Mold and asbestos are both common in older homes that are more than 20 years old. Both mold in a home, and the presence of asbestos have been linked to serious health conditions, as well as even death in some cases, and should not be neglected. Most homes which are older have had presence of both, and you should definitely test for them in your home, or have a certified specialist such as Iris Environmental Laboratories do so for you.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos was used up to the 1970’s for insulation. While it is more common in commercial buildings to still have traces of it, older homes that have not been remodeled could still potentially have some traces, or be fully insulated by it. Asbestos is made up of silicates, and was often used because it was fire resistant in older homes. It has been linked to certain cancers as the primary cause, as well as respiratory inflammatory diseases.
Many people who have had asbestos exposure don’t even know they were affected until it’s too late. The longer a person is exposed to it, as well as the quantity, and how long a person was in an environment where asbestos may have been present, as well as whether they had respiratory issues prior to exposure of asbestos can determine how much asbestos can hurt you. Most homes are supposed to have this removed, but traces of the dust can still linger. An asbestos test will help determine if you have any removal to do.
House mold, commonly known as “black mold” (this actually isn’t just black colored mold that affects people, but all different types) can appear anywhere in the home. Sometimes, it’s where there is the most moisture exposure, but even in areas where there usually isn’t much moisture (such as living rooms); there can be an existence of various types of mold that can be potentially fatal. These molds are actually a type of fungus, and can cause severe respiratory infections, as well as sinusitis.
People have even been known to have skin break-outs and migraines due to the presence of molds in the home. The mold spreads throughout the air of the household, and it’s very easy to be exposed to it without knowing it as you generally cannot see the microscopic pores in the air (or distinguish them from common house dust).
House mold has also been linked to asthma attacks or severe allergic episodes for those who are allergic to mold in general.
So What Can I Do?
It makes no difference whether you are buying or selling your home, you can and should do an inspection for mold, or have a specialist do so. Doing so can ensure that you’re not putting you or your families’ lives at jeopardy, or anyone else’s who enters your home (or decides to buy it should you be selling it). Mold can also be linked to the deterioration of the home and can cause problems with the solidity of your home (if mold sits on wood or drywall for extremely long periods of time, it can actually break down the enzymes in the product and make it weaker, which can also be potentially harmful). Get your home tested for mold and asbestos to ensure that your home is a safe one.