Recently, as we think about our own families, we have become more concerned with the indoor air quality for our customers. Due to moisture infiltration in 90% of the homes we have inspected, we have come to find that this has the most potential health hazards second to radon.
What can Mold mean to You and Your Home?
It is impossible to get rid of mold as mold spores will be floating in the air and in house dust. The mold spores will continue to grow if there is moisture present. Therefore, it is important to find and clean up the mold and fix the water/moisture problem that is the source of the mold. If the mold is cleaned up, but the water/moisture source is not fixed, the mold WILL come back. Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply remove the mold that you can see. Professional mold removal by Earth Safe Environmental techs can help make your property or home mold free. If you have mold, get help to keep your home and family healthy. Mold can damage property, reduce the value of your antiques and cause health issues for your family. Children and the elderly are very susceptible to mold related breathing problems. The allergy prone can also experience significant breathing problems.
CDC & Mold
CDC Mold Testing & Remediation Guidelines: Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.I’ve listed two (2) links below from the Center for Disease Control. You’ll see the information on the site recommends the removal of Mold regardless of its type.
What can Mold mean to You and Your Home?
IDENTIFICATION Mold in attics often appears first as mildew. Mildew’s appearance can range from white and powdery growths to black spotted growths. Mold can also appear as white, black or even green fuzzy growths. CAUSES Moisture Moisture is the primary cause of mold in any area of the home, the attic included. Excess moisture in the atmosphere, either due to humidity or water infiltration, will nearly always result in mold growth. Inadequate Ventilation Without proper ventilation, excess moisture has no method of escape. Correcting inadequate ventilation issues in an attic space by increasing ventilation or installing power vents can reduce the amount of moisture in the air. SOLUTION To prevent future growth, remove excess moisture in the air by making sure that no outside water is getting in by way of leaks or failing gutters. Remove humidity by providing ventilation and have the mold impacted areas treated by trained professionals.
Mold in Basements
Mold in Basements / Crawl Spaces Mold growth in basements and crawl spaces are a common problem with homeowners. The dampness and coolness of basement walls translates into perfect harvesting grounds for mold. To prevent mold and mildew buildup on walls or the underside of subflooring and floor joists, determine the cause of its growth to ensure it is kept at bay. IDENTIFICATION Mold in basements and crawl spaces often appear first as mildew. Mildew’s appearance can range from white and powdery growths to black spotted growths. Mold can also appear as white, black or even green fuzzy growths. For mold to properly form, there must be a considerable amount of moisture to work with. The humidity as well as presence of water, plays a part in mold formation. CAUSES: Gutters & Downspouts It is important for gutters and downspouts to direct rain water coming from the roof away from the basement foundation walls. Downspouts should extend away from the home. Without gutters, rain water will continue to add moisture to a basement which can lead to mold growth. Standing Water Standing water in basements is a concern for mold growth, especially if it is next to a wall. Leaking water pipes also cause mold growth if the water drips onto the walls. Basement floods can provide necessary moisture and water needed for severe mold outbreaks. Sloping Ground – Reverse Grades Ground that slopes toward a home or building rather than away, aids in the production of mold. The slope of the ground determines where rainwater will collect, so buildings and homes with ground sloping inward will have more problems with mold than those with ground that slopes away from it. It may be necessary to change the slope near the base of a home to prevent significant mold buildup inside basement walls. Vapor Barrier Some basements and crawl spaces have dirt floors which allow ground moisture to continuously enter the home and affect the structure. Unless you stop this moisture infiltration, this will become a feeding ground for mold growth. Installing a vapor barrier proves to be a smart solution in situations like this. Stagnant Air Air circulation is needed to prevent the buildup of mold, because it helps keep moisture at bay. Stagnant air flow usually results in greater moisture accumulation. In basements and other rooms, keep large furniture or other objects a few inches away from the wall. This ensures air circulation. Cleanliness Unclean areas are breeding grounds for mold spores which, when combined with water, creates mold. Basements tend to be neglected cleaning areas, and thus mold spores abound. Any water or moisture in contact with the mold spores will result in an outbreak. Regular vacuuming and cleaning helps to eliminate the buildup of mold spores. SOLUTION Correct any exterior grading issues. Install a vapor barrier if necessary. Repair faulty gutters and downspouts. Use a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth and to maintain proper humidity levels. Move stagnant air and have the mold impacted areas treated by trained professionals.
Is your home located in a High Radon Level Area?
Radon Causes Cancer Have Your Home Tested TODAY!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon-induced lung cancer costs the United States over $2 billion dollars per year in both direct and indirect health care costs. (Based on National Cancer Institute statistics of 14,400 annual radon lung cancer deaths – Oster, Colditz & Kelley, 1984) According to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure. The alpha radiation emitted by radon is the same alpha radiation emitted by other alpha generating radiation sources such as plutonium. A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/l is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure) An elementary school student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/l of radon will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant. (25 mrem limit, 200 mrem exposure) Most U.S. EPA lifetime safety standards for carcinogens are established based on a 1 in 100,000 risk of death. Most scientists agree that the risk of death for radon at 4 pCi/l is approximately 1 in 100. At the 4 pCi/l EPA action guideline level, radon carries approximately 1000 times the risk of death as any other EPA carcinogen. It is important to note that the action level is not a safe level, as there are no “safe” levels of radon gas.
“Thanks so much for testing our new home before we bought it, knowing that there was no Radon makes us so much more comfortable at closing!” Kriz Z. Clifton Park
“The guys at Earth Safe were great, they were on time, clean and very polite. We had our home checked for mold, radon & lead paint so we could get our house refinanced at a great rate.” Joan S. Rexford, NY
“After finding mold in our attic, we knew we needed expert help to have it removed. Thank you for making sure that our family is safe from the mold and that our home is now mold free.” Larry B. Schoharie