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.

What is black mould?

Black mould refers to a type of fungi that has many names such as Stachybotrys, Cladosporium or Aspergillus niger. These types of mould are often found to be black in colour. It can grow inside walls and in the ventilation systems in buildings. The spores from these fungi float around in the air and can be inhaled by people.

Health effects of black mould

Black moulds release toxins called mycotoxins that can cause difficulty breathing, irritation or burning in the eyes and throat, chest tightness and a rash at the point where skin comes into contact with them. When mycotoxins are inhaled they can lead to long-term health effects such as brain fog, fatigue, headache, sleep disruption or memory problems. These symptoms usually last for a few

Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys has been found to have mycotoxins that can cause major health problems when exposing humans to them in large doses like in indoor environments. These mycotoxins are especially dangerous for infants, because they are still developing and therefore more susceptible to these toxins.

If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be related to this mold, it may be best to get examined by a doctor immediately and hire a Building Biologist to complete a mould and moisture assessment.