Studies show that more than 50% of homes and more than 85% of commercial buildings in the U.S. have water damage and mold. Mold spores are detectable in almost every single home, and are present virtually everywhere in the outdoor environment. Chances are good that mold is hiding somewhere in your home or office already. Many times water damage and flooding only serve to feed the mold that is already present, allowing it to grow and branch out into new areas of your living space.
We are certified IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians at DryDocs. This means that we have been trained, tested, and proven ourselves with the latest techniques and industry-accepted approaches for dealing with any level of mold contamination. We have the advanced equipment needed to minimize the spread of mold spores and toxic pollutants from mold.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold can grow in many more places than you may think. Mold requires many of the same things to survive as we do, such as water, humidity, and a food source. This food source can be nearly any kind of biological surface. Typically this is cellulose, which is in wood and paper surfaces. However, we humans are constantly shedding skin cells. Though you may not see them, your skin cells quickly coat many surfaces in your home. This includes the inside of your air duct system. Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air. They may enter your home through windows, doors, or your air ducts. Spores will even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet. This means that mold can grow nearly anywhere there is enough moisture in your home.
What are the Dangers of Mold?
Not all molds are dangerous to all people. The most prevalent danger that mold poses in your home is due to mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are the toxic byproducts of some types of mold. These toxins help the mold to kill off any other types of mold who are competing for the same place to live. This is great for the mold, but obviously can be very dangerous to us, our children, and our pets.
What do Mycotoxins do?
Mycotoxins can be absorbed by the airways, skin, and intestinal lining. Once inside the body, they trigger inflammation and oxidative stress. Prolonged exposure to mycotoxins in your home can result in respiratory infections and conditions. These can include upper and lower respiratory disease, chronic fatigue, and even cancer. The most susceptible people to adverse health effects from mold are children, the elderly, and the people with compromised immune systems.
Approximately 25% of Americans also carry a gene called HLA-DR (human leukocyte antigen). In these people, the body is unable to recognize toxins as a foreign invader, so they don’t produce any antibodies to remove mycotoxins This genetic condition makes it incredibly difficult for these affected people to remove the mycotoxins from their bodies, which means they suffer a more extreme amount of damage to their organs and bodily systems.
Mycotoxins worsen immune dysfunction associated with chronic disease and slow or prevent healing processes in the body. They also disturb hormonal balance in the body, and reduce tolerance to any type of stress.
A percentage of people simply are allergic to molds, whether the mold produces any mycotoxins or not. If you are one of these people, you may be exhibiting symptoms of mold exposure while thinking your symptoms are due to seasonal or pet allergies.
What are the Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
Some molds produce a strong musty odor, which may help lead you to the source of the mold. This smell also means that you are being exposed to the mold and/or its mycotoxins. Other molds have no odor. Because of this, it is important to watch for the symptoms of exposure to mold and/or mycotoxins. They can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic burning in the throat and nose
- Dizziness/Loss of balance
- Eye Irritation
- Rashes and irritation of the skin
- Vision changes and reduced color sensitivity
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Hearing loss
- Increased sensitivity to allergens and chemicals
- Muscle and/or joint pain
- Slowed reactions
- Depression and/or anxiety
It is possible to have one, many, or none of these symptoms while you are being exposed to the toxic byproducts of mold in your home or business. If you are concerned about potential mold in your home, contact us and we can help you determine how to make your home or office healthy again.
Can I Spray Mold with Bleach to Kill it?
The problem with using bleach to kill mold is that cleaners and chemicals do nothing to stop mycotoxins from being toxic. A colony of dead mold is just as dangerous to your health as living mold. Furthermore, by spraying and disturbing the mold colony, you can actually spread viable spores and mycotoxins to other areas of your home, putting yourself at higher risk for toxic effects.
When a mold colony is disturbed, it can cause the mold to enter sporulation. Sporulation is an immediate release of vast numbers of living mold spores. This occurs because mold is attempting to preserve its existence by releasing millions or even billions of spores, which can travel throughout your whole home or business. These spores can be as small as two millionths of a meter across. This allows them to access nearly any location which isn’t completely sealed off.
How do We Get Rid of Mold?
Removing mold can be a difficult and dangerous process. As a result, mold remediation is best performed by trained experts that understand proper mold removal. You want mold gone, not covered up. We remove the mycotoxins and spores from contaminated areas and take proper precautions to prevent the mold from returning in the future.
We have the training and equipment to create containment areas which have a negative air pressure differential. This means that any leaks in the containment are moving inward, preventing mold, spores, and mycotoxins from spreading. We have industry-leading air filtration systems and mold disposal technology to properly remove it from the affected areas.
The goal of any mold remediation project is to reach better-than-normal conditions in the affected area. No company can claim to remove absolutely all mold. This is because mold spores are present virtually everywhere in the environment. This means the best possible outcome in our verification testing is that we have even less mold contamination than the unaffected areas of your home or building. We leave your home safe and healthy, so you can have peace of mind.