Microbial Growth & Ultrafine Particulate Matter Removal

by Nov 1, 2023

"The Medically Sound Remediators"

We are CIRSx Certified for Medically Sound Remediation

Recently, because of the extra rainy season that San Diego has been experiencing, we have been getting reports of more mold in our community than ever. While Orange Restoration is IICRC certified for mold remediation, often times in San Diego homes, they need more extreme mold services. Orange restoration has been performing small particle mold remediation for decades, teaming up with clinicians and hygienists to remediate people’s homes and get back to a healthy life. We have been doing some of the techniques to properly remediate microbial growths of all kinds for well over 10 years and consider ourselves ultrafine particulate matter removal experts.  

Ultrafine Particulate Matter Removal

The home is where we hang our hat, so to speak, but mostly we breathe air from this space more frequently than from any other space we are in daily. We may leave the home, but like most homeowners they return at the end of their day to enjoy the peace that shelter provides. If you are a homeowner, you probably are familiar with all the unseen risks associated with any home. To be clear, these unseen risks include water damage, hidden structural damage, asbestos, pests, and finally, microbial growths including: fungi, algae, rusts, yeasts, and bacteria.

So, while there is a lot to visually inspect in your home, getting a professional inspector involved is advisable for the long-term viability and health of your home. Many unseen damages or microbial growths can be lurking in a home, this is partially why so many rules and regulations exist in real estate. Still, just like others have discovered, inspectors can miss something! Home inspectors are often working under deadlines and massive pressure to pass inspections by real estate agents, brokers, and homeowners who want to sell, as well as the new home buyers. This is why we suggest going further to do testing relevant to the health of your home, and your family’s health. 

Normal impacts on indoor air quality that are not associated with the ultrafine particulate matter removal or microbial growths.

The Importance of Air Quality in Your Home

Your guests come to your home for an experience. Your family lives in your home to escape the dangers of the outside world. Even the plan to buy a home was to support the comfort needed to build a healthy life. The time you spent to create this luxury should not be wasted!

So allowing microbial growth to take it all over would be a shame, as simple maintenance can help! Your home should foster a beautiful life and one where your family and guests gain a fresh perspective from your home. No one wants to have a home that gets them sick, takes away from their lives health, or continues to have large financial costs due to mold remediation efforts. 

Does Microbial Growth Impact Indoor Air Quality?

Yes, is the easy answer, but the more complex answer is that microbial growths will almost always impact the air quality if there are spores or moisture. The only way to know for sure is through professional testing. Still, if you do not maintain your home regularly, you and your guests will smell it. So, if the mold is not impacting your health, it will be impacting your comfort.

Also, worth noting, fewer guests will want to visit a second time to see if the musty smell got worse. Also, this would impact your homes value as mold is one of the greatest fears for new home buyers due to the ambiguity of the problem source or resolution. In addition to the mold’s musty smell, this unpleasant smell will attract pests looking for an easy way to get into your home or will sense the mold smell as evidence of access to moisture that they need near their nesting place. 

Air Quality Testing is Becoming More Important in San Diego Real Estate!

As a mold remediation company we are constantly working with an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) such as Anna Branch. Anna Branch is known to be one of the best mold experts in San Diego in regards to Mold-Specific Quantitative (MSQPCR) PCR Analysis. This analysis is similar, but more in-depth to the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) to create a value for the mold ratio in the air. The ERMI was originally made to help create standard to report and record the ratio of various mold spores to air and other particles. This helps determine how the air may be impacting your family.

For example, households with higher ERMI values are associated with an increased risk of asthma. Home buyers in San Diego real estate market are often very health conscious, meticulous, and have plenty of options for their new home elsewhere. The choice alone to live in San Diego might be about health as many new San Diego home owners claim they made the move for a better healthy life.

Understanding Microbial Growth

Microbial growth refers to the proliferation of various microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, algae, yeasts, and more, within an indoor environment. These microorganisms can thrive in indoor areas, especially with elevated moisture levels. What makes microbial growth particularly insidious is its ability to remain hidden from plain sight, anywhere in your home or business. These microorganisms can colonize within walls, ceilings, under flooring, or in hidden corners, making them difficult to detect by visual inspection alone.

The need for a professional inspection becomes more evident as microbial growth poses both structural risks to your home and health risks to its occupants. Trained professionals have the expertise and tools necessary to uncover these hidden dangers, allowing for timely remediation to protect both your property and your well-being. Health and home should be your first priority.

mold health affects from microbial growth in home.

Health Implications of Microbial Growth

Exposure to microbial growth in your home can have serious health implications, and even worse if you already have a compromised health. Mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms release mycotoxins, which can trigger a wide range of health problems. Symptoms of exposure to these mycotoxins and source contaminants can vary but often include respiratory issues, skin rashes, allergic reactions, skin reactions such as hives, itchy skin, and eye irritation.

Additionally, mycotoxins are known to be particularly harmful to those with mold sensitivity, leading to more severe symptoms like nausea, headaches, brain fog, exhaustion, and sinus issues. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be subtle, making it easy to overlook the root cause. Often, occupants of the home will attribute these discomforts to other factors, not realizing that the indoor air quality is the underlying factor contributing to the issue. This is why professional inspection and testing are essential in identifying and addressing the problem, ensuring a healthy living environment for you and your family.

