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Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 06, 2011

One of the two leading causes of poor indoor air quality is mold growth.

Mold can form and grow on any surface that provides a food source surrounded by moderate temperatures, oxygen and sufficient moisture. The best examples of mold food sources are cellulose-based substances, such as rugs and wood. In today’s hoomes, food sources for mold are readily available in the form of untreated paper-faced gypsum board, wood wall studs and wood-based sheathings as well as furniture.

Once moisture is exposed to the mold food source, long-dormant mold spores can gain a foothold. As long as the food and moisture sources are supplied, the mold colonies will continue to grow and prosper. When mold has spread throughout a basement or home, you may notice unpleasant odors and experience a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions and aggravation of asthma symptoms.

Here are some methods of airborne contaminant capture and removal:

  • Remove particulate matter through filtration
  • Manage moisture and humidity by adding dehumidifiers where necessary
  • Clean dehumidification systems, including drain pans
  • Clean humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and water spray systems
  • Employ moisture management strategies in the home's envelope.

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