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Mold in Your Home — The Canary in the Coal Mine

Having high levels of mold in your home can be very dangerous to the health of anyone living in your home. Be on the lookout for these visual and non-visual signs that you may have mold growing in your home.
Dangers of Mold in the Home

Before our present world of technology, with all of its gadgets and gizmos, people used their keen observation skills to make predictions so they could take precautions and make preparations to stay safe. You may have heard the old saying, “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” For hundreds of years, this was one way sailors knew if bad weather was in store for them that day. Sailors used the sky to stay safe.

Similarly, miners would take a canary down into the mines with them. The birds were more sensitive to dangerous gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide. The canary would die before the levels of these gasses rose high enough to become hazardous to humans. The canary’s death would signal to miners that they needed to exit the mines. 

Like the sailors used the sky, and the miners used the canary, there are things in your home that can warn of much bigger issues. One of those things is mold in your insulation.

The Dangers of Mold in Insulation

Having high levels of mold in your home can be very dangerous to the health of anyone living in your home. According to an article in the New York Times, “Mold can cause health problems that range from itching eyes, sneezing, and coughing to serious allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and even permanent lung damage.” If mold levels are high enough, you may even have to vacate your home.

The presence of mold in your home and insulation may indicate that you have much more significant issues that should cause concern. Mold cannot grow without oxygen, a food source, and moisture. If you have mold in your insulation, that also means that you have moisture in your insulation, leading to much bigger structural problems like rotting wood and unwanted pests (roaches, mosquitoes, and termites) if left unattended.

Signs that you may have Mold in Your Home

Chances are, if you have moisture problems in your home, mold will be soon to follow if it isn’t already growing. Some visual signs you may notice are:

  • visible mold spores
  • rotten wood
  • sticking doors and windows
  • bubbling or peeling wallpaper or paint
  • water stains on your ceiling
  • musty odor

Not all signs of mold can be seen or smelled. There are several physical signs that people living in your home may develop if there is mold growing in your home. Be on the lookout for these signs:

  • runny nose and congestion
  • eye irritation
  • sneezing 
  • coughing 
  • sore throat
  • skin rash
  • headache 
  • lung irritation
  • wheezing

Why am I Experiencing Moisture and Mold Issues? How Can RetroFoam Help?

A lot of the moisture in your home is found in the air of your home. If your house has air leaks, you get unwanted moisture from the outside. It’s coming through crawl spaces, floors, attics, and your walls. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. Eventually, as warm air hits a cold spot, the air gets colder, which causes it to release the moisture that it can no longer hold. This release of moisture is where condensation comes from. 

So how do you begin to control this problem? You need to create an air barrier. Green Building Advisor explains that “An air barrier helps control airflow both through and within the building enclosure. By controlling airflow, you also control moisture.” This is where RetroFoam can help. By adding foam insulation to your attic, crawlspace, and floors, and existing walls, we can seal up your leaky house and create an airtight building envelope. With an airtight envelope and proper ventilation, you will be able to minimize moisture, create safer air, and eliminate mold and the dangers that come with it.

Contact a RetroFoam expert today. We’d love to help you get on your way to a mold and moisture-free home.

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