We are currently in a pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus that has an estimated death rate of around 1-3 percent. While this situation is garnering paramount attention, there are many other viruses going around that can cause respiratory infections and that can also be deadly. Risk factors for serious symptoms of COVID-19 include age and underlying health conditions. One risk factor for all respiratory infections is a moldy environment. That is why reducing mold-friendly environments can reduce respiratory infections.
Both the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization have found evidence that damp, moldy environments increase the risk for respiratory illness. This is especially true for people who have allergic reactions to mold. The mold irritates the airways and causes an immune response. Respiratory irritation makes a person much more susceptible to viruses. This is why a Maryland college had an adenovirus outbreak in their mold-filled dormitories that caused many students to become ill.
Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, heat, and food. In most buildings, there is heat and food (wood and drywall), but moisture is the final piece to the puzzle. That is why old buildings with cracked foundations or poor ventilation are the usual suspects when it comes to mold. Once mold is prevalent in a building, it spreads via air systems, and spores can contaminate the entire building. This puts everyone in building such as dorms, apartments, and hospitals.
The first thing to do if you have a mold problem is to locate the source of the moisture. This must be fixed before you can tackle the job of mold removal. Otherwise, your problem will recur. Common places for moisture to occur are in attics, around plumbing, and in basements or foundations. In an attic, the most likely problem is poor ventilation, and you may have to install proper vents in your roof or gable. Foundation problems may require venting also if you have a crawlspace, or it could require cement repair. Sometimes, it’s a simple plumbing fix that is needed to get the moisture to quit.
Then, you have to handle the mold removal process. If it is a small area, it is possible to remove the mold on your own. However, if people have suffered illnesses or you know it is a large area, it is better to hire professional mold removal services. Once they have safely and completely removed the mold, you’ll have an environment that is much safer and removes the increased risk of respiratory illness caused by mold.