Ventilation for Designing Better Buildings

Mold, Indoor Air Quality, and Your Health

Having a home that is not ventilated well may imply that you’re setting up a veritable breeding space for mold, thus promoting inferior indoor air quality, which may, in turn, affect the household’s health.

Mold is beneficial for outdoor purposes of breaking down organic matter, such as dead trees and fallen leaves, but is increasingly harmful indoors. They reproduce microscopic, almost invisible spores that bloom in moist and warm conditions and float in the air. The best way to control mold growth indoors is by controlling the moisture in the house.

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There can be many moisture sources in your home, including holes, cracks, or other indentations that may cause surface runoff and rainwater to leak through walls and roofs. Laundry, cooking, and other daily activities can lead to moisture in case of inadequate ventilation. Mold growth can also be boosted due to an unvented space heater that causes a rise in humidity.

Air quality doesn’t need to be affected only when mold is in your house. If you live in an area above or around a place with mold growth, air leakage can cause the deterioration of your home’s air quality. It would help if you also inspected for any duct leakages or poor air quality in your house.

There can be a lot of moisture caused by condensation in hidden areas of your home. This, combined with a suitable warm temperature, may make your home a breeding ground for molds.

Health problems caused by molds

Molds tend to produce irritants or allergens and sometimes even certain toxic elements or mycotoxins. Outdoor molds are not as much a cause of issue as indoor molds since they degrade the house’s air quality. Thus, indoor molds may cause certain health problems, such as allergic reactions, including:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Red irritated eyes
  • Skin irritation or rashes
  • They may trigger respiratory issues like an asthma attack

Thus, mold growth due to moisture may make your home less healthy by polluting your indoor environment.

Improve Indoor Air Quality and Solve Mold Problems with Proper Ventilation

One of the first actions needed to minimize or eliminate mold-related problems is to clean any visible mold growth and fix any water leaks or other moisture sources. Even if you’ve got the mold treatment done, it will likely grow again if the water issue is not fixed. While getting rid of molds and spores entirely may be almost impossible, it is quite possible to stall mold growth by ensuring that they do not get proper growth conditions in temperature and moisture. You may also get air-sealing work done to minimize air exchange in case the air is getting degraded from an external source.

Ventilation is important to fight bad air quality and treat moldy homes, as it is only through proper mechanical ventilation that you can limit your home’s relative humidity and avoid moisture troubles, thus inhibiting the growth of molds. Moreover, ventilation also helps with air movement. Therefore, it lowers theensation rate on cold surfaces such as window sills. A proper ventilation system is, therefore, the key to improving indoor air quality.

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