porous materials. This mold triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.
4.  Penicillium

Penicillium is a very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation. It is known for causing allergies and asthma. Some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.

Penicillium is a very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation. It is known for causing allergies and asthma. Some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.
5.  Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys is extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs. This mold can be found on wood or paper.

Stachybotrys is extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs. This mold can be found on wood or paper.

 

Check out part two of our 4 part sequence here!

 

Where is the water coming from?

Where is the water coming from?

Mold is caused when moisture affects the walls and other surfaces in your home or office. To permanently get rid of mould you have to first find and fix the moisture source.

Water can enter a building in all sorts of strange and mysterious ways, and may result in hidden moisture in walls and ceilings.  Moisture, whether you can see it or not, can result in mould growth and this mould growth can affect the health of the people living or working in the building. You could start taking apart your rooms one by one, or you could call got mold? Disaster Recovery Services for more information on how we can help.

Using our thermal imaging equipment and moisture meters we can map the moisture in your walls, find the missing insulation in your ceiling and track that leaky underfloor pipe – quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, without creating holes in your walls and ceilings.  

If you are concerned about hidden moisture in walls and ceilings in your home or office, or have areas of mould growth that you can’t explain it may be time to take action and get the answers you need to prevent mold growth before it happens! 

Today’s energy-efficient homes are built tightly to seal out the cold weather in winter and keep in the air conditioning in summer. Because of this, it is possible that a new home can be severely damaged by lack of ventilation or by excess moisture.

It is important to remember that moisture damage caused by improper or inadequate use of your ventilation system, is not covered by the new home warranty.

What causes moisture damage?

Your home can be damaged if weather-related water is allowed to enter and remain in the structure. Water from leaking pipes or fixtures that is not immediately cleaned up, and indoor humidity levels that are not properly controlled, can have serious consequences. Sometimes this damage is easily seen, at other times the damage is hidden inside wall and roof spaces. Regardless of where it occurs, moisture damage can lead to serious problems, such as rot, mould, and even structural failure.​

How can I control moisture?

Always use your home ventilation system to control moisture. In a typical home, over 20 litres of water are added to the indoor environment every day. That’s 7,300 litres in a year, enough to fill a medium-sized swimming pool. Bathroom fans, kitchen range hoods and packaged ventilators such as heat-recovery ventilators are specifically installed in your home to help you control moisture and contaminants. Regular use of your home ventilation system will exhaust excess airborne moisture caused by bathing, showering, doing laundry and cooking.​

What else can I do to control moisture?

Here are some extra tips you can follow to help prevent moisture damage to your home.

Outside the home

  • Keep flowerbeds or landscaping at least six inches or 150 mm away from the top of the foundation. Placing soil near or above the top of the foundation allows moisture to come into direct contact with the structure of the building.
  • Ensure that land adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the home so that rainwater and snow melt will run away from the foundation.
  • Clear eavestroughs of debris regularly and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from the building. Water flow can erode the ground near the foundation and create depressions where water collects. Standing water near the foundation can force its way into the basement.
  • Fix the caulking around windows and doors and on the roof if it becomes cracked or separated.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly

Inside the home

  • In the winter, keep the relative humidity in your home in the range of 30-45%. Lower humidity levels may affect your health and cause things made of wood to shrink. Excess humidity can cause condensation on windows and damage the surrounding wall. When using a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In the summer, dehumidify the basement to avoid condensation buildup on the cool foundation walls. Relative humidity levels should not exceed 60%.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures immediately. Clean and completely dry any areas that are dampened or wet within 48 hours.
  • Store organic materials such as newspapers and clothes away from cool, damp areas. Keep storage areas tidy so that air circulates freely.
  • If you are adding a hot tub to your home, or have a large collection of plants, consider the amount of moisture they will add to your indoor air and ventilate accordingly.
  • Never vent your clothes dryer inside your home. If you have a gas- or propane-fired dryer you may also be venting carbon monoxide inside your home!
  • Investigate and identify any musty smells and odours. They are often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem.​

 

For more information check out these helpful articles!
For basement and crawlspace maintenance
For bathroom condensation tips 
For Carpets

For more information on preventing mold and hidden moisture please contact us today!

Three reasons to get a summer mold inspection

summer humidity, summer mold

Summer heat can cause mold growth from the rising temperatures causing internal humidity to your home


Three Reasons To Have a Summer Mold Inspection
Summer is almost over, soon temperatures will begin to drop, it is the perfect opportunity for mold to start growing in your home. Here are three reasons to have a professional mold inspection:
1. Prevent Mold Spores From Getting In Your HVAC System
In most homes, the furnace is located in the basement, usually in the storage area. The basement is also one of the most common areas for mold to thrive and grow because it is a dark, moist area. You will know you have mold issues if you smell a musty, earthy odour. This past spring, many homes were flooded and if they were not dried properly, the prevalence of mold issues is highly likely.
If mold is prevalent in the basement, one of the major concerns is to prevent air borne spores from spreading throughout the rest of the home. In other words, turning on your air conditioning and central air units when there is mold in the basement could spread the spores throughout the home contaminating more areas.
The number one reason to get a summer mold inspection is to prevent the spread of mold into other areas of your home when you turn on your furnace for the colder days. If the mold inspector finds mold in the basement, then potential cross contamination can be prevented with a remediation plan.
2. Better Health
Unfortunately, when Fall and Winter arrive, many blame health issues on colds and the flu. However, what most people do not realize is that mold spores can cause many of the symptoms we experience when we think we have a cold or flu:
  1. The sudden onset of allergic symptoms involving the respiratory system such as cough, congestion, sinus infection, asthma, and bronchitis.
  2. Unexplained headaches, decrease in attention span or memory, difficulty concentrating, or dizziness.
  3. Other physical symptoms of mold could include skin rash, itchy eyes, fatigue, and a general unwell feeling that disappears when leaving the house.
Many of the symptoms above would be diagnosed as cold or flu symptoms by a Doctor. As our toxic mold survivor interviews show, this is a common occurrence simply because most Doctors are not trained to identify sickness caused by mold.
If you experience these symptoms soon after turning on your furnace or air flow systems, then you likely have mold spores circulating in your home.
To verify that you have mold issues, you can check the furnace or air units for black, gray-brown, gray-green, or white-and-orange spots. The insulation, condensers, cooling coils, and drip pans of furnaces and air conditioners, as well as the ducts are all potential areas where mold growth can occur. If you get mold in your HVAC system, you can get your ducts cleaned by a professional. Duct cleaning is only recommended, however, if the core problem causing the mold issues and the primary source of the mold contamination is properly cleaned.
3. Peace of Mind
Trained mold inspectors follow a step by step protocol to determine if there is a mold problem. They will do visual inspections; ask questions to get a better idea of the building history to find out about leaks, floods, etc. any indication of past moisture issues; measure the moisture levels; and may recommend that tape, swab, or air quality tests be done to determine the type of mold and the spore count in the home.
The relative cost of a mold inspection compared to the potential health issues and eventual structural issues that mold can cause in a property is minor and should give you a significant amount of peace of mind knowing that you have had a professional inspection done.
Bottom line, if you suspect that you have any mold concerns, particularly in your basement, we strongly recommend that you have a professional examine the problem so that you can prevent the spread of the mold throughout your home when you turn on your furnace.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.