The Health Risks of Fungi, Moulds and Mycotoxins in Homes

mould - roof cavity mould growth

Introduction

The Facts of Mould, Fungi and Mycotoxins

Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in moist and humid environments. When mould grows, it produces toxins called mycotoxins. Mould also releases spores which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in some people.

The most common type of mould is Penicillium and Aspergillus. These moulds grow on organic materials like food, paper, carpeting and wood floors. The conditions that help mould grow are moisture, warmth and poor ventilation. Mould causes health problems when it grows in the home because it can produce mycotoxins that are toxic to humans or animals.

Mould usually starts to overgrow when the humidity level in the house reaches around 70%. Moulds release spores which float through the air until they land on a moist surface where they can start to grow

 

Importance of Controlling Spores from Fungal Growth in Homes

 

In Australia, the air quality inside homes is worse than outside. This is because indoor air has been found to have more pollution and microorganisms. The main source of these substances are from microbial spores that are released into the air from various sources such as furniture, carpets, and tap water.

The fact is that these spores can cause a lot of health problems in people such as asthma, allergies, breathing problems, and even cancer. People who have a weaker immune system or a chronic condition can suffer more from these spores.

 

Human Infection Risk Factors of Mould Toxicity

Certain species of mould can produce mycotoxins, which are harmful to human health. Exposure to mould can cause the person to become sick, and even lead to death.

Mould exposure is a major problem at home and in the workplace. It is estimated that over 1 billion people worldwide are exposed to damp indoor environments that promote mould growth. The most common health effects of exposure to mould are allergic reactions or irritations of the skin, nose, throat, eye or ear.

Some people may be at increased risk for developing health effects from exposure, such as those with asthma or allergies; those with chronic lung disease such as bronchitis, which is often accompanied by frequent infections; those who have had a lung transplant; those who have a weakened immune system.

InovaAir Mould Air Purifier - E8 Activated Carbon H13 HEPA filter

Conclusion

Preventing Infections & Illness by Reducing Mould Exposure

Mould can grow in a variety of locations and thrive in damp, dark, cool places. It is important to physically remove mould spores and hypha fragments. Fogging does not remove it. Mycotoxins can still be present on mould spores. Professional mould remediation by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC S520) professional is recommended.

In conclusion, we can reduce mould exposure by using an air purifier with a HEPA filter and a solid activated carbon filter as a short-term solution. Dehumidifiers will also manage the moisture and humidity in the air. The long-term solution is to remediate the moisture or humidity problem and remove the mould.

 

The Top 5 Home Inspection Mistakes That Could Cost You Thousands of Dollars

Introduction: Top 5 Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid Before Buying a Home

In this article, we’ll look at the top 5 home inspection mistakes homeowners make when buying a home.

Do you know that there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you’re not wasting money on a bad investment? The process of buying a home is always going to be stressful and challenging. There’s a lot of pressure involved but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to look for.

#1 – Foundation Issues

A home’s foundation is the most important part of a house. The foundation is crucial because it provides a surface on which all the other parts of the house are built.

A home’s foundation is made up of a concrete slab or footings  that are anchored in to the ground and that provide a level, flat area on which the flooring (either wooden or synthetic) will be laid, and walls can be built. The space under this level area (known as crawlspace) also needs to be considered because it provides insulation for pipes and wires, storage space, and access to plumbing for cleaning purposes.

If you want your home to function well for years without problems, it is important that you make sure your foundation meets certain requirements.

Foundation issues are usually caused by a combination of factors including ground shifting, moisture intrusion and corrosion. A variety of structural problems may result from foundation issues, such as mould growth on the walls or flooring under a wet basement slab. You may also notice surface water flow underneath your house or erosion on your property.

If you have a crawl space under your house, you need to be especially careful about leaks from plumbing fixtures and past floods because these can affect the condition of your crawl space floors and framing members. In some cases, foundation problems may not be evident until there is an earthquake or other extreme ground movement that causes the foundation to shift and cause more problems.

#2 – Mould Issues

The section covers the causes of mold / mould and how to identify the presence of either. It also covers how to remove mold from a house.

