Mold is dangerous, which is too bad, since it is basically everywhere. Houses in Canada are plagued with the hazardous fungus. Where there is moisture, there is the potential for mold to grow, and anyone living in Calgary and the surrounding areas can identify with the latent hazards brought on by cold, damp weather, and perhaps most obviously, by flooding.
Two years ago Hampton residents were victims of the High River flood. The flood was devastating on families and their homes, and unfortunately, like in all floods, the water eventually recedes, but it is a nasty gift that keeps on giving. There are lasting affects; affects that only get worse.
While flooding is a major culprit behind mold infestation, as mentioned above, it isn’t the only one. Your home may never have been under water but mold is still a risky possibility, given Canada’s weather.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation claims that, “more than 270 species of mold have been identified in Canadian homes”.
Poor building practices contribute to the growth of toxic mold, and this is becoming more and more of a concern to owners of older homes. If your home was built in the 80’s you could be facing a toxic mold event. Likewise, if your home was built without the benefit of a superior ventilation system, then toxic mold may already exist in your house. Additionally, if construction materials used to build your house were inferior or water damaged prior to the completion of your home, then it may not be a surprise when black mold makes an appearance. Improperly laid pipes that leak incessantly through the years will also increase the possibility. A significant problem that could over time negatively affect the homeowner’s health, and the health of their visitors, mold only advances. It doesn’t get better on its own, and like a cancer continues to expand and worsen.
Not all molds are dangerous, but none should be ignored, since toxic, or black mold has been attributed to causing severe allergic reactions. Toxic mold infestation is wretched. If it is discovered in your home, it will leave nothing in its wake. It touches everything, including your belongings.
Strachbotyrs atra, or Stachybotrys chartarum is not inhibited and presents itself as greenish to blackish in color. It will grow on sheetrock, wood, ceiling tiles- just about any thing.
Symptoms that are associated with toxic mold are similar to those of a person who suffers from the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, including a loss of memory and disorientation. Other severe symptoms might also persist following exposure. These include headaches, skin disease, sinus and fungal infections, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer and more. Prolonged exposure may also lead to death.
Call a qualified professional to diagnose the mold in your house. None of it should be left unattended, but it is extremely important to deal with the presence of toxic mold. Once Stachybotrys chartarum, (toxic mold) begins growing behind wallboards, beneath insulation, floors etc., the only way to get rid of it is to tear it out and replace. Sometimes more drastic measures are required, even tearing down the entire house and building another on the property. If this seems too radical, consider a family in the United States who walked away from all their belongings and their beautiful home following the serious health breakdown of the entire family. They were instructed by toxic mold specialists to avoid taking anything from the house. You can read their story here.
If you are fearful that your house is infested with toxic mold, or if you or a member of your family is experiencing symptoms that align with those of toxic mold infestation, seek professional help immediately. A quality custom home builder with extensive experience constructing healthy homes can assist you with knowing the next step to take.
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