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Mold In Your Home

Mold is with us in many forms and is everywhere in our environment (there are over 270 species of mold living in Canadian homes). The vast majority is harmless and some are even beneficial but some are not. Molds are microscopic fungi that are highly adaptive and grow rapidly, and produce spores and mycelia in the process. For mold to grow they need nutrients (they will fed on just about anything), a temperature between 2C to 40C, and moisture. To keep mold from not growing you must keep things dry.

Mold will start growing within 24 to 48 hours given a good moist environment. Different types of mold grow on different materials. Some mold need very wet environments and some will grow where the material is only damp. Water can occur from plumbing leaks, floods, and leaks in your structural envelop. Moisture can occur from water coming in from the outside, people in the home, bathing, cooking, washing, drying and many other sources. Moisture can also enter the structure of your home through insulation deficiencies and go undetected inside walls and under the insulation in your attic.

Mold growth inside your home can be a major health concern for the occupants of the home and those who visit. Mold will cause structural material damage that will have to be safely removed if the mold growth is extensive. Extensive mold growth could be a very expensive issue to remedy. It must be done safely and only by the proper professionals. Even minor mold growth can cause a negative impact on your home environment and the people who live there.

Mold can also cause a range of health issues and any level of mold infestation will have to be dealt with quickly. Of course, discovering that you do have a mold problem while its still a minor problem would be the best situation. You also will need to know why there is a mold problem (root cause). Chances are a mold problem will be some form of moisture problem.

The health risks associated with mold is respiratory diseases and weakening of the immune system. Pregnant women, infants, young children, the elderly and those with health problems are the most at risk from mold. Mold can puts people at risk from minor health concerns to major allergic reactions and illness.

Preventing mold growth in the first place is the best remedy. Keep your home dry, find and fix leaks, dry all wet areas thoroughly, check all areas of your home for signs of dampness, and encourage lifestyle practices that reduce moisture. Dehumidify your home especially the basement. Avoid carpets on slab-on-grade or below grade floors. Avoid standing water such as sump pits, keep them covered. Turn off humidifying system if you see water and dampness on surfaces of your home. Properly vent stove ranges hoods, washrooms vents, and clothes dryer vents to the exterior.

One way to help determine if you have moisture and possible mold problems in your home is to have an infrared diagnostic survey performed by a certified thermographer. Find those problem areas while they are only minor and not until they will cause health problems and major expenses.
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