Mold is a type of fungus that is found everywhere in nature, indoors and outdoors. They grow on surfaces that have been damp for more than 24 hours, especially on organic substances such as wallpaper, timber, ceiling tiles, carpeting and insulation. In humid environments the growth of mold can be rapid, eventually causing damage to materials it has colonized as well as producing mycotoxins.

There are two types of mold: toxic or allergenic. Toxic molds can produce mycotoxins that cause health problems such as skin irritation or allergic reactions like shortness of breath and wheezing (allergic rhinitis). Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever, but can be caused by molds.

Existing mould issues can cause health problems or damage to your personal items

Mould is a type of fungus that can grow in moist, humid environments. Existing mould issues can cause health problems or damage to your personal items. It’s important to prevent mould from growing in your home so it doesn’t spread.

#3 – Drywall & Insulation Problems

Missing insulation: Missing insulation is a very common problem in home insulation. It occurs because either the owner didn’t know about its importance or lack of knowledge on how to install it. The result is a home that does not have the necessary protection from the elements and will be susceptible to outside noise, heat loss, temperature fluctuations.

Discoloured drywall: Discoloured drywall can be caused by many things but the most common cause is water getting behind your drywall. This can be because of too much humidity in your home, high levels of humidity due to the weather conditions or an old roof providing insufficient drainage for water to leave your house properly.

Missing roof sarking: Missing roof sarking means that water and moisture can get in and cause damage to the framing and other material in the attic, which may result in mold or other problems that need to be addressed.

#4 – Ventilation

Ventilation is a key component in the design of a building to ensure that the indoor air quality is at a level that ensures occupants can stay healthy and comfortable.

Ventilation needs to be addressed when designing and building any new space, but there are different types of ventilation, and each has its own pros and cons. It’s important to take into account what you want to achieve in your ventilation system before deciding how much ventilation is needed for your space.

Ventilation is crucial for good indoor air quality. Ventilation has multiple benefits such as removing dust particles from the air, lowering humidity levels, which can help with dry skin or asthma, and reducing CO2 levels within buildings.There are four major types of ventilation that are commonly used including exhaust fans, windows, aircon units, and air purifiers. All of these have different benefits. For example, exhaust fans can help remove excess heat & humidity from wet area or kitchen. Aircon systems will provide heating and cooling options for the home. Ceiling fans are another suitable option.

#5 – Electrical Issues can cause EMF issues

Electrical issues can lead to EMF issues. Electrical wiring diagram is the first way to identify if there is any issue with your electrical wiring. Dirty electricity and living near a substation are also two reasons why people experience EMF problems.

Different countries have different guidelines for how close you can be to an electrical substation. It is important that you know the guidelines of the country that you are living in. Sleeping near electricity can cause EMF problems as it emits AC magnetic fields around your bed. This will not only affect your sleep but also potentially cause health problems in the long run.

Conclusion

This guide has provided an overview of the foundation issues that can affect your homes, as well as possible causes and prevention methods. Hire a building biologist to provide another perspective on the building separate to a building inspector.

Understanding Mould-Related Health Conditions and How to Prevent Them

Mould is everywhere and it’s no fun at all. Mould can trigger any number of health-related conditions and leave you feeling like a shell of your former self.

Mould is very sneaky and can easily get into your home without you even realizing. Mould on the walls, on the carpet, on the furniture — it can all contribute to mould-related health conditions that will make life a living hell if left untreated.

It is quite easy to prevent mould from creeping into your home with a few simple steps. Learn how with this article written by Building Scientists / Building Biologists; experts in their field.

Introduction: What is Mould, and Why is it a Problem?

Mould is the scientific term for the microscopic fungi that grow in warm, damp places. There are many different types of moulds, and they can cause a variety of health issues in humans. Moulds in buildings are dangerous because they release mycotoxins which can lead to serious health conditions.

Mould is any species of fungus that grows in a place that has high levels of moisture or humidity.

Mould develops when there is water damage or extreme condensation in an untreated building. These mycotoxins are dangerous because they can lead to various health issues like asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and anxiety – even cancer!

