Ever wonder why you’re sneezing, or coughing. How about a runny nose, sore throat, or upper respiratory discomfort. Mould, yeast and fungus can cause these allergic reactions. Severely allergic people like asthmatics can have trouble breathing. Other effects can include hay fever, headaches, depression, fatigue, dizziness, lethargy, fever, digestive problems, chronic nasal drip and influenza. If you are sensitive to moulds avoid products that are made from or with the use of fungi, such as, yoghurt, baked goods (yeast), mushrooms, cheese, smoked meats, and, leftovers.
Why should you be concerned?
- 85% of all homes have mould.
- 10% to 35% of all homes have serious mould contamination.
- Prolonged exposure can cause anyone to develop an allergy.
Moulds are “growths” that are formed on organic materials by several types of fungi. There are various types of mould and they come in a variety of colours including black, red, green, blue and white. Spores may be released into the indoor air by the mould, and once airborne the spores can remain there for long periods of time. Exposure to extended high humidity or water damage can awaken dormant mould spores.
Mould growth occurs in areas of the home that are excessively moist, have high humidity levels, low levels of light and poor ventilation/circulation. In the summer, growth is usually much more rapid than in winter, due to the increase in heat and humidity.
Relative humidity (Rh) can often be controlled with humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Cooking, showers, plants, drying laundry indoors, all contribute to increased Rh. Newer homes generally are more air tight, trapping water and moisture. In your attic, it could come from bathroom or kitchen fans not properly vented outside or not sealed to the ceiling finish. Access doors to the attic may not be sealed properly. There may be insufficient insulation and/or vapour barrier for recessed ceiling light fixtures. Other areas include dryers not vented outside, a bare dirt crawl space, a damp or wet basement, or, passageways from the basement to the attic through unsealed spots along the rim joists.
Testing for mould on surfaces, mould analysis, and, air-borne mould testing is available from Grassroots®. Avoiding mould mildew and fungus contamination is important for your health.
Tip: Don’t open basement windows in the summer. The warm outside air when it meets the cooler basement air can cause condensation to form on basement walls.