Eliminate mold early to reduce costs and health risks
Mold: Catch it early and eliminate costs / health risks
When it comes to mold you should eliminate mold early to reduce costs and health risks. And the best way to save money and eliminate a potential hazardous material from developing is to know what to look for before it happens. There are a number of clues that you’ll likely catch if you know what to look for. By knowing this you’ll avoid costly mold cross-contamination issues throughout your home before they happen.
So one of the first things you should question is it mold in the first place?
Homeowners can be a little paranoid about mold, and it makes sense why. Left too long, mold can slowly take over a home. Mold can make a building uninhabitable by destroying the structure and releasing mycotoxins that can make people sick. However, while it pays to be cautious, not every spot or discolouration is going to be mold. So how do you know?
Are the Conditions Right?
Fortunately for residents of the City of Toronto and people around the world, mold needs some pretty specific conditions to grow and flourish. Without the following conditions, mold spores simply can’t grow. The three main ingredients for mold growth are moisture, suitable temperature, and a source of organic nutrients.
Different molds have different needs, but most varieties can begin to grow with a humidity level of at least 50% that last for 24 hours. Drying your laundry on an indoor line, showering, and cooking can all easily raise the humidity of a room, so it’s important to have proper ventilation in your home. In winter keep your furnace fan running continuously and after taking a shower leave your shower fan run for at least ½ hour after a shower. Take a look at one of our past blog posts, (https://mapleleafmold.ca/mold-relative-humidity/), where we do a deep dive into the importance of controlling relative humidity.
The range of temperatures that humans prefer fall well within the thermal range of most molds – approximately 15°C up to 35°C, so it’s nearly impossible to limit mold growth by controlling temperature.
As for a source of nutrition, mold can eat nearly any organic matter such as wall paper, drywall, ceiling tiles, carpet, 2x4s, and even paint. And because temperature and nutrition are nearly impossible to control for, it’s crucial that your home has proper ventilation and humidity control.
Other Signs of Mold
There are many signs of mold that you can look for. If you caught our previous article, you’ll know that your sense of smell is going to be really helpful during this time. If you smell decay, that strongly indicates the presence of mold. Another thing to look for is condensation, leaks, and water damage. As we mentioned above, the only thing homeowners can really do is control the amount of moisture in their home. If your house is damp, your risk of mold drastically increases.
It can tricky to tell if discolouration on your ceiling is mold or dirt or something else entirely. If you aren’t sure, the experts from Amity Environmental can help! We have the ability to take samples from around your home and test them at a lab. That way you can know for sure. If you suspect your house may have a mold problem, call us today at (587) 892-7920.
Smell. While people tend to not rely on their sense of smell nearly as much as other animals — think dogs for example, our nose is a powerful tool for determining if something is decaying. Most people already know this. When it comes time to determine if left overs or the over-due milk is okay, we don’t use our eyes — we use our noses. That’s because over thousands of years, evolution has selected for noses that could sniff out the rotten food and keep people safe from mold and bacteria. While that might not be as important any more with modern fridges and preservatives, that ability remains, so you should put it to good work! If your home or a particular room seems to smell musty or moldy to you, look over, under, and in every nook and cranny. You may just discover water or mold problem.
Sickness. Many people suffer from allergies in the spring, but it’s unusual for those allergies to last all year or to be worse while you’re in your home. Sometimes homeowners won’t realize that their allergies are worse at the house because they think it’s the time of day that’s affecting them. In other words, they believe their allergies are simply worse in the mornings and evenings when they’re tired. This is possible, but it’s a good idea to pay attention on the weekends to make sure your symptoms aren’t actually lessening by leaving the house. Common symptoms of mold allergies include sneezing, sore (or itchy) eyes, a runny nose, and/or nasal congestion.
Sight. Of course it’s better to catch mold before little, fuzzy patches become visible on your walls or ceiling, but there is still one early sign you can see: water damage caused by flooding, condensation, or leaks.
Mold spores are everywhere in the air, but they need water to thrive and grow. Where water damage exists, mold often follows. We know people are busy and don’t have the time to scour their entire home for water damage each week, so here are the places you should take a regular look at.
- Basement – Especially if you’ve experienced flooding in the past. Be sure that you touch the walls to check for condensation.
- Laundry Room – If you dry your laundry on a line inside, plan to air out this room regularly. Or better yet, hang your clothing outside or use the drier.
- Washrooms – After a shower or a bath, you’ll also want to help this room air out. If you have a ventilation fan installed in your washroom, it’s a good idea to use it. If you don’t, you should think about investing in one.
- Kitchen – With all the boiling and baking, a lot of water vapour can be released into the air. Be sure to use hood fans and keep an eye on how steamy your kitchen is. You may need to open a window to let the moist air out.
So remember that if you eliminate mold early to reduce costs and health risks you will be keeping your home safe for you and your family. If you’ve noticed any possible mold symptoms, give the Toronto mold experts at Maple Leaf Mold Inc. a call today. We can help.
Maple Leaf Mold Inc. is a IICRC certified mold and asbestos testing and removal firm operating in Toronto and the surrounding area. We are an experienced, licensed firm practised in finding and removing mold and asbestos. Call 416-254-7256 to talk with us about your issue anytime.