Frequently Asked Questions & Facts
- Is your property at visible risk?
- Has your property ever experienced leaks from the plumbing, roof, windows, or basement?
- Are there any visible signs of leakage or water damage in your home?
- Are there any visible signs of mould in your home?
- Is there a damp musty smell in your home?
If you answer YES, mould may already be growing in your home.
- Are you at visible risk?
- Have you or your family members ever suffered from: Headaches, coughing, congestion, respiratory distress, rashes, irritated eyes, nose and throat?
If you answer YES, you may be suffering from exposure to toxic mould. Long term exposure to toxic mold contamination can lead to serious health problems.
It is a fact that moulds produce allergens and irritants that can cause exposed individuals to experience symptoms of hay fever i.e. sneezing, runny nose, skin rashes, irritated eyes as well as nose, throat and lung ailments. Many toxic molds produce poisonous substances called mycotoxins. These toxins interfere with cell structures and processes, and have the potential to cause serious health issues. Their effects to the human body have been documented using controlled conditions in a laboratory. Mycotoxins have been proven to be present indoors with victims suffering from: pulmonary hemorrhage or pulmonary hemosiderosis (primarily in infants),headaches and other flu-like symptoms,nose bleeds,immune system suppression (resulting in increased numbers of infections),hair loss,chronic fatigue,psychological depression,diarrhea,sore throats,dermatitis
Other symptoms that have been associated with mold: “burning” eyes, blurred vision, respiratory illness, chest pains, chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, dry cough, nasal congestion, aggravated asthma, cognitive disorder.
* CAN I HAVE A MOULD PROBLEM IF MY HOUSE NO MATTER THE AGE OF MY HOUSE? You can have mold no matter the age of your house. Under the right conditions for mold to grow, it can manifest itself within 24 hours or the wood used to construct the home may have already been contaminated with mold.
* HOW DOES MOLD BECOME A PROBLEM? Mold spores are everywhere. In order for mold to grow, moisture must be present. The necessary moisture can simply come from prolonged high humidity or from more catastrophic events such as floods, sewer backflows, leaky roofs or plumbing leaks. Once the structure gets wet, if it does not dry out or dries out slowly, mold spores can germinate and begin to grow on surfaces that provide a food source. The major problems occur when the surface growth begins to let off airborne spores call mycotoxins. These spores will irritate lungs, throats, eyes, etc. and you become sick. If and when the mold dries out, the spores can more easily become airborne. As well, the mold will lay dormant until more moisture is introduced and it will begin to grow and let off mycotoxins again.
* HOW DO I KNOW IF THE MOULD IN MY HOUSE IS TOXIC TO MY FAMILY AND MY PETS? You will get sick. But there is no way to be absolutely certain whether flu-like symptoms are mold related without testing results from a certified laboratory, as well as a consultation with a personal physician. Our service is to identify where mold may be growing; take material or air samples; have those samples tested; provide a report on the results from our certified lab; and consult with your physician as required.
* SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT MOULD IN MY HOME OR OFFICE? Mold is actually fungi. Fungi are a naturally occurring part of a healthy ecology. It is common to find fungi (mold spores) in the air both outside and inside your office or home. In fact, most of the mold that you find indoors comes from outside. The spores are carried in by the air currents and some are deposited in the interior of the building, while the bulk of the spores are carried out of the building by the same air currents. Generally, as long as the indoor mold spore levels are no higher than outdoor levels there are few adverse reactions to the mold, depending on individual sensitivities. However, according to the California Department of Health Services, as the amount of mold becomes more extensive or mold spore levels become elevated, it can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and other respiratory problems. Mold can also cause structural damage to homes.
* HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE ELEVATED MOULD SPORES IN MY HOME OR OFFICE? You may see mold growth, in the form of black or colored spotting around windows and in bathrooms (around water sources inside the home) as a result of excess water or moisture in the space over time. You may smell mold growth – earthy, organic smells. Healthy Homes IAQ specialized investigation techniques will track down the causes and provide a preventative maintenance program to help find mold growth. If there is a concern about elevated mold spores, then air sampling maybe required. Your Healthy Homes IAQ investigator is a trained and experienced environmental assessment consultant who can do the test sampling necessary to provide a comprehensive analysis report of the existing condition results and the recommended remediation (removal) Scope of Work within specific areas. Sampling be very expensive, so the Healthy Homes building audit will help to reduce the areas of concern and help to contain these costs.
* DOES IT MATTER WHAT KIND OF MOULD IS FOUND IN MY HOME? The reaction to the amount and types of molds in a home will vary from person to person. Some molds will produce mycotoxins, or toxins produced by molds. Simply spraying a mildewcide on mold will not remove or inactivate the mycotoxins that have already been produced. An adverse reaction from dead mold or mold spores can still happen. Not all molds produce mycotoxins all the time. And it may take a lot of mold to produce enough of a dose of mycotoxin to produce a poison specific to your sensitivities. The amount of mycotoxin required to create a reaction has not clearly been established. Tolerance to these mycotoxins again varies from person to person.
* HOW MUCH MOULD DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE ME SICK? It varies from person to person. For some it takes very little exposure to cause an adverse reaction. As a general rule, when you see mold the suspected problem needs to be resolved and the mold removed.
* ARE SOME PEOPLE AT GREATER RISK THAN OTHERS? High levels of mould can be unhealthy for anyone inside a building. Those individuals that appear to be at higher risk are infants, elderly, immune compromised (those with HIV infection, liver disease or undergoing chemotherapy), pregnant women and individuals with existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity and asthma. If you have concerns about your health, you should consult a physician for advice