At Inspection Professionals, we like to arm the general public with information that can be helpful to them in keeping a healthy and happy home. One thing that can detract from this is the presence of biological pollutants. Some may produce symptoms mild enough that they’ll only irritate those who are particularly susceptible, such as those with allergies or asthma. Others may be unhealthy to the degree that they can negatively affect people in your home without pre-existing conditions. In this post, the team at our house inspection service will go over various forms of such pollutants, where to find them and how to handle the problem.
Types of Biological Pollutants That May Be in Your Home
There are many types of biological irritants that grow in your home or find their way into your home. The following is a list of the most common types and their causes.
Molds require organic matter and high humidity levels to thrive. They can generate spores, and when these become airborne, they can move throughout your home and form new colonies.
These mites feed on dead human skin cells. They also like temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels above 45 percent. They are particularly common in carpeting, bedding and furniture. They can become airborne when you are vacuuming, making your bed or doing other cleaning.
Unlike the first two items on this list, this one starts outside and finds its way inside your home. Known for being a common allergen, it can get in your house through open doors and windows as well as on shoes and other clothing. They are small enough that they can become airborne.
We all love our pets, but we don’t love the animal dander and saliva they can generate. This is especially true if we’re allergic to it.
Viruses and Bacteria
Anyone with a virus can transmit it through touching someone or coughing in their direction. Bacteria can also be transmitted fairly easily from an infected person or from contaminated water.
Common Remedies for Some Biological Irritants
Some of the aforementioned pollutants can be handled reasonably well by practicing good cleaning habits and routines. You can combat dust mites, for instance, by regularly washing your sheets, blankets, pillowcases and any other bedding in water that’s at 130 degrees Fahrenheit or above. This will kill the dust mites. If you can’t wash these items at this temperature, then the dryer should do the trick. Also, use a vacuum hose attachment to regularly vacuum any furniture that your family uses frequently.
Similarly, keeping pollen out of your home is largely a matter of adopting good practices toward this end. Keep windows and doors closed. Keep your car in the garage if possible. After vacuuming, make sure to empty its bag or canister outside so that any pollen or dust mites won’t become airborne in the home. For reducing a lot of the pollen, dust mites and pet-related allergens in your home’s air, you might try investing in a high-quality air filter. There are specific filters known as HEPA air filters. They are required to have high standards for removing ultra-fine particles of dust, dander and mold in order to have the HEPA designation.
Why Mold Can Be the Most Serious Biological Contaminant
Of all the possible biological irritants in your home, mold can be the most serious in terms of being potentially detrimental to your family’s health. Mold comes in three different varieties that are delineated by the degree to which they can be detrimental to your health.
This type is fairly mild and will probably only inconvenience those who have asthma or a specific allergy to certain molds.
This form of mold is of a higher level of concern. It can cause serious adverse health effects in people with suppressed immune systems. In other words, they don’t need to have asthma or an allergy for it to be a concern to them. You’ll want to seek the advice of an industrial hygienist if you suspect this type of mold is in your home.
This is the most serious form of mold, and it can cause serious adverse health effects in you, your family and your pets. Because this mold can result in cancer and death, you need to seek the advice of an industrial hygienist immediately when it is identified in your home.
If you have any reason to suspect you have a serious mold problem in your home, you need to get it checked out by a professional. A Pennsylvania home inspector won’t necessarily look for mold, but they may find signs of its presence and bring this to the homeowner’s or potential buyer’s attention. However, it can show up years after you have been in your home. Thorough testing will identify the types of mold present in a home and the quantity of mold spores.
Mold loves moisture and humidity, so it’s more likely to show up in places like a damp basement or the kitchen where you have a refrigerator drip pan and where cooking produces humidity. Air conditioners that don’t discharge water properly and bathrooms without vents or windows are other common places where mold can grow.
Our house inspection service would recommend that you have a mold remediation expert come to your home and definitively determine the presence of mold. Our Bucks County home inspections team feels this is extremely urgent if any members of your family are experiencing health problems and have ruled out non-environmental causes.
Philadelphia Home Inspections
Hopefully, you won’t experience the problems that mold and other biological pollutants can bring to your home. If you do, please contact us at Inspection Professionals. We can help you uncover what is causing the trouble and assist you in remediating it.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the area, our house inspection service is a recognized expert when it comes to Philadelphia home inspections and Bucks County home inspections. Please contact us at your earliest convenience so that we can help you with our array of inspection services. We’ve been in this field for many years and have completed thousands of inspections. Whether you need a Bucks County or Montgomery County home inspector, we will professionally inspect any Philadelphia-area home and give you a complete and concise report of our findings.