If you’ve ever seen mold on bread or cheese after it has been left out for too long (or smelled it), then you know how quickly something can go bad, which is why it’s important to keep your food in the refrigerator. An existing building affected by mould or moisture can be made safe for occupancy after proper mould remediation by an IICRC mould remediation specialist.

 

How Does Exposure to Mould Cause Problems in the Human Body?

Mould exposure can lead to allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). All of these are serious health conditions that you should not take lightly.

Exposure to mould spores or mould in the home can cause allergic reactions. It is estimated that up to 27% of people who live in the US are allergic to mould spores. If you have a condition like asthma or hay fever then the risk of developing an allergy is much higher. Other symptoms associated with mould exposure are fatigue, depression, headaches, skin problems, memory loss and concentration difficulties.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is caused by a combination of physical and mental disorders which make sufferers tired all the time. Sufferers may not be able to do much other than rest, causing them to miss work or school.

Mold Related Health Conditions and How to Prevent Them ​

Mould spores can be found everywhere in our environment. However, they are most common in damp environments like a water-damaged home. Mould exposure can lead to some serious health conditions like asthma, allergies, or lung infections.

With mould exposure comes the need for mould prevention. Here are some of the ways to prevent mould growth in your home:

-Maintain humidity levels at 60% or less inside your home

-Keep your house clean and dry

-Deal with leaks and water backup promptly

-Dry and dehumidify water damaged areas within 24 to 48 hours of the water damage

Reported Prevalence of Mould in Australia

Mould is a common problem in Australian homes. It affects people’s health and can lead to numerous respiratory problems. Many Australians are unaware of the risks of toxic mould in their homes, but it is imperative that they act quickly to manage or remove the mould for their own health and safety.

Houses built before 1987 are more likely to have mould, especially in wet areas such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms or laundry rooms. Homes with new roofs or air conditioning units are at risk because water leaks into the roofspace and accumulates under insulation boards leading to mould growth.

Young children are at high risk of developing respiratory issues related to toxic mould exposure so parents should be vigilant about their kids’ environment. This includes looking for dampness or changes in relative humidity which can indicate a presence of a potentially toxic substances.

Mould Exposure and Testing

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.1 billion people live in homes with dampness and mould. Mold exposure has been linked to respiratory and other health problems.

This paper will focus on mould exposure and testing, its prevalence in the home and the measures taken by the Australian government to tackle this issue.

Mould is a plant-like organism that thrives in moist environments such as bathroom tiles, kitchen cabinets, carpeting and wallpaper. It may not be immediately harmful but can lead to serious health issues if it is not removed from a home.

The WHO estimates that 3.1 billion people live in homes with dampness and mould; this could be due to the increase of new buildings in Australia with condensation problems or because not many people know how to deal with mould when they notice it.

Conclusion

We all know that mould is a part of life. It’s around us in the air, on surfaces, and in water. But what happens when there’s too much mould?

Mould can cause serious health issues, allergies, and respiratory problems. We should maintain a clean/dry home to minimize the chances of encountering mould. If you see any signs of excess moisture or water damage, address it quickly to prevent other health issues like asthma and lung infections. Finally, dehumidify your home to reduce moisture levels and keep it safe for everyone who lives there!

DIY Mould Inspection

As a home owner, it’s important to have the right tools to get the job done right. Inspections can take up a lot of time and it doesn’t replace a professional inspection. However, you can get started on the basics without having to wait.

Hiring an expert may be expensive and time-consuming, but it gives you the assurance that you’ll get a higher degree of expertise. If you don’t have experience in any particular area, then your skillset won’t be as robust, and this can cause problems in finding the right solution.

You may not have any special training or expensive tools. All you need is this guide! It’s easy-to-follow, helpful, and gives you everything you need to know.

 

Mould Inspection Tools (moisture meter, hygrometer, temperature, humidity)

Mould inspection tools help you take control of your environment and find the best solutions for your needs. They can also detect potential safety risks & problem areas so the mould doesn’t get out of hand.

