MOLD IS LITERALLY A GROWING PROBLEM
EPA studies have shown that air levels of indoor pollutants may be two or three times higher than outdoor levels. Most people are not aware of the problems that can be created by this health hazard. You owe it to yourself and your family to minimize your exposure to mold spores in your homes, TEST for mold.
Types of Mold
There are over 1.5 million known types of mold, they come in many different colors like white, orange, pink, blue, green, black or brown. Molds are generally divided into 3 groups based on their health effects.
ALLERGENIC: Can cause allergic reactions or asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing or a runny nose.
PATHOGENIC: These can cause suppressed immune systems
TOXIC: These can cause serious health effects in almost everyone. These effects may be short term.
Types of Mold Inspections
LIMITED SAMPLING: The purpose of limited mold sampling is to detect the presence of microbial contamination in client- defined areas of the subject property. This level of service consists of taking appropriate samples in specified locations. This service provides a fast economical method to determine if and what types of mold are in a defined area. The limitations of this service are that other sources of mold may go undetected.
MOLD SCREEN: This level of Mold Inspections utilizes a visual assessment of the entire house, identification of any “red flags” for mold, and limited sampling for mold. If “red flags” are found in multiple areas, the client will be advised and offered the chance to have additional sampling performed in any/all identified areas. The value of this service is that all visible “red flags” are identified. This is our most popular type of inspection.
CLEARANCE TESTING: Clearance Testing is designed to determine the effectiveness of remediation efforts and to document the absence of microbial problems before renovations begin. The nature and extent of the sampling is directed by an Industrial Hygienist as part of the remediation plan prescribed for a property. Clearance testing is conducted within containment areas after remediation efforts have been completed. Containment areas are portions of the building that were sealed with polyethylene to limit the spread of contamination during remediation.
POST- CLEANING TESTING: Post- Cleaning Testing is designed to determine the effectiveness of remediation efforts and whether mold problems still exist in a designated are where no containment was in place for the remediation effort.
How can someone be exposed to mold?
There are several ways you can become exposed to mold:
- Breathing in spores from the air
- Skin contact from handling an item that has mold growing on it
- Eating without properly washing your hands after handling moldy objects
Can mold cause health problems?
Mold has the potential to cause health problems and in some cases even make a home uninhabitable. However, everyone is affected differently when in contact with mold. People who are sensitive and exposed to mycotoxins can become ill. Allergic reactions to mold are common, they can be immediate or delayed. Others at risk may include: infants, children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with existing respiratory conditions.
Where is mold found in the home?
Mold can be found in several areas in the home. It appears most often in moist areas and look like little black circles or thread like objects. You can also usually smell a musty- type of odor when mold is present.
Some examples of places where mold can be found inside the home include:
- Basements, kitchens (bottom of fridge) around bathroom vanities, washer/dryer areas.
- The underside of carpets and pads
- The surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms)
- Ceilings and the top side of ceiling tiles
- Front and back side of drywall, wallpaper
- Inside HVAC systems and duct work
How does mold get into my house?
Mold starts outdoors and floats in through doors and windows, also heating and HVAC vents. It can also be carried in by people and animals. The spores then land on surfaces that are wet or damp. Mold cannot grow without water or moisture, so remember that it is important to dry water – damaged areas within 24- 48 hours to help prevent mold growth.
NOTE: If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean the mold, but do not fix the problem the mold will grow back!
How do you test for mold?
There are 2 normally 2 types of screening for mold. One is Aerobic where air samples are taken inside the home and outside for a comparison to detect a problem. The other is Surface, where swab and tape samples of visible mold are taken to determine the type of mold. Samples of carpet or other materials can be sent to the lab, this is called Bulk sampling. All samples are sent to EM Lab to be analyzed for the types of mould and full extent of the problem.
Results are normally received within 2-3 days, faster turn around times are available at an extra cost.
What do I do NOW?
Just give us a call or email us to arrange an inspection, we will do an assessment interview and a visual inspection of the home. Samples will be taken, the amount and types to be determined by you the client.
Once we have the lab results we can make some specific recommendations on how to improve the air quality of your home. Either by sanitization, most of which can be done by the home owner, or in more extreme cases remediation may be needed. This will have to be carried by a separate Mold Remediation company.