Mold plays an integral part of Earth’s organic processes; however, when found in our homes and businesses, it can have a detrimental effect on the quality of our air and overall health.
Indoor Air Quality
Mold: Where it comes from and how it affects us
Mold can enter our homes and businesses in various ways, often times through paths we would never expect, i.e. the opening of doors and windows or even in the fur of our pets.
Although mold is always present in our homes and businesses, it’s only when mold colonizes that our health and structures are at risk. Colonization occurs from many common household problems including but not limited to: humidity, water intrusion, improper ventilation, and excess dust.
Once established, mold can cause respiratory illnesses, migraines, eye irritation, and research has shown there may even be a link between mold and the development of Alzheimer’s.
In addition to the negative health effects, mold can cause deterioration of building materials. This deterioration makes the property unsightly and unsafe. It can also decrease the value of the property. In some cases mold remediation can actually add value to your property!
At Pure Air we also have a proprietary preventative spray that makes us Pittsburgh’s most trusted and favorite air quality and mold remediation company.
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Who We Serve
From toxic black mold to shower mildew, our team of experts can devise a plan to fit any situation on any budget without sacrificing quality. Here at Pure Air we use cutting edge tactics to get the job done fast and effectively while removing as little of your home as possible. We work hard so you can breath easy! Find out today what makes us Pittsburgh’s favorite and most trusted mold remediation and removal company.
Air pollution is a silent killer to all of us and can also lead to respiratory health problems. Even in an indoor setting like our homes, we can be subject to many different forms of air pollution without knowing.
Additional variables can affect the air quality indoors which is why your levels, if checked, could be different from your neighbors.
Testing your indoor air quality is essential and can be done through several devices:
● Indoor air quality monitor (IAQ)
This is an electronic device that checks for specific levels of air pollution indoors. Often on these devices, there is a display panel that provides readings in real-time. Similarly, others show IAQ and show particular readings, which syncs up with a smartphone app.
What is measured can vary depending on the device. Generally, they measure chemical pollutants, particulate matter such as pollen, dust, and humidity. In addition to this, you may find some that measure temperature, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde levels.
● Mold test
Another pollutant found indoors is mold. While common, this pollutant does not always show up on an IAQ device. You can get cheap tests that can detect airborne mold spores inside your home. This test involves purchasing a petri dish that you leave open in your home.
Inside the dish, there is a substance that attracts mold to grow. After a certain incubation period, you can see if mold has grown or not. Although these tests are cheap and easy to conduct, they are not very accurate and they do not give exact levels or identify the specific type of mold present which is important to determine the extent of the problem and where the mold may be hiding.
● Carbon Monoxide alarm
Unless you have an alarm, it is hard to detect the presence of Carbon Monoxide in your home as it’s tasteless, colorless, and odorless. Exposure to Carbon Monoxide for extended periods, sometimes just hours, can be fatal. Carbon Monoxide is produced from combustion and commonly caused by gas stoves, dryers, furnaces, and fireplaces.
Most Carbon Monoxide alarms are battery-powered; however, some need to plug into a wall. It is suggested that you place them near to where you sleep and, if possible, on the ceiling as Carbon Monoxide is lighter than air and rises.
● Radon test
Similar to Carbon Monoxide, Radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It is not an instant killer; however, it can slowly damage your health over a long period. Typically, radon is a result of uranium deposits in the soil. It can enter through split cracks in the walls, foundations, pipes, and holes.
To test for radon, you can get a short term or a long-term test. Both tests can be purchased from hardware stores and simply placed in the area with the highest risk. These areas could be close to the ground or below the ground.
In your home, you could find many different pollutants which can contribute to poor air quality. However, there are 7 common pollutants which you should know about to help keep you and your family safe; they are:
1. Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon Monoxide is a hazardous air pollutant which can be fatal. Unless you have a Carbon Monoxide detector, you cannot tell you have it in the house. This form of gas is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Exposure to Carbon Monoxide can result in tiredness, headaches, dizziness, nauseousness, increased heart rate, and death.
2. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Nitrogen Dioxide is a typical oxide of Nitrogen and is a toxic gas. Generally, exposure to this can result in irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat. High amounts of exposure can cause pulmonary edema in the lungs or injury. Moderate exposure can trigger bronchitis but even low levels can impair your lung function.
3. Secondhand smoke
As a result of someone smoking indoors, other people in the household can breathe it in which can cause significant health problems. In the short term, this can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat, however, prolonged exposure can cause pneumonia, wheezing, bronchitis, and lung cancer.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that comes from uranium deposits from the soil. Long exposure can lead to lung cancer.
Mold is a byproduct that occurs from fungi growing indoors and outdoors. Depending on the type of mold, you can become subject to an allergic reaction, irritation to your eyes or throat, coughing, headaches, swelling, heading, and itchiness to your skin. If exposed for too long, you can be at risk of an asthma attack, difficulty breathing, and a fever.
6. Lead particles
Lead is a soft metal and can be very toxic if inhaled. If you are exposed to lead particles from the air, you can damage your brain, nervous system, kidneys, and red blood cells. In children, lead particles can affect their attention span, behavior, delay their growth, and lower their IQ.
Asbestos is a bunch of microscopic fibers that make up minerals. However, they are highly hazardous and, when airborne, can enter your lungs quickly, causing damage. Asbestos can cause breathing problems, lung damage, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
It is essential, as a homeowner or renter, that you are aware of the health risks caused by poor air quality. Poor air quality can cause many symptoms, such as the following:
A headache is a common symptom found in many people due to bad indoor air quality. This is due to the increase in many different chemicals that can cause congestion, affecting the eyes and nasal passage leading to pressure in the head.
● Restricted lung function
After some time, prolonged exposure can cause you to have difficulty breathing. Depending on the person, sometimes breathing increases and becomes shallower. Similarly, it can become painful to inhale and exhale.
Often people are subject to feeling more tired than usual, in areas of high pollution.
● Sinus congestion
Due to high levels, many people experience irritation in their respiratory system. As a result, this can cause a sore throat, coughing, a tight chest, irritation of the airways, and sneezing.
● Nausea and dizziness
High levels of air pollutants can affect your oxygen levels and make you disoriented when inhaling high levels. As a result, you can become nauseous and dizzy.
If you think the air quality in your home is poor, you can check it using an indoor air quality monitor to detect pollution levels. Once detected, you need to make sure your home is well ventilated to circulate the stagnant air.
To achieve this, you can use a spot fan to help ventilation in high humidity areas such as your kitchen or bathroom. You can also purchase an air changer which replaces indoor air with air from the outside.
To eliminate excess dust, mites, and allergens, you can vacuum, use the AC and heating system. Similarly, a whole-house air cleaner may help remove allergens from the AC and by cleaning your air ducts. Finally, use an air conditioner to control humidity levels by regulating the temperature.
Before your air quality gets totally out of hand, you can implement several techniques to clean the air quality yourself. In particular, you can do the following:
Have a well ventilated and temperature-controlled home
If your home is ventilated and too humid, mold and dust mites will be attracted to the moisture. Ideally, you will want to keep humidity in your at around 30-50% to prevent allergies. Similarly, you will want to have a flow of air circulating through your house to better the indoor air quality. To achieve this, you can keep your windows and doors open. However, if you live in a polluted city, you can purchase a ventilator to allow air to flow through. Also, to prevent your home from getting too humid, you can get a dehumidifier and air conditioning for the summer.
Don’t smoke tobacco indoors
Tobacco smoke can be a significant cause of air pollution. Whether you are smoking or subject to someone else’s second-hand smoke, you could be at risk.
Clean air conditioning
If you have air conditioning, clean it regularly! The majority of air conditioners have filters that clean the air and trap pollutants. To make sure no pollutants leak out of your air conditioning, clean the filter with a vacuum, or follow the instruction manual.
Keep clothes and bedding clean
Depending on the fabric, dust mites can linger around and irritate your nasal passage. As a result, you can feel fatigued. Similarly, if you have pets, try to keep them off your furniture to prevent excess hair.