What Are The Symptoms of Poor Air Quality In A House?

Contaminates to air quality can produce odors; or can go unnoticed by smell and simply cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, eye irritation, fatigue, dry throat, sinus issues, and dizziness. Often the homeowners or tenants will notice either the smell from the odor produced by the mold or they will be uncomfortable due to the various symptoms that seem to have no cause, but exposure to the home.

When you have a home with unseen contamination, it is important to make sure to figure out the root cause of the problem, but when you cannot see it, this becomes more difficult. Unseen particles also known as Ultrafine Particulate (UFP) matter, require professionals to get involved. After you decide that your home has contaminated air, you might want to start with actions. Many try to do it themselves because the idea of getting professionals involved is daunting. Trying to fight micro-sized particles in the air seems like a simple fight at first, many will use ventilation techniques and even try to filter it in their own ways. 

removing small mold growth. an example of microbial growth on the walls.

Do Air Purifiers Remove Particulate Matter?

Without going too far into this, the attempt to do anything to clean the air may cause some desired results to occur, but they may not be permanent. So, while the home air purifiers with a High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor (HEPA filter) may scrub the air for any free radicals, the source can not be identified or changed by the use of an air filter.

So, the air purification processing may just be allowing for the mold to slowly grow, making it more powerful each day and eventually, the air filter will need to be replaced. Also, as you allow contamination to spread, the air purification may just be helping mold spores to spread! In addition, it is possible the air purification system will need a full decontamination cleaning after it has done this work. For these reasons, we do not suggest using an air purifier or filtration system to help you to procrastinate fixing your microbial growth problem. 

Health Effects of Ultrafine Particles

Ultrafine particles can impact health in various ways, but a large part of it is the inflammation of airways, lungs, and blood vessels. These issues can cause for other health issue to worsen, making for chronic problems. For example, if someone in the home already has asthma, they will be more sensitive to the particles. This person can have numerous negative health issues while their partners get the same exposure and are not impacted. Often times, this will cause the issue to worsen because the assumption is the problems are isolated to one person and not something coming from the environmental factors. 

Are Ultrafine Particles Bad for You?

Most outside particles gaining access to your lungs are going to be bad for your health. When it comes to ultrafine particles, there is added complexity as these particles begin to disrupt the organ’s function. The 0.1 micro sized particles are capable of entering the bloodstream as they can easily pass through lung tissue. Larger sized particles are capable of getting stuck in the lung tissues and causing blockages or other problems.  

What Does Ultrafine Particles Do to Your Body?

They contaminate the entire body, and sometimes it is irreversible! Ultra fine particulate matter (PM0.1) enters the lungs and can fast track to any other part of the body, often into organs to stick around there. The particles, at the larger sized particulate matter (PM2.5), are often found in the lungs or the heart, and can cause inflammation in both and can be stuck in the lungs for a longer time than the ultra fine particulate matter (PM0.1). This inflammation can lead to various problems and can even cause death for some who have extreme or even particular mold allergies. 

Comparison chart of the surface areas of ultrafine particulate matter, particulate matter and course particulate matter sizes. You can see the amount of surface area is greater with the ultrafine particulate matter, this might add to the dangerousness of these tiny particles.

What are Ultrafine Particles in Indoor Air?

As seen in the chart above, ultrafine particles are the smallest particles on the right side. The larger particles, for example asbestos is between 2.5μm and 10μm, which are very dangerous to our health, while other ultra fine particles can be more troublesome as the smaller the particulate, the more easily it is to travel within the body. Some 2.5μm are known to cause more pulmonary inflammation and are stuck in the lung tissue for longer than the smaller particles. PM is known to enter the body through breathing, so it all starts in the lungs.

How Do You Remove Particulate Matter From Air at Home?

Some may recommend using standard HEPA filters in your HVAC system. This can help improve air quality temporarily, but if you have any real threats to your air quality, you will want to remove any potential microbial growth and other particulate matter sources completely. If you already suspect a mold problem, instead of circulating the air and getting the spores into new rooms and contaminating your entire HVAC system, you should call a professional and get mold testing done.

After testing to confirm the microbial growth or particulate matter, you’ll want to target its source, and work with a professional to remediate it. For the remediation process, professionals will use proper commercial grade dehumidifiers with proper HEPA filters and up to date maintenance to ensure the best results for removal. After having professionals do this work, you may want to upgrade your HVAC air filters to capture any remaining particulate matter to keep your home healthy.

Call Orange Restoration for any Microbial Growths or Ultrafine Particulate Matter Removal Projects

Our remediation team has been trusted all over! From preserving historical treasures with local Natural History Museum, at Balboa Park, where we decontaminated 1000s of specimens in a 8 month decontamination project. Also, we have worked for local Mira Mar Airforce base that needed specific ultrafine particulate matter removal services at their data center.

We are seeking bigger projects like this in the San Diego County as our team is the most equipped local remediation company. If you suspect a project has any PM contamination issues, rather than call a sub-par mold remediator, call one known for handling international projects, local military grade messes, and even fragile projects that require handling specimens from our history. Our expertise is at your service!

CALL US NOW AT (619) 376-6838