Mold is a common household problem that can have serious implications for your health. Mold growth is caused by the presence of elevated amounts of moisture in the form of either humidity or liquid water. In a normal home, water migrates into the home through the basement, and exits the home through the attic. These are the two most common areas that mold colonies can be established and of these two, the greatest risk to exposure is in the basement.
Mold can have serious effects on both your health. Members of a group that are most susceptible will depend on genetics, age, current health, preexisting conditions, and lifestyle. Please note that if you have mold growth in your home and you do not feel any affects, your guests may, and also by your pets (i.e. cats and dogs).
Genetics can often control reactions such allergenic exposure. However, asthmatic symptoms can be either genetics or induced by environmentally conditions. Typical symptoms of mold exposure include coughing, wheezing, sneezing, headaches, flu like symptoms, brain fog, exhaustion and skin irritation. The most common symptom is exhaustion. Normally, where there is contamination in the home, one feels better a few hours after leaving and then begin feeling the symptoms again less than an hour upon returning.
Skin Irritation is often caused by yeast, which is a single cell fungi. Candida causes Candidiasis of the skin, a rash that causes redness and intense itching, sometimes an infection. These can occur in folds of the skin, navel, vaginal, mouth (called thrush), or tongue. Taking antibiotics can kill good bacteria that leads to yeast blooms. Those people at a higher risk are infants, people wearing dentures, people receiving cancer treatments, or people having a pre-existing condition such as HIV or diabetes. A common method of exposure to yeast is to repeatedly allow water or urine (pets) to spill into the carpet where yeast can bloom, then either have children play on the carpet or simply vacuum the carpet with a non-HEPA vacuum where it becomes airborne.
There are several types of molds that can cause “fungal arthritis”. This type of arthritis is not common, but is caused by swelling and irritation (inflammation) of a joint by a fungal infection. It is also called Mycotic arthritis. This is not a common problem, but it can be cause by invasive types of fungi and be spread from the infection of another organ (i.e. lungs).
There is a group of Fungi that are called Pathogenic, which means they can cause infections. These can be part of the fungi that are classified as yeast, molds, and dimorphic Fungi (grows has both yeast and mold filamentous phases). These can lead to more serious health problems such as respiratory infections, neurological problems, and even cancer. This group includes the famous mold called Stachybotrys and the lesser known Chaetomium. Both of these require near water saturated conditions for an extended period of time for it to grow and is not commonly found in homes unless there is a history of flooding or water losses.
It is important to remember that mold growth is a symptom of a water problem. Having your home inspected by an Indoor Air Quality professional (not a traditional home inspector) can help identify potential areas for mold growth. Also, they can teach you how your home functions and how moisture migrates through building materials. Proper attic ventilation is critically important to preventing elevated moisture from accumulating in your home and then mold growth on your contents.
Mold removal and remediation should always be performed by trained professionals. Do it yourself methods focus on “treating” mold, not removing it. It is common knowledge in our business that dead mold colonies, or spores, are just allergenic to exposure as live material. This is because the treatment does not have an effect on the chemicals that you react to when exposed. All remedial activities should focus on removal and then preventing it from growing back. Treating a contaminant may seem like a cost-effective solution, but it often makes the problem worse.
Professional mold removal companies use specialized equipment, chemicals, and techniques. If you live in a state that do not have laws requiring remediation companies to complete projects in accordance with current national remediation guidelines, be aware they exist and you can review them to follow so that microbial debris is not
spread to other areas. This topic is critically important in real estate transactions of residential homes.
When looking for a mold removal company, it's important to choose one with a proven track record of customer satisfaction. Look for a company that invests in their education, attends professional conferences, and gives a warranty that their work has been completed in accordance with current national remediation standards. Do not focus on a warranty that mold will not regrow, that is a red herring. A homeowner should remember that as in any business, the best and most competent company is not the cheapest.
In conclusion, mold is a serious problem that can have lasting effects on your health. Periodic Indoor air quality inspections and prompt mold removal can help prevent health problems and structural damage. When looking for a mold removal company, choose one that is experienced, and committed to providing a high-quality service. Don't let mold take over your home – take action today and Contact Farsight Management!
At Farsight Management we understand that not all indoor air quality companies are created equal.
We feel that it is imperative to educate ourselves, our employees, and our customers. You can trust that we follow all the national standards in regards to indoor air quality. This includes mold remediation, lead abatement, asbestos removal, and everything that we do.