Raleigh Indoor Air Quality (Mold and Microbials)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers indoor air quality one of the top five risks to public health. This is mainly because there are many potential sources of indoor pollution that can be found throughout any home or business. The EPA further estimates that indoor air quality could be five-times as worse than the quality of the air outside. In some indoor spaces, air quality might be as much as a hundred-times more polluted than outside air. Two of the main culprits that often affect Raleigh indoor air quality are mold and microbials.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that develops from airborne spores. Moisture is the one thing mold needs to grow. In a typical home, mold can grow and spread to many different places where conditions are right. Daily activities such as cooking, doing laundry, and showering can also contribute to moisture accumulating in a home that doesn’t have sufficient ventilation. And if mold spores get into your HVAC system, they can be blown around to any surface in your home, including carpets, furniture, and even clothing.
There are many different types of molds. All of them produce allergens and irritants. Some molds produce even more dangerous substances known as mycotoxins. In outdoor environments, mold isn’t much of a problem. Indoor mold, however, has the potential to contribute to many different illnesses and health problems, including:
• Worsening allergy symptoms
• Asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory infections
• “Toxic mold disease” (conditions related to stachybotrys chartarum, or “black mold”)
What Are Microbials?
Microbials (microbes) are very small living organisms that can include fungi, bacteria, viruses, and algae. They are so small they can only be detected under a microscope. In just one spoonful of soil there can be billions of microbes. Just imagine how many could be within your indoor spaces, especially if they are being spread around through the air.
The tiny microbes that cause various diseases, sicknesses, or ailments are called pathogens. These pathogens often cause colds, seasonal illnesses, and other ailments. They can also contribute to ongoing health issues that aren’t easy to resolve because of constant exposure to microscopic particles. Microbes within indoor areas can affect the human body by:
• Being breathed in from inside air
• Reaching the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth
• Entering through breaks in the skin
How Is Indoor Air Quality Affected By Mold and Microbials?
The air that’s within most homes and businesses is circulated through ducts and vents. Oftentimes, this indoor air is recirculated multiple times. If microbes and mold are in this circulated air, it can have a serious impact on anybody who happens to be breathing in that indoor air. In recent years, cases of asthma in children have increased by nearly 73 percent. Indoor air quality has been cited as one of the reasons for this dramatic spike.
What’s more alarming is the fact that it’s not always obvious when indoor air is being affected mold and microbials. For instance, you may not immediately associate an increase in allergy symptoms with indoor air quality issues. Common symptoms that may be associated with indoor air pollution include:
• Coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes
• Fatigue without any clear reason
• Headaches and dizziness
• Upper respiratory congestion
• Rashes if skin is affected
• Myalgia (muscle pain)
• Epistaxis (nose bleeds)
Raleigh Indoor Air Quality
The best thing you can do if you suspect you are dealing with indoor air affected by mold and microbials is to call on professionals who know how to identify likely “pollution” sources and offer solutions. A common and often-overlooked source of Raleigh indoor air quality problems is what’s lurking in various parts of your heating and cooling system. This is why it can be equally helpful to consider HVAC cleaning and restoration as part of your efforts to improve your Raleigh indoor air quality.
If you already have one which has not been serviced in a while then you should call Pur-Vent LLC at (919) 702-7087 to get it cleaned as older systems tend to accumulate and recirculate air pollutants and can also lead to premature replacement of parts if left unchecked. You can also contact us here or message us on Facebook.