Mold Testing & Home Inspections to Help with Allergies
Do you or a loved one suffer from unpleasant allergy symptoms on a regular basis? There are numerous allergens that may be responsible for stubborn allergy symptoms. Did you know that oftentimes, the source of our allergens is located inside our homes?
Many people falsely assume that pollen counts are solely responsible for allergy symptoms. This simply isn’t true. Pollen counts may play a role in seasonal allergies, but indoor air pollution is significantly more likely to be responsible for your persistent and/or recurring allergy symptoms.
The following informational guide explores the most common indoor allergens and potential health risks associated with exposure. We will also reveal the top spots where dangerous mold allergens may be hiding inside your home.
Health Risks of Indoor Air Allergens
There are numerous airborne allergens that may exist inside your home. These irritants affect the quality of the air that your family breathes.
Symptoms of Poor Air Quality:
- Skin irritation
- Eye Irritation
- Nasal Stuffiness
These pollutants can increase to dangerous levels over time and chronic respiratory diseases may develop if left untreated.
At-Risk Family Members
Certain family members may be at an increased risk of suffering from ill effects when exposed to indoor air pollutants. At-risk groups include the elderly, infants, and individuals with preexisting respiratory conditions.
Protect your most vulnerable loved ones by ensuring your home is providing them with safe breathable air. Reach out to an air quality professional today to schedule a home air quality test.
Mold is the Biggest Threat to Indoor Air Quality
According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 10 percent of all allergy sufferers are also sensitive to fungi (mold spores). Mold tends to affect more people because compared to pollen that stays outside unless brought in by pets or on clothing; One of the leading causes of allergy in the home is mold allergy. When a buildup of mold occurs, it sends spores into the air.
A small amount of mold will not pose much of a problem, but if it builds up over many months and is allowed to grow then it can have a big impact on the quality of the air.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to mold are similar to those of other allergies.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure:
- Scaling Skin
- A Runny Nose
Individuals with asthma are at an increased risk of a serious reaction if mold spores penetrate the lungs.
Improving indoor air quality by removing the sources of mold is the only way to avoid these allergy-inducing air particles.
Read the full article here.
Most Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
There are numerous items throughout the home that are common sources of indoor air pollution. These areas often harbor numerous allergens, including dust mites and mold.
Most Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution:
- Animal Dander
- Dust Mites
- House Plants
- Plush Toys
Inspect and clean these areas of the home on a regular basis to keep allergens at a minimal level.
Most Common Sources of Mold
Mold thrives in dark, moist, and humid environments. The following are the three most common areas in your home that may be harboring mold.
In the Dishwasher – According to a study at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia mold was found on 62 percent of tested dishwashers, mostly in the rubber seals and 56 percent of the washers had at least one species of black yeast, which is poisonous to humans.
Leaving the dishwasher door ajar and wiping it down before closing can ensure that it is completely dried.
Herbal Meds – According to a report in Fungal Biology plants that are used medicinally such as licorice root, up to 90 percent of samples had mold. In addition, 70 percent had “higher than normal” levels of fungi and 31 percent of the mold identified had the potential to be toxic to humans.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t currently regulate the sale of medicinal plants so there aren’t any ways to avoid these moldy meds.
Toothbrush – This is mainly found in electric toothbrushes with the hollow-head versus the solid-head option, the hollow-head option can retain up to 3,000 times the bacteria and mold growth. The difference in head option isn’t listed on most packages but can be determined but examining the head itself. Another tip is to avoid using toothbrush covers that are airtight as they cause the bristles to stay damp for longer and facilitate mold growth.
Best Ways to Eliminate Mold Allergens
There are several simple ways that you can decrease the amount of dangerous air pollutants that exist inside your home.
Remove Moisture from the Air
Mold thrives in a humid environment with high levels of moisture. Ideally, you should maintain a humidity level below 60% to prevent mold growth.
There are several things that you can do to decrease the amount of moisture in the air. The easiest way to lower indoor humidity levels is to increase ventilation throughout the home.
Invest in fans, open doors, and utilize the air conditioning to maintain an optimal temperature. Dehumidifiers are another great way to remove moisture from the air.
Purchase a few dehumidifiers and place them throughout the home to keep the humidity low and prevent mold growth.
Keep Your Home Clean
Bathrooms and kitchens are the most common areas of the home that harbor mold. This is due to the moist and humid environments that exist in these areas of the home. Keep these areas clean and ensure adequate ventilation exists. Decrease humidity by turning on the exhaust fan or opening windows.
Do not run your shower for an extended period of time, especially when it is not being used.
Change Your Air Filter
Cleaning your air filter on a regular basis is crucial for keeping allergen levels low. Air filters should be replaced in maximum intervals of every 3 months. This is only a guideline and how often you will need to change your filter will depend on several factors.
For example, households with pets will likely need to change their air filters more than every 3 months. Choose high-quality air filters and inspect and replace them often.
Clean Up Spills
Act immediately if you discover any pools of water, leaks, or spills inside the home. These moist conditions are ideal for mold growth if left unattended. Mold is nearly impossible to get rid of on your own once it has begun to grow.
Reach out for professional mold inspection and air testing immediately if you discover water accumulation after it is too late.
Identify and Report Mold Immediately
Perform an inspection of your home to determine if mold allergens may exist. Mold is most commonly found in humid areas, including bathrooms, kitchens, and/or basements.
Home Mold Checklist:
- Check underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks for any potential water damage. These areas are notorious for water leak damage and mold growth.
- Inspect perishable foods regularly to ensure that they are still safe for consumption. Do not leave moldy food in the refrigerator for an extended period of time.
- Clean and inspect walls and flooring behind large appliances.
- Clean up any sign of mold immediately with bleach, soap, and water.
Remember that mold causes damage that extends well below the surface. Contact a mold remediation expert immediately if you discover mold in any area of your home.
Check Your Basement
The majority of home basements are at a high risk of harboring mold allergens. Mold grows on old papers, bedding, and clothes.
Use the air conditioning or invest in a dehumidifier to lower the humidity in your basement. Keep mold from growing on your valuables by storing all items in air-tight storage containers.
Professional Mold Testing
Not all molds in the home are hazardous, so how can you tell the difference? The key is to carry out a simple mold test. Test directions are straightforward and easy to understand. The test also guarantees an accurate mold assessment of your home in only 5 minutes.
Avoiding these types of problems is a matter of controlling the levels of moisture in your home – below 50% moisture level is desirable. The severity of the mold in the home determines if you can clean it using home cleaning products, or if you need to call in the professionals at MDMoldTesting.com, we’re happy to help.
Schedule Professional Air Quality Testing
Decreasing allergen levels inside your home are crucial for providing your family with safer and cleaner air. Start by reaching out to the air quality professionals at MD Mold Testing. MD Mold Testing provides residential and commercial customers with professional air quality testing services.
A team of reliable and experienced technicians will perform an indoor air quality assessment. Our professional contractors will then be happy to help you find the best solution for home air quality based on the information collected.
MD Mold Testing provides reliable mold testing and home inspection services to property owners throughout Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.