Some compounds produced by moulds have strong smells which are volatile and quickly released into the air. These compounds are known as microbial volatile organic compounds or (mVOCs). Because mVOCs often have strong or unpleasant odors, they can be the source of the mouldy or musty odor frequently associated with dampness and mould growth. A mouldy odor suggests that mould is growing in the building and should be investigated.
Mildew refers to certain kinds of mould or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mould growth. There are over 300 species of molds and they can thrive on any organic matter, including clothing, leather, paper, drywall, ceilings, and floors of homes with moisture management problems. Mildew often lives on shower walls, windowsills, and other places where moisture levels are high. In unaired places, such as basements, the mVOCs can produce a strong musty odor.
The health effects of inhaling mVOCs are not fully known, although exposure to it has been linked to allergic symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.
The key to mould control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mould growth. If mould is a problem in your home, clean up the mould and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Repair leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles & carpets, that become mouldy may have to be removed and replaced.
For more information, or to speak to a professional about mould removal, call us @ 519-946-0363, or visit our website at www.supremerestoration.ca for a free home inspection.
Airborne mould spores are always present due to rotting leaves, wood, and other organic materials. The presence of mould spores in your home is usually not a problem unless the spores land on a wet or damp surface and begin to grow. Inhaling or touching mould or mould spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, headaches, and skin rash.
Allergic reactions to mould are very common. They can be immediate or delayed. Moulds can also cause asthma attacks in people who suffer with the condition. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to mould. (Read more about asthma triggers on EPA’s Asthma Website) In addition, mould exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both allergic and non-allergic people.
While black mould (aka Stachybotrys chartarum) may be the most widely publicized type of mould, it is not the only mould that poses potential health risks. In fact, it is not even the only mould that is dark in color. Sometimes evidence of mould growth isn’t even visible. It can be hidden within a wall, under flooring or even behind wallpaper.
If you notice a distinctive, heavy musty odor, then that is a sign of mould growth which requires a professional mould inspection. All moulds, regardless of colour or type, should be removed from the home or work environment by a certified mould technician to ensure the safety of all occupants.
The above does not include all potential health effects related to mould exposure. If you believe you may be experiencing the symptoms of mould exposure consult a health professional or contact your local health department.
For more information, or to speak to a professional about mould removal, visit our website at www.supremerestoration.ca.