Improving Indoor Air Quality: The Connection Between Mold and Your Home's Health

Improving Indoor Air Quality: The Connection Between Mold and Your Home’s Health

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Although you likely think of mold as the stuff that just sits on a piece of old bread, mold can have a significant impact on your home’s air quality when it gets into the wrong place. Mold can linger in the air, and breathing in excessive amounts of mold can lead to uncomfortable health risks.

On the bright side, you can address any mold issues with the right support, which is why our expert team at Alpha Environmental is committed to providing education and performing mold testing and remediation. By understanding how mold affects your home and taking the right precautions to protect it, you can ensure safe air quality and happy lungs.

How Does Mold Impact Your Home’s Air Quality?

Mold is a fungus that spreads through airborne particles called spores. When mold is present in your home, these spores linger in the air, traveling through your home’s ventilation system and into your lungs. Breathing in these spores can lead to multiple health risks, and the longer the exposure, the higher the risk of complications. Long-term exposure to mold may lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma for some people.

Fortunately, mold needs certain conditions to grow, so it is not guaranteed to be a risk for every home. However, if you have signs of mold or excess moisture in your house, it’s a good idea to be aware of the potential for mold to keep your air quality strong and risk-free.

Why Should You Test Your Home’s Air for Mold?

Mold is natural and exists virtually everywhere, so small amounts of mold are normal and not a significant risk. However, in high amounts, mold can be harmful to your health, affecting your breathing and causing you to feel sick. Testing the air will tell you if the mold in your home is above or below safe levels so you can preserve your health.

Because mold is invisible to the naked eye, a test is the best way to determine if it’s present in your home. If the mold in the air is above safe levels, you can take the necessary steps to address the issue, find the source, and have it removed.

You should perform a test if you suspect your home has excessive mold. Air sampling for mold will discover whether airborne mold spores are present. An indoor air quality test will also highlight other hazards, like excessive dust, which mold spores can cling to and use to travel throughout the home.

Ultimately, there is no downside to testing your indoor air quality. If the test shows mold is present, you can take the next steps and feel more comfortable after removing it from your home. If it doesn’t pick up any mold, then you will enjoy peace of mind knowing you can breathe safely.

How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Healthy air quality is essential, and fortunately, the proper support will allow you to take charge and ensure healthy air in your home or business. There are three main ways to keep your home or business safe from mold.

Indoor Air Quality Screening

One way that can signal the presence of mold in the home is through a generalized indoor air quality screening . An air quality screening samples the air to highlight several potential risks, like:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Particulates, including mold, smoke, and dander
  • Asthma triggers, including mold, dust, and other pollutants

An air quality screening works by taking a sample of the air and measuring the presence of any pollutants or particulates. If testing shows that any of the above risks are above safe levels, then our team at Alpha Environmental will recommend next steps to mitigate the problem and restore your air quality to normal levels.

An indoor air quality screening is one way to highlight whether mold may exist in your home. However, a screening will only be able to tell you whether particulates or VOCs exist in the air and how much. A screening will not tell you specifically whether mold is one of the present particulates. 

As a result, it’s important to remember that indoor air quality screening and mold spore testing are two different things. If you are worried specifically about mold more than your home’s general air quality, consider a mold spore test.

Mold Spore Testing

Although an indoor air quality test for mold sounds like a good idea, it is not the best method for picking up the extent of the presence of mold. Mold spore testing is more likely to pick up on the presence of mold in the home because it is more comprehensive than just air testing and is specifically designed to discover mold.

At Alpha Environmental, our thorough mold spore test includes:

  • Air sampling – For an air mold test, our experts will collect an indoor air sample and test it for elevated mold levels. We also collect a sample from outside to compare the mold levels between the two.
  • Tape lift sampling – Our team lays a piece of adhesive on a surface to collect and test for possible microscopic mold particles. 
  • Bulk sampling – In demolitions or renovations, we take a piece of the material the mold is growing on to identify the mold and a plan of action.
  • Swab sampling – Using a cotton swab, we collect spores in a non-invasive way from an area where we suspect mold contamination, helping identify the type of mold.
  • Carpet cassette sampling – We collect fibers from soft surfaces like carpets, curtains, furniture, or insulation to test for mold and potentially identify what caused mold contamination.

Using a detailed process, we can identify whether mold is present, the type of mold, and the extent of the contamination. If we find mold, we’ll get started on bringing the air in your home or business back to a healthy state.

Mold Removal & Remediation

If you find that mold is present in your home through either of the above tests, then mold remediation and removal is a must for preserving your indoor air quality. At Alpha Environmental, mold remediation includes:

  • Isolation of the contaminated area
  • Suppressing any dust
  • Safely removing and packaging any contaminated materials

Mold is a product of the environment and is not possible to remove completely. However, our team of experts will do whatever it takes to bring the presence of mold back below safe levels. Through our careful process, we’ll kill hidden spore colonies and prevent the return of mold.

Always leave mold removal to the experts who have the right gear and experience. Experts also understand the science behind mold and how it grows, meaning they have the right knowledge to address the issue and know what tools and chemicals to use in any given situation. Letting the experts handle it will reduce your risk for exposure and ensure that as much of the mold is removed from your home as possible.

When To Test for Mold in Your Home

Although a mold air test can be a great idea for providing peace of mind, the first step is deciding whether or not you actually need to test. Generally, you only need to test when you suspect that mold may be present. These suspicions can include:

  • Apparent mold growth in areas of moisture, like the bathroom or kitchen
  • A musty odor
  • Signs of moisture in the home
  • Clear water damage
  • Conditions that support mold growth

If any of these signs are present, call a professional inspector to determine whether you need further tests. An expert will start by performing a non-invasive mold inspection and then recommend further steps if necessary.

If you think you need a mold air test, it’s best to leave it to the experts. Although at-home kits are available, they are not as reliable as having professionals come to perform an in-depth test with the right tools. When you rely on the experts, you can also rely on them to take the proper next steps for mold remediation.

It’s also a good idea to test for mold again after performing remediation to ensure that the mold is at safe and healthy levels.

Take Control of Your Home’s Air Quality

Mold growth in your home can be a health risk when mold is above safe levels. On the bright side, relying on an expert indoor air quality test or mold air test will easily help you take charge of your home’s air quality.

With the help of experts, you can be sure that your home’s air is free from mold spores or harmful particles. At Alpha Environmental, we are dedicated to ensuring your home or business has clean and breathable air. Whether you need an indoor air quality test for mold or are in need of full remediation, trust our team to get the job done right so you can breathe clean air.

Give us a call, and we’ll come to perform a non-invasive inspection and develop a plan for remediation. Contact us today.

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
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Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!