Use indoor plants
There are certain houseplants that you can buy that remove pollutants from the air. These plants absorb the pollutants through their roots and leaves. Some common plants which help remove air pollutants are bamboo, ivy, and corn plant.
If you suspect mold growing in your house, it can be dangerous to your health and expensive. If left untreated, it may cause you to pay more for repairs and remediation.
Therefore, we would recommend you have an inspection done by one of Pure Air’s mold experts to determine the extent and source of the problem so your home can be returned back to its healthy, mold free state. On average, a professional remediation company will take a couple of days to remove the mold from your home.
Depending on the extent of the mold, they will wash or remove carpet/flooring. However, if the problem is more significant, professionals will remove water-damaged materials, mold-infested materials, clean and disinfect furniture, remove drywall to the suds, and vacuum using a high-efficiency particulate air filtered (HEPA) vacuum system.
Depending on how much the mold has spread, you may need a professional. First, you can identify the extent of the damage by having one of our trust mold experts come out and survey your property. Then, if it is determined to be extensive, you will need a mold professional. Mold professionals are skilled at removing mold that has penetrated far inside porous materials. Similarly, they can fix, restore, and prevent mold from occurring in your property.
There is no set price for mold removal, and the cost can fluctuate depending on certain factors. Specific variables like the amount of mold, size of your house, the mold professional, and many other things can contribute to the price.
On average, it can cost between $600-$6000 for mold removal. However, we’d recommend consulting with a mold inspector before hiring a professional to get a rough estimate of how much it’ll cost to fix the problem.
While you can do many things to remove mold or hire a mold professional to remove it, you can’t completely wipe out mold from your home.
Hence why the term used to extract mold by professionals is referred to as ‘mold remediation.’ Therefore, to prevent mold from spreading or getting out of hand, we recommend hiring a professional as soon as you suspect the slightest bit.
When you hire a mold remediation professional, he or she will often turn up to your house with many others. Upon doing so, the mold remediation team will greet you and go over the day’s plan to make sure you are aware of everything that is happening within your home. Once the initial daily briefing is over, the team of experts will begin to bring in equipment. One of the first pieces of equipment that will enter your home is a HEPA filtered air scrubber. The air scrubber is used in conjunction with air movers to remove any airborne particulate from the air column which includes dust, mold spores, pet dander, etc. Once the air scrubbers are in place the team of mold remediation experts will set containment to keep the affected areas separated from the non-affected areas in your home. The next few hours of the job will consist of removing moldy building materials or personal items if deemed unsalvageable by the remediation crew. Once all of the molded materials are removed, a detailed clean will take place which includes the uses of industry-specific chemicals to help lift the mold off of surfaces as well as lots of HEPA vacuuming to remove bulk spore deposits as well as dust and cobwebs since these can harbor mold spores. When all the preliminary work has been done the team will then fog via electrostatic fogger. A two-step kill and prevent regiment will bring back your home to a healthy level; 1- a hospital-grade disinfectant will be used. The hospital-grade disinfectant will kill off any spores that could of been left behind. 2- a preventative product that will help continue to combat any future mold intrusion into your home by killing it off before it has time to colonize.
The average cost of mold removal can vary depending on how much the mold has spread, the mold removal company, and its location. Usually, mold removals cost between $600 for small removals and up to $6000 for larger ones. It is always better to treat sooner than later! To know further about potential mold, we suggest consulting with a professional who can give you an estimate first.
While there are many odor removers you can purchase for your home, the highest rated one as of Amazon are Moso Air Natural Air Purifying Bags. It contains charcoal and continuously works for up to 2 years to remove pollutants and harmful odors to indoor settings. It can particularly be used in cars, closets, bathrooms, and areas of your house where pets live.
Like mold removal, the price of odor removal can vary depending on many factors. Such factors that can affect the price could be the house’s size, where the odor is, and the type of odor removal. On average, you will pay around $125-$1000 for odor removal services.
Once you pay for the service, a technician will usually come to your house and purify your home using ozone generators and clean certain areas for at least 6 hours. Generators neutralize and kill viruses, carbon type odors, allergens, bacteria, and chemicals. Similarly, the technician leaves your house’s doors and windows open to allow the levels to return to normal.