How Mold Can Affect Indoor Air Quality
With so much information around, and so many “talking-heads”, it’s important for the average consumer to understand how mold and mold spores affect indoor air quality. For those who are health conscious, indoor air quality is always important, but for those exposed to mold inside the home, the situation may be more critical. Hence, there’s a need to better understand mold, and more importantly, how to get it cleaned it up and keep it out forever.
The truth is, mold of all kinds is present in the air. It’s “natural” and it’s “organic” and most of the experts will agree that at low levels, mold and mold spores are harmless. The problem begins when people are affected, and that all depends on age, general health, and susceptibility. Those with asthma, allergies, or respiratory conditions will likely be affected to a greater degree than others. Affected or not, a mold infiltration needs to be fully removed.
When mold finds a hospitable environment, it will thrive and grow and spread. Mold produces allergens, irritants, and sometimes toxins, and none of these is especially good for humans. For many, allergic reactions are inflamed when inhaling or touching mold, and this is particularly evident with sensitive individuals. Reactions may include “hay-fever” symptoms, reddening eyes, even skin rashes. Indeed, these reactions can be instant or delayed.
When mold is in the air, people with asthma can be adversely affected. But inhaling mold or mold spores can also affect non-allergic people. It means that wherever possible, mold requires proper removal at source, with some assurance that re-growth will not occur. Unfortunately, over-the-counter products and remedies will only provide short-term relief. For occupants or residents, with sensitivities or not, complete remediation of mold is the antidote.
Most mold experts will discourage using air test kits that are sold at home improvement centers. These kits will not assess the amount of mold in the air, nor will they measure the scope of a mold infiltration. For accuracy, air testing should be done by a licensed mold consultant who can test for mold and mold spores with diagnostic equipment that is designed for the purpose. And when an objective third party does the testing, the results are more verifiable.
Often, when mold is suspected, but unseen, air testing is ideal. And with the right equipment, an accredited assessor can even test inside a wall cavity. The thing is, wherever mold is present, the potential for spreading exists, even if the mold goes into hibernation and waits for conditions to be more hospitable. Importantly, there isn’t such a thing as a minor mold infiltration – even a minor outgrowth should be eradicated as a precautionary measure.
When indoor air quality is compromised by mold (or another contaminant), it’s a situation that requires attention. If mold is the suspect, especially when symptoms emerge, it’s the perfect time to assess and evaluate. In many cases, the best outcomes will result with a professional approach to air testing – after all, health and well being must remain.the priority.