Outdoor air quality, pollution levels and carbon emissions have always been a focal point for health and environmental agency campaigns – but what about indoor air quality? Depending on where you live, humidity levels and the things you do inside your property, indoor air pollution can be as much as five times more than outdoors! This isn’t always great for your health, nor your quality of life.
From plug-in air fresheners to soot, C02 and pet dander, the home can become a petri dish for airborne irritants. One of the most important ones to address is mould- partly due to health concerns and partly due to structural ones.
Understanding Air Quality In The Home
The air we breathe indoors consists of oxygen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide and water vapour. But unfortunately, that’s not all we inhale on a daily basis. Buildings are designed to keep us protected from the outdoor elements, but it’s this very design that leads to poor indoor air quality. A lack of ventilation, UV light and air circulation can cause airborne particles and irritants to build-up in the home.
To give you a better idea of the most common indoor air pollutants found in the home, the following are a good starting point:
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs.)
- Bacteria, viruses and mould spores.
- Dust, pollen, smoke and skin particles.
- Microscopic mites, fungi and pesticides.
- Air fresheners and chemical cleaning products.
- Hair, dander, radon and excessive moisture.
Are There Mould Spores In The Air?
The air is full of particles, such as pollen, pollution, skin cells, organic compounds and much more. These microparticles undoubtedly contain mould spores, but that doesn’t mean you have mould growing in your home. It’s important to note that mould is a naturally-occurring organic fungus that readily grows both indoors and out. When it matures, it releases its spores, which are then carried on the wind. Some of these will eventually enter the home, and if conditions are right, will take root and begin to multiply. So if you’re wondering if there are mould spores in the air? Absolutely. And for the most part, they are nothing to be worried about. However, there are a few things that increase the likelihood of experiencing excessive mould indoors, such as:
- Seasonal weather conditions and outdoor climate.
- Your geographic location and your proximity to water.
- Humidity levels in the area that you live in.
- Ventilation and moisture-levels inside the home.
- Damp areas that don’t receive natural light.
Common Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality
One of the first things most people notice when the indoor air quality begins to deteriorate are common allergy symptoms. These include itching, a blocked or stuffy nose, hives, dry or sore eyes and mild breathing issues. Of course, depending on the season, these could also be down to hayfever. However, inside the home, symptoms should be better – not worse than outdoors.
Indoor Air Quality and Health
Air quality plays a large role in our overall health and wellbeing. When clean and with minimal particles floating around, most people will find relief and a decrease of symptoms such as those experienced with asthma, hay fever, allergies and skin issues. Breathing becomes easier and coughing decreases, making it easier to get a better night’s sleep.
Besides mould spores, air fresheners, perfume, deodorant, chemical pesticides and organic matter all contribute to decreased indoor air quality. While it will never be possible to enjoy 100% pure and particle-free air, reducing irritants and allergens by as little as 10% can make a huge difference.
How To Tell If There’s Mould In The Air?
Unless you live inside a sterile vacuum, there are mould spores in the air. However, the main concern isn’t whether there is mould in the air – but how much and what type. One of the biggest giveaways of mould spores in the air is itchy or watery eyes, an itchy throat or a blocked or stuffy nose. Depending on how much mould is in the air, you may also detect a mushroomy or slightly sour smell.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
If you’re worried about indoor air quality and are looking for the best way to improve said air quality in the home, then there are a few things you can consider doing. Some of these are simple changes to the things you do around the home, and others are more hands-on to deal with the root of the cause. For best results, combining all three methods will give the most noticeable results that lead to a drastic decrease in pollutants and mould spores.
Method 1: Lifestyle Changes
The first thing to do is to increase airflow and ventilation around the home. This can be as easy as opening windows on opposite sides of your property for just an hour or two a day. Fresh air will flow in while stale air flows out. This will also help dry out any damp areas indoors and improve air circulation throughout.
Cleaning is also important. Wiping down surfaces, vacuuming and dusting can all help eliminate particles that are yet to become airborne. A good cleaning session on a regular basis will also reduce the number of mould spores sitting on surfaces, minimising the risk of them taking root and multiplying.
Instal anti-pollen window screens. These are fantastic for allowing airflow to continue while keeping out unwanted bugs, pollen and other larger contaminants. A great choice for homes in hotter locations, they help you enjoy a fly-free summer, minus blown-in dust, sand and debris.
Remove any mould or fungi growing inside the home. This will require professional equipment to prevent it from spreading further around the home. Purpose specific anti-fungal chemicals may be used and will be combined with post-treatment solutions, such as filtering the air with a HEPA filter.
Method 2: Mechanical Filtration
The second step is to have the air inside your home filtered and purified. Mechanical filtration can reduce up to 99.97% of all floating partials from the air, safely capturing them and returning clean, fresh air back into the home. At Mould Cleaning Australia, we use advanced 2-stage filtration and purification systems with every treatment we perform to ensure the air you’re breathing in is as clean, pure and healthy as possible.
Mechanical filtration can be installed in a variety of other home devices, including air-conditioning units, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers and more. These will help reduce airborne particles to a degree, which is especially useful if you tend to have an annual air quality test and clean performed professionally.
Method 3: Fogging Treatment
The third and final step is to have a professional fogging treatment performed around the home. A fogging treatment uses a machine that produces a fine mist of antimicrobial solution that is designed to encapsulate mould spores, killing them in the process.
Fogging is typically part of a several steps process, performed once active mould growth has been treated to prevent regrowth or further spread. As part of our arsenal, we use GM3000 – a non-toxic, biodegradable, low/non-irritant and non-corrosive solution. This is strong enough to stop mould in its tracks, while gentle enough for you to enter your property within 1 day.
When To Call In The Professionals?
If poor air quality or a musty smell have you concerned, it’s always best to have things looked at properly. While there are DIY kits available, these are usually difficult to understand, hard to read and in some situations, unreliable. When it comes to your health and wellbeing, your best option is to have a reputable and experienced mould remediation company check things over for you.
At Mould Cleaning Australia, we offer a no-pressure FREE mould inspection, where we perform detailed analysis using modern technology and equipment. If we find any problems, we’ll let you know and then provide you with a transparent quote and plan of action guaranteed to restore harmony in your home.
If you’re unsure of whether your indoor air quality is safe or you think you may have a problem with mould, book your free inspection now.