The Benefits of HEPA Filters

Did you know that with some very minor changes in your home, you can reduce the amount of allergens present, and improve indoor air quality?  All it takes is a good HEPA filter or two.  Learn more about HEPA filters, how they work, and what in-home filters you can replace with HEPA-certified variants in our guide below.

What are HEPA Filters?

HEPA is an acronym that stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air.  Filters that meet the HEPA standard remove the vast majority – 99.97% – of particles from the air that passes through them, provided the particle size is greater than or equal to 0.3 micrometers in diameter.  For the sake of putting that in dimensions most of us are familiar with, the width of a human hair is typically 50 micrometers.  So, the HEPA standard filters out particles which are around 150x smaller than the width of a human hair. 

How HEPA Filters Reduce Indoor Allergens and Improve Air Quality

Many of the most common indoor allergens, dust, pet dander, pollen, and other allergy triggers in the air are made up of small particles.  By using HEPA filters, these particles are trapped in the filter rather than allowed to continually circulate in your home.  Most home heating and cooling systems will theoretically run . . . READ MORE >

What You Can Expect During A Mold Inspection

There are over four hundred thousand kinds of mold but not all are harmful. It is estimated that only a dozen types of mold are harmful to human beings. When you discover mold in your home the first thing you should do is determine whether it is the dangerous kind or not. The most reliable way to identify mold is by calling in a mold expert to check it out. Mold experts can tell what kind a mold is by looking at the color and structure.

However, there are various factors that affect how mold looks like presence of light, temperature and the environment. This means that it may not be easy to identify the actual mold type and sometimes a mold expert may have to run some tests. The mold inspector will also be able to tell you how much mold you have in your home since it tends to hide behind walls, carpeting and flooring. When you hire a specialist for mold inspection in Santa Clarita, this is what you should expect:

Visual inspection

Always a find a professional mold inspector with proper credentials and experience to carry out the inspection. The inspector will first make a visual inspection around the affected areas and will go further to check places that are prone to mold. He or she will check the inside of your home and the surrounding landscape as well. Be ready to give the inspector access to any part of your home for a thorough check. If the mold inspector suspects that your home may have airborne mold, he or she will carry out an air sampling procedure.

Diagnosis

Once the inspector identifies all the areas affected by mold, he or she obtains a sample from each site for diagnosis. Mold inspectors use a piece to tape or a swab to obtain the sample. The sample is then packaged in a secure container and then sent to a laboratory for further analysis. Air sampling is done using special equipment that draw air and then impacted over a glass substrate to create samples.

Fungal sampling

Surface, air and bulk samples are taken to the lab to determine the kind and level of contamination. The results will show if the mold present in your home is the dangerous type or not. Dangerous airborne mold usually cause allergic reactions from inhalation and it is important that you get a mold removing company to take care of the problem.

Written report

The mold inspector will compile a final report about his findings and present them with detailed findings and recommendations. He or she will advise you on how to remediate problem areas in order to prevent future occurrences from happening. Never attempt to remove mold by yourself as this may have serious health implications later on. Leave the job to trained professionals. They will know what equipment to use and which method to use to ensure they eliminate the problem once and for all.

What to look for in a mold inspection company

After you notice mold growing in your home, you need to contact a professional mold inspection company immediately to run tests. Work with a company that has experience in the field and has gotten good reviews from previous clients. A professional mold inspection company will work closely with you so as to know where to look to determine exactly what kind of mold you are dealing with. The company should have the latest mold testing equipment to ensure they get accurate results from mold samples. Harmful mold causes illnesses like respiratory problems and if left for long, it can lead to more serious health conditions like asthma. That is why it is very important to carry a mold inspection occasionally in order to ensure the safety of your family.

Is There A Connection Between Mold And Asthma?

Some people ignore the presence of mold in their homes simply because they think it is harmless. The truth is that mold is unpleasant and it is associated with causing respiratory illnesses among others. Mold is known to exacerbate asthma but what most people are unaware of is that it can also cause asthma to people who are genetically predisposed to respiratory illnesses.

According to a research conducted recently, the findings showed that people who are predisposed to allergies especially children, are at a greater risk of developing asthma if exposed to certain kinds of mold. There are hundreds of thousands types of mold but only a few are known to be harmful to human beings. Mold that was linked to causing asthma grows in humid areas and homes that are water damaged. Compared to other household allergens like cockroach, dog, cat and dust mite, mold is said to be the only risk factor for developing asthma.

