The cause of fungal infestation indoors (so-called intramural stress) is almost always to be found in increased humidity. Structural damage such as thermal bridges, rising damp due to missing barrier layers or incorrectly installed thermal insulation are primarily responsible for this. But insufficient ventilation also means that the daily accumulation of moisture caused by body evaporation, washing and cooking is not sufficiently dissipated. The result is mold infestation.
Mold infestation often manifests itself as an allergic reaction of the body such as rhinitis (runny nose), conjunctivitis (reddened mucous membranes of the eyes) or respiratory problems. If such symptoms persist and do not subside, there is a suspicion of fungal contamination and should be investigated.
Fungi are often accompanied by very unpleasant odors. An infestation of hidden spots, which can lie deep in the building mass, is often the cause of apparently inexplicable odors in the house. However, these places are often not easy to find, which is why special measuring methods are used to localize the focus of infestation.
Locating mold: Methods for detecting mold infestation
Mold in the home is a common problem with sometimes serious health consequences. Therefore, as soon as there is a suspicion of mold infestation, the causes must be found quickly and the mold removed professionally and sustainably.
A measurement for assessment is possible by means of various methods. Spore concentration measurements are carried out via the room air with special devices. The spores are deposited on culture media and then cultivated in the laboratory. The statement about the type of fungi often allows conclusions to be drawn about the cause and type of infestation. Spore concentrations vary greatly over the course of the year and depend, among other things, on the weather, wind direction and other influencing factors. It is therefore important to always carry out a comparative measurement on the outside air when measuring spore concentrations.
Determination of fungal metabolites
A new method is the determination of typical fungal metabolites (MVOCs). These can be detected in the room air and determined with highly sensitive special chemical analysis methods. Material tests and contact samples provide additional information for damage assessment. In some cases, the so-called MVOC determination (determination of volatile organic substances of fungal origin) provides statements that cannot be made with conventional spore concentration measurements. This applies in particular to hidden infestations (e.g. in cavities in the building structure).
The search for the causal moisture spots and localization of the growth sites is additionally carried out with temperature and building moisture measurements. These methods also determine building physics parameters. This can then also be used to draw conclusions about possible causes of infestation. Biomes applies all of the methods briefly described above equally; suitability is selected after prior inspection.
What to do against mold infestation?
By the time you see mold, it’s actually already too late. You should act as soon as you discover wet spots. However, if it did happen and the source of mold was located, there are several possible approaches but still it is better to hire the professional services like mold inspection Malibu.
- Clarify the cause of the mold. If you don’t know the cause, mold removal can become a Sisyphean task, because if the cause of the infestation is not remedied, the mold will keep coming back.
- Only work on small areas of mold yourself. In the case of severe mold infestation and larger areas (from half a square meter), only a specialist company should do the work. Only experts can ensure that the spores are not spread throughout the home and that the harmful metabolites of the mold are completely removed.
- Pay particular attention to the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom (human vapors during the night) because a lot of moisture is produced there. A lot of trouble can be avoided if you air out there regularly and completely. As a result, no moisture can settle on cold surfaces and mold formation is prevented.
- Invest in a hygrometer (moisture meter) if you’ve had mold problems before. This allows the relative humidity in a room to be determined. At a temperature of 21 °C, it should be 55 to a maximum of 60% in the long term, and even lower in winter.
- Regulate the humidity through proper ventilation and heating. Instead of keeping windows tilted open for a long time, we recommend airing them out two to four times a day – around five to ten minutes. A particularly effective exchange of air is achieved by cross-ventilating the rooms. The windows in opposite rooms are opened at the same time as are the room doors. This creates a draft that optimally dissipates the humidity in the apartment.
- A powerful extractor hood should be installed in the kitchen to extract moisture from the air in the room.
- A dehumidifier can be useful in poorly ventilated rooms and in the basement.
- Even rooms that are used little or not at all should not be allowed to cool down too much. The recommendation is that the inside temperature should not fall below 16 degrees, otherwise – at least in unrenovated houses – the walls would cool down too much, so that condensation and subsequently mold could form.