Clean Air Matters–What are you Breathing?

Clean air is something often taken for granted, but in reality it is one of the highest necessities of life. There are many substances that can contaminate air and the most commonly known are pollutants that hurt the ozone. A lesser recognized substance that creates dirty air is mold.

Mold is a living organism that naturally occurs and breaks down dead materials in order to return those nutrients back to the environment. Mold releases spores that travel through the air in order to spread and continue its busy work of breaking down plant and animal matter. It is an incremental part of the outdoors–BUT when it grows indoors is when it becomes an issue.

When mold builds up in dangerous quantities indoors, people can experience mold allergies with symptoms including sneezing, congestion, runny nose, rashes or hives, itchiness, and watery eyes. Severe reactions to mold include allergic reactions, asthma, other respiratory conditions, and other physical ailments can be associated with exposure to mold.

Not all molds are toxic–only the ones that produce toxins or poisons during their growth are considered toxic molds.

There are 5 categories of toxic mold, which are those that are considered to be dangerous to humans.

Photo from Mold Sensitized

 

Stachbotrys‘ toxins have been linked to allergic reactions as minor as hay fever to as drastic as liver damage, and most severe being brain or nerve damage. Those with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable.

 

 

Cladosporium from CautionMoldRemoval

Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Penicillium are mold families that can be associated to illnesses like asthmas, nail fungi, and infections to the liver, lungs and kidneys. Also, gastrointestinal illnesses and those that affect the female reproductive system can be created by Fusarium. Cladosporium can cause emphysema and pulmonary edema in extreme instances.

 

 

Aspergillius from DivinelyToxic

 

Aspergillius is the lesser of the mold groups in toxicity and this family consists of over 160 species, of which 16 cause illness (that is treatable) in humans.

 

 

 

If you find yourself in a situation with mold, call a professional. There is a high level of risk associated with not remediating mold when it is discovered. Generally speaking, mold begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of a water loss. Royal Plus, Inc. has trained personnel prepared to respond to any size water loss and remediate mold as well as offer any other additional necessary services to ensure a thorough clean up and turn life back on for our customers.

We are situated in key office locations on the east coast including the Eastern Shore of Delaware and Maryland as well as the inland Baltimore area. Also we have office locations with personnel prepared to offer 24/7 emergency response from Jacksonville, Orlando, and Key West Florida.

We’re there when you need us.

Winter Flu or Winter Allergies?

BE AWARE IN THE NEW YEAR~

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‘Twas just the season to travel to loved ones (or be traveled to by loved ones), but even with all that holiday cheer, there’s always the chance of picking up an unwanted guest—AKA the winter flu.

You’re suffering from sinus congestion/chronic cough, have a headache, post-nasal drip, and feel a little light headed. Exhaustion takes over when you remember your cousins had similar symptoms—surely it was them that gave it to you!…or was it?

 

In the winter, those allergic to pollen get a break BUT there is such a thing as winter indoor allergies caused by mold and dust mites. This may not be a winter flu at all, but rather winter allergies, specifically winter mold allergies, that can occur when you spend more time inside.

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What causes the ‘flu-like’ symptoms is brought on by your immune system overreacting when it breathes in mold spores. These spores are recognized by your body as little foreign invaders and tries to defend itself with antibodies. Later exposure causes the immune system to react again that triggers histamine, which is the culprit of the unfavorable, flu-like symptoms.

Be on the look out for:

  • Condensation forming on window panes
  • Peeling Paint — suggests moisture buildup
  • Water Stains
  • Anywhere water sits or steam collects 

**Pay special attention to bathrooms, basements, and laundry areas

Keep in mind the following points to Be Aware this New Year and fight off those pesky winter mold allergies!

Keep your home’s humidity below 50%. Mold can grow anywhere in the right conditions and high humidity increases its options.

Control the moisture in the air. Accomplish this with dehumidifiers and central air conditioning with a HEPA filter attachment. Keep AC drip pans and liners clean so mold can’t grow

Improve airflow through rooms. Buildings with poor ventilation such as tight window and door seals can trap moisture indoors that creates favorable mold growth conditions.

  • In the Bathroom: open windows or use an exhaust fan during baths/showers
  • In the bedroom: If the closet is colder than the rest of your room, leave the closet door open

Act fast to repair any plumbing leaks. Damp areas are the most vulnerable to mold if not addressed in a timely fashion. Dry areas that become wet, such as carpet, need to be dried in 48hrs to prevent mold.

When it doubt, clean it out. Indoor trash bins can be a breeding ground for mold as well as the strip on the fridge. If you spot mold on a hard surface such as glass, tile plastic – clean it using a bleach, soap, water solution.

What if the mold is on drywall or discovered to be extensive in an area? Call a professional. Failing to remediate the problem by yourself can create worse problems down the road such as asbestos. One must take into consideration that if there is some mold present, there is a large possibility of more not yet found.