Mold effects

Mold is a type of fungi. This means that it is found everywhere around us; in the dust around your home, in the air you breathe in, and in buildings. Mold is classified as an allergen. When it reproduces, mold creates spores that float in the air which affects the body the same way as inhaling other types of allergens. Not all people get affected by mold. However, genetically predisposed people are more likely to get an allergic reaction when exposed to mold than healthy people.

Mold when inhaled for a prolonged time develops a specific antibody. With time, further exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions. The reactions are linked to symptoms for hayfever and asthma.  Study also shows that people with weak immune system get easily affected by mold and they can develop infections if exposed to certain types of mold.

Airborne mold

Not all mold is visible. You may be exposed to airborne mold and not know it. Airborne mold is caused by water leaks from poorly constructed buildings and it can cause serious respiratory illnesses. To determine whether your home has airborne mold or not, you need to carry out a mold inspection in Los Angeles. Mold inspectors use specialized equipment to draw air from affected spaces and then a sample is created in a special glass then taken to the laboratory for further testing.

Cleaning and preventing mold

Experts in mold inspection recommend that one should get to the root cause of the mold problem in order to get rid of the problem once and for all. For example, is a house is poorly constructed or has leaks, remediation has to happen at the building level. Simply cleaning and wiping surfaces with mold will not help to eliminate the problem.

The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it in the first place. Make sure that you remove all sources of moisture in your surroundings. Also, take care of leaks whether in the plumbing system or holes in your roof to avoid causing dampness in your home. Mold flourish in dark and stuffy places. Ensure that your home is well lit and well ventilated to discourage mold growth. Using bleach to clean off mold is said to encourage its growth instead of getting rid of the problem. How? Bleach just whitens the surface affected by mold but it does not help to kill it. Instead, bleach damages the surfaces of walls which in turn encourage mold growth.

Other tips to control and prevent mold in your home

  • When washing mold off hard surfaces, use several buckets and rags and have a system in place to avoid recontamination
  • If you have carpets and floor rugs, consider replacing them every once in a while to avoid mold growth
  • When using a dishwasher, showering or cooking, open windows or use exhaust fans
  • Hang wet or damp clothes outside

Do Professional Mold Removal Services Help?

When you were a small child, did you ever fear frightening monsters hiding in the wardrobe or bad goblins under the bed? As a grownup, you now do not believe in fictional creatures hiding in the darkest parts of your room. However, you might now be sheltering a well-known bad guy that can threaten your wellbeing and your home – mold. Mold can grow undetected in many homes, many times hidden in the wall, behind ceramic tiles, under ceilings, and many other hidden places.

Even though it is not prone to turn into a magical beast which will devastate your home and your existence, mold poses risks to your health and it is dangerous in many ways. Mold signs are often hard to detect till it is in its final stages and the fungi have spread to many parts of your property. It is important to find out how to identify the initial signs of form and to consider adequate preventive measures to be able to prevent bigger issues, and this can only be done experts who offer mold testing in Santa Clarita.

What is Mold?

Mold is a single organism with multicellular fungal filaments. The organism causes biodegradation of numerous materials which can result in property damage and food spoilage.
It is no secret that mold grows in wet places and presence of any little leaks with more dampness in your home may cause the quick development of mold. Mold propagates easily since its spores are light and easily carried via air flow. It can affect large areas as well as furniture and clothes.

Why Do You Need To Remove Mould As Soon As Possible?

Mold spores spread too fast and easily. Unless of course the source of moisture is removed instantly, mold will develop fast and will ruin your home. Its unseen airborne spores are transported in the air and they can affect the building materials and your possessions. Before long, your whole home will be polluted and the damage will get more severe each day. Because of that, mold remediation would be a tedious and hard process and may be costly because expensive repairs will be required to change all the broken materials and restore your home.

Using Professional Mold Removal Services

  • Mold Removal Services

Mold removal companies stick to certain processes to make sure that toxic mold is eliminated from your home and it will never return.

  • Mold Inspection

Mold removal experts will come to your home to inspect the severity of the problem and the sort of mold you are dealing with. If there is presence of hidden mold growth, it is better to trust experts to evaluate the scenario.

  • Control

If the issue requires the expertise of professionals to be resolved, the affected region will be cordoned off for your safety. The experts will use the best remediation techniques to make sure the problem is eliminated once and for all.

  • Removal

Even if mold has grown deep within porous materials, experts can still efficiently remove the spores and remove the issue. If the damage is beyond repair, replacement of the affected components will be needed.

  • Repair 

Mold remediation is designed to fix and restore damaged parts of your home or property. What matters more is that that mold will not come back again.

How Much Does Mold Removal Cost?

