Avoiding Mold Exposure in Residential Construction

Posted on February 10th, 2017

Chances are, you spend a good chunk of your waking hours in your home, and if you’re not there, you’re at your place of work.  Because you spend so much time in these locations, it is important to know whether mold is an issue and what to do about it to avoid developing a condition called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, or CIRS. The syndrome is most often triggered by repeated exposure to toxic molds, and can be tough to diagnose. So, the best course of action is to take steps to prevent exposure.

Common Places for Mold Exposure

Old homes, garages, basements and even older commercial buildings are places where individuals could be exposed to toxic mold and have their immune systems triggered into the loop or chronic inflammation.

If you know where mold tends to accumulate, you’re ahead or the game as far as prevention and remediation. Some of the most common places to check are crawl spaces, ventilation systems, and or course, basements. You might not think of this next one, but it’s worth checking the carpet in your home or building for mold if you have concerns.

Tips to Avoid Mold When Building New

If you’re building a new home, there are things that you can do during the construction process to lessen the possibility of mold developing inside your new home. Make sure that your builder has inspected all materials for water damage and signs of mold growth, discarding anything that is concerning.

  • Make sure that the walls and other moisture entry points are sealed.  Wall joints, plumbing, and window frames are just a few places that should be sealed well.
  • Install an excellent system for air circulation. Circulation is key for drying out any moisture that might be in the home, and for keeping a balance of appropriate moisture levels.
  • Have the builder wrap the house with the appropriate insulation. Insulation helps to keep your energy use down, sure, but it also helps to keep things that are supposed to stay out of a home (like water) out.
  • Ensure that gutters and downspouts are installed properly to avoid water getting into the basement and causing other problems. Gutters and downspouts that are not positioned properly are a likely culprit if you find that there is water in the basement. Avoid this problem by making sure they’re installed and aimed properly.
  • Choose mold resistant products from the start. There are many mold-resistant building materials that a homebuilder can use that will lessen the potential for mold to build up. Keep reading to learn more.

Use of Mold-Resistant Building Materials

There are products that can be used indoors, and out, to play a role in lessening the risk of mold taking over a building and making occupants sick.  Many of these are available at home improvement stores.

  • Mold resistant wood: Use of wood that has been treated with an anti-mold chemical is a good place to start. Some of the various companies that manufacture this product also state that their wood is termite resistant, so this is an added bonus.
  • Mold-resistant drywall and drywall tape: Using a drywall with a fiberglass facing instead of a paper facing eliminates some of the organic matter that is susceptible to water damage. To complement the non-paper facing drywall, use a drywall tape that has an anti-microbial coating.
  • Mold-resistant carpeting: If your carpet is made with polypropylene or acrylic fibers, it has a better shot of limiting the mold that might attack your carpet.

Limiting your exposure to mold will limit the potential that you could develop CIRS. If someone in your household is sensitive to mold, it’s important to understand the symptoms of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Symptoms of CIRS

With more than two dozen symptoms that can also be attributed to other conditions, it’s important to know what to look for, and to know what in your surroundings might be causing these issues, according to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, who has become a recognized leader in research and treatment of  mold related illness and CIRS in particular.

Some of the symptoms include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches and muscle cramps
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Sinus issues
  • Trouble regulating body temperature
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling in the body
  • Difficulty finding the right words in conversation
  • Vision problems and excessive tearing

Related: Online VCS Screening Test – Now Available

Many of the signs of this immune system response are also signs of other conditions, so it is important to talk with a doctor who is certified in the Shoemaker Protocol to treat CIRS. 

Can’t find a doctor near you?

We also encourage patients to suggest their family and naturopathic doctors learn more about becoming a Dr. Shoemaker Protocol Certified Physician in an effort to greatly increase access to proper aid. There are many people suffering from the same symptoms you may be experiencing, with more qualified help, together we can greatly reduce the population of individuals effected by CIRS and other mold causing illnesses.

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