Mold Assessment & Testing
MOLD FACT: Mold is literally everywhere. It is found in 98% of homes in America, and it is estimated that 45% of homes have significant mold growth. Mold plays an important role in the decay of organic matter.
Water damage and intrusion could lead to accelerated mold growth if not treated within 48 hours of the damage. Proper treatment of any mold issues should include testing, and remediation protocols may be required to deal with these mold issues.
Mold CAN be managed if you know where to look and how to deal with it properly.
It grows in a variety of colors. It can be shades of black, brown, blue, green, orange, yellow or white. “Black Mold” is a blanket term used to describe toxic molds, however all types of mold are allergenic and can cause health problems.
When some molds start to grow, they will defend themselves against threats to their existence. If some bacteria are in its space, for example, a mold will defend itself by creating a mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are typically found on the outside and inside of mold spores. They are dangerous and very potent chemicals that will kill anything in the general area of the mold. Survival of the fittest.
Molds spread, just like a dandelion, by releasing small “spores” into the air. These tiny spores are small enough that they are easily inhaled deep into the lungs. Inhalation of spores poses an increased risk of allergic responses and (depending if it’s a type of mold that produces mycotoxins) can cause or contribute to development of more significant respiratory or health problems.
DANGER NOTE: The smell of mold does not always indicate the presence of mycotoxins. Dormant mold or dead mold is still allergenic and can contain mycotoxins.
Mold growth requires moisture. Spores can start to grow within 24-48 hours. The sources of moisture could be from any of these:
- Roof damage or leak in the roof
- Failing seals around windows or doors
- Leak in water or drainage pipes
- Condensation in HVAC system
- Foundation or slab leaks
- Dirt or debris against the home above the foundation line
- Higher humidity levels typically above 65%
- Poor ventilation in crawlspaces
- contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.
An earthy or musty smell is usually a good indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. If mold is allowed to grow in homes or offices, it will continue to grow as long as conditions are ideal.
In the great circle of life, mold helps in the decomposition of organic matter. In your home, where it is not welcome, it tends to grow on or “eat” wood, drywall, paper products, and textiles like cloth, upholstery and clothing. However, mold can also grow on tile, cement, plastic, carpet, insulation and in your HVAC, or any surface that provides a suitable combination of temperature, moisture and food.
We don’t always see it, yet it’s always there. Mold can be a manageable problem if you know where to look for it. Since mold likes to hide and will grow typically in dark places with moisture your first clues are the well-known moisture sources in your home or office.
Locating mold may seem easy at first but here are a few places that you may not have thought about.
- You can typically find it in the insulation and on sheetrock from leaks in roofs
- Around windows or doors where the weather seals have failed or have been damaged
- Under pipes that may have a current or previous leak
- In crawlspaces caused by leaks, standing water, higher humidity and lack of ventilation
- Condensation areas within the HVAC system, such as the coils, plenum, duct joints and registers
- Hiding under tile floors growing in the wood subflooring following a toilet or other leak. (this can be typical of a second floor toilet or tub leak in newer homes using OSB subflooring)
- Mold hides behind wallboard, wallpaper or other wall covering that creates a vapor barrier
- On the inside of sheetrock and insulation inside the wall
- Mold growswell on ceiling tiles in offices
- Mold canalso grow in the soil of indoor plants
- Under carpets and padding
- In closets on fabric or shoes
- Make sure to look in your c-pap machine
You may see it first, or you can smell it first. Either way it’s important to locate it and remove it with the approved methods in the My DIY Mold Guide.
Toxic molds produce an extremely dangerous chemical called “mycotoxin” as they grow, which they use to kill everything in their path, so the mold can survive. Even inhaling small or trace amounts of mycotoxins will suppress your immune system and can contribute or cause very serious or even life-threatening conditions. Mycotoxin testing (in both the person and in the environment) can diagnose mycotoxicosis and is a good idea if a serious health condition is suspected to be caused by toxic mold.
Mold Assessment, Investigation & Clearance
|Basic Visual Mold Inspection||Includes a site visit and basic visual inspection to determine if a potential health risk exists and if further investigation is required.|
Full Mold Assessment
The purpose of the full mold assessment is to determine
|Additional Services||Additional Mold Sampling|
* Sent to a third party Accredited Laboratory
Mold Clearance Inspection and Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation (CMDR)
* A CMDR is required if the homeowner is looking to sell the home within 5 years following a mold remediation. See the State’s Mold Rules and Regulations for Homeowners and Industry Professionals.
Your Rights as a Consumer. Consumer Mold Information Sheet – (CMIS)