If there is mold in your home, you might be thinking about how much you will have to pay to remove it. Mold is a serious issue and must be remedied immediately. You will have to take the necessary steps to determine and remove the mold while also taking care of the source of moisture that led to mold development. When it comes to mold removal, the following factors contribute to the overall cost. Let’s find out more!

How Much Mold Is In Your Home? 

How severe is the mold problem? It might be hard to assess how much the mold has grown than what you can easily see without an appropriate mold inspection, especially if it is hidden deep into the walls. Surface mold is much simpler to deal with and manage. There are numerous soaps and sprays that are designed to destroy and remove mold. The real issue arises when the mold has gone above ground or has spread into the structural parts of the house.

What Has Triggered The Mold Onset? 

It is significantly important to discover the source of the moisture that leads to the mold when finding out whether you ought to deal your own mold remediation or not. The source of moisture should be remedied and not only the mold itself. The source of moisture can also help you find out how much mold is there, especially if you understand how long the moisture has existed. For instance, you may realize that your roof began leaking from a small opening a month back which may assist you to determine how much mold exists and how deep it has grown throughout your property.

How Big Is The Job?

It is much cheaper if you could deal with the mold yourself, but huge areas cannot be dealt managed easily by the homeowner himself or herself. Among the things a mold remediation in LA professional can do is clean areas such as the space under the duct work in the walls. Mold spores that get into the heating and cooling system can get redirected throughout your house, which can make you ill even when you have cleaned the place where you originally discovered the mold.

Even though you come with an idea of just how much mold removal costs, make sure to shop around for different providers first. The first mold removal company you find might not be the best one to do the work. Costs can differ between companies that offer the services, but you also need to pay attention to the experience levels and the guarantee they will offer if mold returns.

Do They Have Insurance?

Most customers do not have much money to spend, so when it comes to insurance, be sure you get something which will cover at least part of the remediation cost if you reside in an affected zone.

Work With Experienced Companies 

Work with experts who have been removing mold for some time, and not newcomers who are not sure how to resolve your mold problem. Ask if there have a guarantee – and there should be one. You do not want to end up paying more money to resolve recurring mold issues.

If you choose to hire mold inspection professionals or a mold remediation company, you should ensure that their work will be performed thoroughly. These companies will send specialists to your place that will be able to measure the extent of the damage and inform you regarding the necessary remediation or repairs that might be needed. They will also ensure that the mold does not come back again after remediation is done.

5 Symptoms Of Severe Household Mold Exposure

There are several things that can make one sick. Most of the time a germ or a virus is often the root cause behind an ailment. But what if the root cause of an ailment you or your loved one is suffering from has nothing to do with germs? What if it is something growth right under your bed or worse still, right under your couch? Strange as it may sound, the culprit sometimes is mold. It can creep in when one least expects and cause problems. It can also come along with signs. With mold, you never know. So just how does it manifest itself health-wise?

A Skin Rash

Most people think that skin can only be inflamed after direct contact with mold. This is not always the case though.  You can easily develop redness on your skin from overexposure to mold. Your skin can then become tender and sensitive. The temptation to scratch can actually be overwhelming. The best you can do is to consult a dermatologist. More importantly though, call a mold removal expert to work on your home. Be particularly quick if you have children living under your roof. When exposed to mold, they develop rashes quicker than adults.

Eye Irritation

Eyes are extremely sensitive. Even the slightest exposure to mold can cause them to react. They become watery and itchy. They may also become watery. This mostly happens during spring when most people associate the reaction with seasonal allergies. You can choose to wait until the weather changes just to see if your eyes clear up. You will then know that there is actually a mold problem either at work or at home. Unfortunately, waiting for that long may mean more exposure to mold. So again, the best you can do is to contact a mold removal service provider. You might have to keep in touch too with an optician.

Headaches

Exposure to mold can cause sinus inflammation and nasal allergies. These seemingly minor conditions can then lead to frequent migraines. The type of headache caused by mold is usually at the front are of the head, around the forehead areas and below the eyes.  This may be accompanied by coughs and nasal congestion. Several over the counter drugs can be used to clear the headache. This will of course, be a temporary solution. Mold removal will certainly solve the problem. Keep in mind that migraines which linger on long after treatment can be dangerous. This is particularly where one is pregnant.  To save the life of both the mother and her unborn, make sure your home is mold free. Make sure too you ascertain the cause of the headache.

Feeling Tired

Fatigue is always a sign that your body is fight something off. Fatigue can therefore show up anytime you get overexposed to mold. It may or may not be accompanied by headaches. Either way, you should be concerned if it goes on for a long time. That’s because feeling tired for several days or even weeks in a row even when you are getting enough sleep can be a sure sign that there is mold around you.  Don’t allow it to worsen. Consider mold testing in Valencia to find out if your home or office has been severely infested.

