Mold and the Indoor Environment – Protecting Your House
The two main reasons of bad indoor air quality are molds and indoor air pollutants. Mold not only causes various health conditions but can also cause serious structural damage to buildings. 70% of households around the world have molds. What’s more shocking is that a whopping 50% of American households are dealing with some type of mold. The 2015 documentary “Moldy” claimed that molds are more dangerous to human beings than lead paint or asbestos.
We all think that we’re safe indoors. But that’s not true at all. It might come as a surprise to you, but indoor air pollutants are three to five times higher than outdoor levels. According to a report released by the World Health Organization in 2014, 7 million deaths every year are linked to indoor and outdoor pollution.
There are several factors that affect indoor air quality, including the outdoor climate, weather conditions, and air exchange rate. Mold spores also adversely affect indoor air quality.
Your home sets up a breeding ground for mold when there’s water damage or it’s not ventilated well. An increase in mold spores affects the indoor air quality, triggering health conditions like allergies, asthma, and sinus infection.
Effects of Mold Exposure on Health
Exposure to mold is generally harmless. However, being constantly exposed to mold spores is a red signal – all the way.
Here are the effects of mold exposure on health:
- Constant mold exposure can cause allergies and irritation. One might experience wheezing, a sore throat, sneezing, dry cough, and skin rashes.
- It can also trigger asthma. In fact, 40% of asthma cases are caused by mold exposure. Apart from feeling breathless, the person might also experience wheezing, chest tightness, and blue lip.
- In rare cases, mold exposure can result in pneumonia, where a person might experience symptoms like loss of apetite, shallow breathing, cough, and stabbing chest pain.
- It can also cause fungal sinusitis and irritation for as long as the mold fungi stay within the sinus. A person suffering from fungal sinusitis might experience discolored discharge, headache, sinus pressure, and congestion.
- Mold and residential dampness are also linked to the increase of respiratory infections and bronchitis.
To ensure that you don’t get exposed to mold spores, call home restoration experts to conduct an inspection once in a year.
What are the Health Effects Associated with Indoor Pollution?
Indoor pollution can trigger a wide range of health conditions.
Here are the effects of indoor pollution on health:
- Can trigger various respiratory diseases. One of the most common ones is lung infections. The most common symptoms that people with lung infection experience are stabbing chest pain, cough that produces mucus, runny nose, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
- Can also result in chronic illnesses such as asthma. A person suffering from chronic asthma usually experiences wheezing when inhaling, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and blue fingers and lips.
- Possibly cause lung cancer. There are various symptoms that people with lung cancer experience. However, the most common ones are persistent cough, chest infections that keep coming back, persistent breathlessness, and tiredness.
- Pose risk of non-communicable diseases like stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and ischaemic heart disease.
- Can cause allergies and pneumonia.
- Can also result in an array of immediate effects such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes. However, these effects are short-term and easily treatable.
Household air pollution can also cause frequent cold sores, skin rashes, lethargy, and memory lapses. The long-term effects include an increased risk of cancer.
Ways to Prevent Indoor Air Pollution
- Stop smoking indoors
- Many cleaning supplies contain harmful chemicals that can trigger irritation and allergies. Make sure you use natural cleaning supplies.
- Change the air-filters of your heating and cooling system regularly
- Avoid using air fresheners and scented candles
- Vacuum regularly, especially if you have pets
- Brooms stir up more dust, so use vacuums instead
- While dusting, make sure you use a microfiber dusting cloth
- If you can, consider removing carpeting
- Use an air purifier to remove the impurities from indoor air
- Install exhaust hoods to reduce humidity
- Make sure you clean the dining room, break room, and bedrooms clean. Don’t forget to avail of sanitization services from home restoration companies to prevent pests and maintain hygiene.
- Fix water leaks to ensure that there’s no mold and mildew growth in the house
Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in the House
- The first most important thing to stop mold growth in the house is to control moisture.
- Molds thrive in humid environments. So, make sure you keep humidity levels under 60%.
- Provide proper ventilation in your kitchen, laundry room, basement, and any other high-moisture areas of the house.
- Repair window and roof leaks immediately. Make sure you call home restoration experts after water damage to ensure that there aren’t any molds growing in the corners of your basement.
- Mold can’t grow without moisture, so make sure you dry wet areas quickly
- If you notice any weird odors in the carpeted rooms, don’t forget to give them a nice clean. Keep in mind that mold only needs 24 to 48 hours to grow on a damp surface.
- No matter how convenient it is, stop drying clothes indoors.
- Regularly call mold remediation companies to get a mold inspection done every year.
Mold and indoor air pollutants can result in various health conditions. Make sure you give a call to mold restoration experts as soon as you find any traces of mold growth in your house.