Mold Damage in Airdrie
When you’ve got concerns about mold in a home or other building, a musty smell is often the first sign. You may find that when you enter your home you are greeted with a wet, moldy odour that you just can’t seem to get rid of. Candles, incense and regular home cleaning can mask a moldy smell but only temporarily.
If you are seeing mold developing in one area of the home, you might have questions about where to start fixing it. But you may also have much more mold than you can see from inside your home. Any time there is a suspicion of mold in your environment, it warrants some investigation. Often, mold will begin to grow in bathrooms first, since the fungus thrives in a moist environment.
In corners, along the bathtub and in toilets should always be cleaned with a bleach-containing solution as part of your regular cleaning routine to minimize this surface mold. Always run bathroom fans during and after their use to decrease the moisture in the environment and discourage mold growth.
Window ledges that collect condensation behind closed coverings should remain open during the day and be dried to prevent mold accumulation and water damage along the windowsill. Leaky windows can be hazardous if the water enters the structural components under them. In some cases, small water leaks that run beneath a window can reach the flooring material and mold the subfloor. Similarly, cracks in foundations may allow water to seep into cracks and down the wall, concealing its damage behind the wall. Although mold can look harmless, it damages the structures it grows on and can remain hidden for years if not investigated.
Types of Mold
While not every type of mold is dangerous to all humans and pets, the toxicity of other types can present serious health risks to those living or working in the environment. Allergenic molds don’t present significant danger to the average person – unless they’re asthmatic or allergic to that particular mold. Children should be considered at more risk of an allergic reaction to molds. Other molds, like pathogenic ones, can trigger bacterial pneumonia in immune-compromised people. Some molds actually act to suppress your immune system and have been linked to certain cancers. These molds can be inhaled or absorbed through contact.
Symptoms of Exposure
If you have been exposed to mold, watch for unusual symptoms. The list of possible symptoms are numerous, so we recommend keeping track of your symptoms in the days leading up to seeing your doctor. Watch for things like excessive fatigue, trouble concentrating and memory loss. Sensitivity to light, cough, sinus problems and anything that is out of the ordinary should be documented to attempt to bring patterns to light. If the problem exists in your workplace, you will likely see symptoms decreasing every weekend and start again through the week.
You should always have the environment inspected if you suspect that you have a mold and moisture problem. An inspection will determine the severity of the mold, the source of the moisture and what will be required to remedy it. In some cases, drywall may need to be removed in order to provide visual access to the area of concern.
Preventing Mold Growth in Your Home
Proper home maintenance over the years will prevent mold growth. If you have a moisture problem along your baseboards or on some ceiling tiles, many would put off dealing with it if it isn’t causing an immediate problem. Leaving moisture in dark corners can result in prolific mold growth, so drying any evidence of water as soon as possible will prevent growth. It takes as little as 48 hours for mold to begin growing on surfaces like cement, wood framing and drywall.
Where there is evidence of a leak, finding out where it was happening and fixing it is important and should be prioritized. What looks like a small amount of water could be mold growing behind the wall. In areas where the carpet has been wet, it must be lifted and dried thoroughly before being reinstalled and this includes underlayment. Use kitchen and bathroom fans any time there is moisture in the area from cooking or showering. It is also important to have good ventilation in the roof of your home to prevent mold from developing due to stagnant air. When you purchase a home, it is important that your home inspector assesses the ventilation in the building and informs you of any concerns. If moisture is a regular problem in your home, use a dehumidifier to help draw in moisture while you contact a professional to help you identify and address the source of the moisture.
If you smell mold in a carpeted room, it should be thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry with the help of heaters, if necessary.