Sore Throat

Hoarseness when talking or a raw feeling when swallowing are the two main symptoms of a sore throat.  They come about because of mold spores getting logged at the throat. The spores then irritate sensitive membranes and leave one with a scratchy throat. This can sometimes be accompanied by other severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or a bleeding nose.

5 Surefire Ways Of Detecting Mold Before It’s Too Late

Mold is a word that most homeowners do not like to hear. It wreaks havoc, creates panic and of course, costs money. Strangely though, most homeowners only know that mold is dangerous. They do not know why it is dangerous. It gets worse with the fact that just a handful of homeowners know how to identify mold. The process is easy as you are about to find out. You will be shocked though with the fact that by the time you spot mold with naked eyes, it is usually a little bit late. All is not lost though because with a mold removal company to call on, you can always restore your home’s former glory. So just how do you know if your home is infested? Better yet, how do you know if the mold you’re seeing is dangerous?

Your Sense Of Smell

Think of that smell you got the last time you forgot to unpack a wet towel from your travelling back or locker. That is the same smell mold leaves behind. The smell is dumpy and stuffy. Some describe the smell as a musty, earthy smell. All these descriptions are ideal. The bottom line is, mold always leaves behind a very distinctive smell. So the moment you feel any kind of smell that can be associated with a damp and moist environment, start looking for mold.

Basement Flooding

If your basement has flooded, then by all means be keen on mold. Look around for traces of water damage or extra mustiness. Keep in mind that water may have been removed on time, but other basement fixtures may have retained some moisture. The moisture will in turn, breed mold. It might take you time to know this because mold can grow deep into drywall. So do not assume that is isn’t there just because you cannot see its traces.  Start by looking for discolorations on ceilings, walls and peeling paint.

Misty Windows During Winter

The winter season world over, is usually characterized by cold and rain. This means there is always moisture in the environment. This is hardly ever a bad thing. Problem crops up though, once you have too much humidity indoors. It will encourage fungal growth which will quickly culminate damp areas. Be keen because even small amounts of condensation can invite mold growth.

Mold Test Kits

Mold home test kits are a great option anytime the traditional visual and smell tests fail to yield results. Unfortunately, these do it yourself kits may not be as accurate as the tests conducted by mold remediation experts. So use them for just a while. Then always keep in mind that no test kit can be a 100% accurate. The most expensive ones may in fact, mislead. So once again, your best bet is to consider black mold removal in Los Angeles. That way, mold hidden in places that would be otherwise hard to reach can be easily detected and removed.

Your Health

Mold is dangerous to anyone’s health. It can take a toll on the entire family, pests included. As a thumb rule, take no chances if you have anyone with breathing complications living under your roof. The same can be said of elderly people and expectant women. Mold hardly ever goes well with them. If anything, it worsens some breathing complications like asthma. You may at some point feel the moist smell and experience shortness of breath a few hours later. This usually happens when one gets exposed to mold for a long time. The best you can do here is to keep in touch with your doctor and have a mold removal expert work on your home.

Why You Should Never Expose Your Family To Black Mold

Black molds are toxigenic, invisible substances and they can grow inside homes undetected. They are caused by damp conditions often brought about by leakages. If a home has mold, especially black mold, the risk of a family being exposed to health problems increases. Exposure to black mold can cause illnesses like allergies, asthma and even depression. According to research, chronic sinus infections result from one being exposed to mold.

If you have been experiencing chronic health conditions that seem not to be responding to medication, one reason could be that your house is exposed to black mold and you are not aware. You need to contact specialists in mold inspection in LA to thoroughly check out your house for any signs of black mold. How can you determine if your home is exposed to black mold?

How to tell if your home is exposed to mold

Molds generally grow in areas where the air is humid. There are different varieties of mold and they vary in composition and color. Black mold is one of the most notorious type and it can be easily spotted, touched or even ingested. Exposure to black mold can cause irritation. If there are large quantities of black mold in a home, it can produce toxins which can result in adverse health complications.

The kitchen and bathroom areas are most prone to mold because of lack of proper ventilation and constant exposure to water. You can start checking for molds in places like crawl spaces, basements, cabinets, in drywall and areas with water damage. In a bathroom, mold will show on a shower curtain and it may appear like mildew. The most dangerous type of mold is invisible meaning that it can go undetected for a long time and it can end up causing serious health problems to a family.

If you detect mold in your home, you need to ensure that you work on removing it as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Black mold especially, has been known to affect the body’s immune system and the central nervous system. Toxins in the body compromise its functions especially the frontal cortex which controls impulses and memory.

