Mold Inspections Basic Information for Persons in Moldy homes
So you’ve had a leak, humidity problems, or a buildup of condensation in your home and are now starting to do your own mold inspection and testing for mold or moisture damage and have noticed one of three following unpleasant changes in your living environment:
1) Foul pungent odors. Mold growth typically causes a very unpleasant and foul-smelling odor; recent studies have shown that this odor alone even in the absence of elevated spore levels can cause adverse allergy or asthma-like health reactions.
2) Visible mold growth on the surface of water-damaged building materials in your home.
Its growth is caused by factors like dampness in the vicinity of recent leaks, or even humidity above 60%. Most mold growing in the home is either green, brown, black, or white and looks like smudge marks or powder.
3) Some members of your family often feel sick when at home and feel better when away from home. Others may be completely unaffected. If not detected and remediated as soon as possible, even hidden mold can trigger lung-related problems, and breathing hindrances such as serious allergies and asthma and occasionally rashes occur. In rare cases it can even cause severe and sometimes difficult to treat infections.
If any of the above have turned up in your home it is time to hire a certified and licensed mold inspector to help test for mold and inspect and diagnose the cause and extent of the problem, and to help provide non-bias guidance on how to rectify the problem.
Because molds like Stachybotrys chartarum, known as toxic mold, black mold, or toxic black mold, produce potent Mycotoxins, some persons living with mold fear being poisoned by mold and fall prey to scam artists.
In addition to Stachybotrys, other toxic molds found in water-damaged homes include the following:
Memnonellathat is almost identical to Stachybotrys or toxic black mold.
Fusariumthat produces similar mycotoxins to the above molds.
Aspergillus Some species are toxic, others are used in food production.
Penicillium Some species are toxic, others are used in food production.
Trichoderma A green mold very similar to Penicillium and Aspergillus produces toxins, however it is also used to help acid wash blue jeans.
If you have toxic mold, do not panic or overreact. If you have non-toxic mold, do not
under-react. All mold can cause health reactions when growing and releasing spores and odors indoors along with people. Just have the problem inspected and diagnosed by a qualified inspector and have it removed by a separate qualified remediator.
Locating mold seems easy but is often difficult for the homeowner and even inspectors, because what you see on the surface may be 95% of the problem, or it may be only the tip of the iceberg and what you see may be just 5% of the problem. Most homeowners can never be sure if what they find is the entire problem or just a tiny part of the entire picture.
This is not a scare tactic; it is a true fact. Mold loves to grow in walls, under wall paper, in AC ducts, on the interior of AC units, and in crawl spaces and attics. It is amazing how often I inspect an air conditioner a week after it was cleaned only to find that a large amount of hidden mold is still present in the air conditioner. Even AC companies that specialize in cleaning ducts often miss mold. Even an inspector may not find every bit of hidden mold.
To maximize the chances of finding hidden mold problems, a trained, experienced inspector should sample air for microscopic spores. Inspectors should sample inside water-damaged walls for trapped mold. Such trapped growths can still release microbial volatile organic compounds or mold odor that cause adverse health reactions. Some mold inspection specalists may enter crawl spaces and attics, check for moldy clothes in closets that often go unnoticed, and even look inside the AC unit and return or supply plenum of your AC system. And an inspector should have a keen eye for colony growth that may go undetected for years in front of untrained eyes; this is especially true for light-colored humidity related molds that blend in well on white walls.
If you fear that you may have a mold issue and need testing and inspections for mold in Miami, need mold help in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, or you need a certified mold inspector in Ft Lauderdale for testing give us a call: