Mold, Asbestos and Radon can all be harmful to the health of your family if not taken care of right away and correctly. Some mold issues can be taken care of by the homeowner, but if you are not sure call a Mold Remediation company. If your home has high levels of Radon you will need to consult with a Radon Detection & Reduction contractor and to handle asbestos contact an asbestos removal company.
Identifying these toxins can be hard so if you have any suspicions of them in your home you should call someone to test right away. When hiring, be sure to use an independent lab to test the results so there is no conflict of interest.
Specifics on the 3 common household toxins:
1. Mold – Mold is everywhere, and left unchecked, it can destroy your home. Health effects can range from general congestions and eye irritation to shortness of breath and serious mold infections of the lungs. Mold removal can present other dangers from improper ventilation to the mixing of toxic chemicals.
· Mold comes in a variety of colors including white, brown, orange, green and black. Mold often has a furry look or resembles a stringy slime, but certain molds can also have a powdery-look. Black mold is considered to be the most dangerous type of mold found in homes.
· Mold can grow at an extremely fast pace. A mold colony can form in as little as 48 hours from the initial contact a mold spore makes with a surface.
· Test your home’s air for mold after the remediation is done, sample both inside and outside your home at the same time.
· Mold is a moisture problem and in order to rid your house of mold you need to find out what is causing it and fix that problem to prevent any future mold problems.
· Not all mold damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Check your policy because coverage and limitations vary.
· Tackle clean up yourself if you have less than 10 square feet of mold damage.
2. Radon – This radioactive, colorless, odorless gas is second-leading cause of lung cancer, and accounts for 21,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Radon results from the breakdown of uranium inside the earth. It enters the home through cracks in floors and walls and becomes trapped inside, building up over time.
· Common entry points for radon include:
o Foundation cracks
o Construction joints
o Gaps found in suspended flooring
o Unsealed spaces around service pipes
o Wall cracks
o Cavity holes inside of walls
o Water supply sources
· The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 1 in 15 homes in the United States are affected by high levels of radon.
· Radon is measured in “picocuries” per liter of air (pCi/L). A picocurie is one-trillionth of a “curie,” which is the radioactivity of one gram of radon. According to the EPA, the typical home has a radon reading of 1.3 pCi/L, while levels above 4 pCi/L are considered dangerous.
· Radon detection kits are sold at your local hardware store for about $25.
· Radon control systems normally take one day to install. Cost generally ranges from $700-$1,500.