Who is affected by mold?

Not everyone is affected by mold. Some people are easily affected by mold than others simply because of chemical and genetic factors. Mold, when present in small amounts, can trigger a reaction in one person and not have any effect in another person. That is why you can find people living under one roof, but not all get affected by mold.

Also, general health and age can also be factors to mold reactions. People who already have respiratory illnesses, children and the elderly are more affected by mold than an adult who is healthy. You can easily tell a person is affected by mold if they show physical signs like watery and itchy eyes, airway problems and asthma. Non-toxic mold can cause symptoms like coughing, throat irritation and runny nose.

Mold can affect mood

Research shows that people who live in damp, moldy houses suffer more from depression. As mentioned earlier, exposure to mold can cause one to experience health issues like cold symptoms and fatigue. These health issues cause a person to feel down and depressed most of the time.

How to prevent and deal with mold

The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of black mold is to carry out regular mold inspections to ensure that your home is mold free. However, if your home already has mold, first identify where it is located. Next, use bleach solution to clean the area and make sure the place is well ventilated. You can get rid of moisture in a room by using a humidifier especially in the basement area. To get rid of mold completely, hire a professional who has the right tools and experience to remove the mold in your home once and for all.

Symptoms Of Mold Poisoning And How To Avoid It

Most people know what mold is, but they are not aware of the side effects and dangers related to the fungus. Mold is mostly found in damp areas and is prevalent in humid and older homes. Mold can sometimes go undetected for a while and this can be hazardous to the inhabitants in a home. Mold, especially black mold, thrives in places with moisture and damp building surfaces. It is possible for a home to have molds, but it can go undetected to anyone not familiar with mildew.

If members of your home have been suffering from illnesses that seem to be recurring, that could be an indication of mold in your home. We will list underlying causes and symptoms of black mold to help you keep safe from mold exposure.

Symptoms of mold exposure

Not everyone gets affected by mold exposure. The symptoms of mold vary depending on the duration of exposure and sensitivity of an individual. You can prevent mold in your office or home by regular maintenance and cleaning. If you already have mold in your home, you should hire proffesionals in black mold removal in Los Angeles.

Mold symptoms range from mild to severe. The severity of symptoms depends on an individual’s respiratory sensitivity and immune system. The following are symptoms that will indicate if you have mold in your home:

Mold cough

Mold produces mycotoxins that spread in the air and can be inhaled. When a person gets exposed to mold for a long time, the upper respiratory tract gets affected causing coughs. Other symptoms associated with upper respiratory tract symptoms and dampness include bronchitis and wheezing. Black mold is one of the most dangerous types of mold. If black mold spores get colonized inside the lungs, it can lead to sever lung infection.

Mold nausea

Dampness that encourages mold growth can cause nausea in children and sensitive adults. Fungal spores produced by mold often have a foul smell and can lead to fatigue and nausea when inhaled. Nausea is mostly attributed to the bad smell rather than toxic mechanisms.

Mold sinus infections

Poorly ventilated areas promote the growth of mold causing the release of toxic spores in the air. Toxic spores produce mycotoxin which can be inhaled and cause poisoning through the nose. When adults with respiratory allergies and children inhale a large amount of airbone spores, they are more prone to sinus infections than healthy adults. If the mold problem is not addressed on time, the symptoms can get worse leading to chronic sinusitis.

Rashes from mold

People susceptible to rashes and dryness can get eczema outbreaks when exposed to mold, especially black mold. According to research, bad rash outbreaks are associated with long exposure to black mold. In worse case scenarios, a patient with rashes from mold may require medical intervention.

Fever from mold

As mentioned earlier, mold releases mycotoxins which gets absorbed in the body and eventually gets processed by the liver. Toxins in the liver triggers both fever and nausea.

Allergies from mold

The most common side effect of mold exposure is allergies. Atopic and allergenic symptoms of sinusitis are linked to inhalation of spores from mold. Allergy symptoms associated with mold is much worse in children compared to adults. Children with asthma get worse when exposed to damp environments which boost the growth of mold.

What happens when one is exposed to mold for a prolonged period of time?

Asthma, coughing, sneezing and impaired breathing symptoms may increase sensitivity in people who are exposed to mold for a prolonged period of time. Mold cannot be associated with causing asthma however, exposure to mold spores can worsen asthma symptoms.

The best way to prevent and treat mold symptom is to get mold inspection experts to check your home for mold and remove it if present. The cost of protecting and your home from mold growth is minimal compared to how much you may end up spending in medical bills if your family gets exposed to mold.