Health Problems at Home – Is Mold the Problem?

One culprit for health problems is mold and mold loves moisture. 

Recently, Turn-Key received a call from a homeowner suffering from breathing problems while in her home. At times, her breathing became so labored she required oxygen.  She kept an oxygen tank in her home for these emergencies. She assumed that these problems were coming from her home since she did not have these symptoms in other indoor environments.

Turn-Key conducted an entire house inspection to determine if the homeowner had mold or other environmental factors that were contributing to these health issues. The offender turned out to be mold growing on the interior side of the home’s vinyl windows.  The type of mold that was growing was Aspergillus/Penicillum and since the homeowner was severely allergic to penicillin, the mold triggered her intense allergic reaction.

Mold remediation in this case was simple. Bill Treasure, President of TKEC, recommended that she clean the vinyl windows with a 10 percent bleach solution, which completely solved the problem. While this solution was simple, this is not always the case.  As verified by the Centers for Disease Control, many people experience health problems because of mold in their homes or offices which often requires substantial remediation.

When Turn-Key Environmental Consultants conducts an indoor air quality investigation, moisture is one of the things evaluate because of its connection to mold problems. We search for moisture in a number of ways, the simplest of which is through a visual inspection to identify some of the following: 

  1. Leaking roofs
  2. Leaking pipes
  3. Leaking windows
  4. Leaking basements or crawlspaces
  5. Non-functioning or lack of sump pumps
  6. Improperly constructed vapor barriers on walls, floors, and roofs
  7. Clogged gutters and insufficient number of downspouts
  8. Downspouts that do not drain away from the house
  9. Sewage back-up
  10. Uncontrolled humidity and subsequent condensation

When moisture enters a home through one of the methods above, mold often grows and many times causes significant health problems for the residents living inside. Water that infiltrates in the home causes toxic indoor air if not addressed quickly after the initial water intrusion.

As part of the inspection, the Turn-Key team also takes measurements of temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide with readings of moisture on walls and in the floors.

We photograph portions of the structure with infrared techniques to identify air, and/or water intrusions. We also conduct air sampling on all levels of the home or commercial building when there is evidence of visible mold to determine what levels of mold are present.

After we have gathered all the data, TKEC prepares a final report for the property owner that provides the results of the inspection and testing with recommendations and specifications for remediation. When it is time for remediation, TKEC connects our clients with qualified remediation companies. 

If you believe you have a mold problem, TKEC provides the highest degree of mold investigation and sampling.

 

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