Moisture meters are used to measure the moisture content in building materials for a variety of purposes. This can range from measuring the moisture on different finishes such as wood, carpet, and stone, to determining whether or not there is a leak in a floor or wall, or existing dampness.

Hygrometer is an instrument used for measuring relative humidity in the atmosphere, as well as for calibrating other hygrometers or dewpoint meters.

Temperature and humidity meters measure both temperature and relative humidity – they are one of the most common types of thermometers.

Sterling Bar Chat on Humidity

Mould Inspection Process Checklist

The Mould Inspection Process Checklist is a list of inspections that should be conducted or completed for mould inspection process.

A mould inspection process checklist should include the following:

-Measure relative humidity levels of each room and make sure it does not exceed 60%.

-Measure moisture levels on building materials to ensure they do not have high moisture levels.

-Identify the location of mould contamination, e.g. on walls, floor, ceiling, behind furniture, etc.

-Check for visible signs of mould growth by looking for water leaks or condensation in wet areas or discolouration in dry areas

-Check whether there are any visible signs of mould growth by looking for water leaks or condensation in wet areas or discolouration in dry areas

-Checking whether there are any visible signs of mould growth by looking for water leaks or condensation in wet areas or discolouration in dry areas

-Examine painted surfaces for peeling paint or bubbling paint.

 

 

Things to Consider for Mould Inspection Checklist

Mould can be an issue when there is significant moisture in the home. This is because it can grow in a moist environment and affect the indoor air quality.

The following checklist will help you determine whether a mould inspection is necessary:

– Is there a damp or wet area in your house?

– Does your house have musty or moiuldy smells?

– Do you have any allergies that have been aggravated recently?

– Are there any pets in the house?

– Is there any easy access to water (e.g., leaks, flooded areas, condensation)?

If you answer “yes” to one of these questions, it could lead to excessive indoor humidity and warrant a mould inspection or hire a professional for the mould inspection.

 

Top 5 Mould Prevention Tips and Tricks

There are many ways to prevent mould from growing. Some of the most common are listed below.

1) Keep your home clean by using a HEPA bagged-vacuum cleaner to reduce the amount of dust.

2) Fix leaks in your bathroom or kitchen so water can’t sit on surfaces for extended periods of time. Wipe dry the wet areas after each use.

3) Reduce the relative humidity in your home so it does not get too humid. You can do this by opening up windows, turning off dishwashers and washing machines, and not wearing clothes that trap sweat close to your body.

4) Be sure to limit the number of plants you have in your home because they produce moisture that can cause problems with mould growth if they are kept too close to heat sources like furnaces, stoves,

5) One of the easiest ways to keep mould out of your home is by reducing the levels of relative humidity in your home. Use products like ventilating fans, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners, you can easily change the amount of moisture that is in your home.

 

Conclusion

This article has shown how to do your own mold inspection and what you should be looking for. This is good for renters who want to know if their apartment is infected with mold.

One Way to Control Mould Growth 

There are many ways to control or prevent mould growth in a building. 

Monitoring and managing your building environment is critical to a healthy home. 

Mould or Fungi require food and a water source. If you reduce one or both, you reduce the risk of mould growth. 

So how do you manage mould growth by reducing food or water? 

This article focuses on an aspect of water. Water can be in the form of humidity. More specifically, “relative humidity” which is humidity relative to temperature. 

It’s the amount of water in the air. Controlling this will help reduce the risks of mould growth and other biological pollutants and contaminants. 

There is an optimum relative humidity (RH) level of 40% to 60%

Keeping within this optimal zone is critical. 

Sterling Bar Chart for Relative Humidity

Relative Humidity will always equalise or balance out, so if you open windows and doors, it will equalise with the outdoors. 

When going to sleep, the Relative Humidity in a bedroom will increase as we will release water vapours from our breathing, and in an enclosed room, it will increase the Relative Humidity. 

Measure the Relative Humidity in living and sleeping areas to get an idea of what the levels are during different times of the day or night. 

There are different strategies that can be taken to manage relative humidity, but first things first, measure and monitor.

Purchase a hygrometer or an indoor air quality sensor such as the uHoo to monitor 24×7.