1What is Mold?
A. Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores.
2What causes Mold to develop?
A. Mold requires nutrients, water, oxygen and favorable temperatures to grow. Nutrients for mold are present in dead organic material such as wood, paper or fabrics; plus, mold can derive nutrients from some synthetic products such as paints and adhesives. Mold requires moisture, whether it is from standing water or humidity. As for temperatures, very few molds can survive conditions below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside this range of temperature, molds may remain dormant or inactive; however, they may begin growth again when the temperature is more favorable.
3How does Mold get into a building?
A. Molds are decomposers of organic materials such as wood, plants, and animals. Mold and mold spores are found in high concentrations wherever there is dead matter such as a pile of leaves, manure or compost. Mold spores enter buildings through the air every time you open the windows or doors; or, attached themselves to your clothing, animal hair or objects that are brought into the building.
4What is the cost of Mold Testing?
A. Our cost for Mold Testing is only $99 per sample for a minimum of two samples are required whether it be an Air or Bio-Tape sample.
5When should I request a Mold Test and is it necessary?
A. Mold testing is only necessary if you want to determine you have any "active" migration of microbial spores in the interior structure of your home or business; and, if you cannot visually see any microbial discoloration or residue. The only way to determine any substance is mold would be to test it by an air, bio-tape lift or swab sample. Testing for Mold is a good tool to determine the type of Mold; because, there are over a 100,000 types of mold spores and each have their own characteristics. Knowing the type of Mold helps Inspectors and Remediators understand what to look for in eliminating the microbial issue.
6Q. If I hire a Mold Inspector, can he tell me if I have mold or not?
A. No. A mold inspector's job is to perform an assessment of the microbial damage and determined the source that may have caused the microbial growth. A mold inspector can only tell you that the damage area(s) show the same characteristics of microbial growth. To determine the type of Mold and if it is active, you will need to have mold testing done.
7Q. When should I hire a Certified Mold Remediator?
A. If you visually see microbial discoloration in your home, more than likely it is quite possible that you need to proceed with remediation by hiring a certified mold remediator; but, if the area damaged is less than 10 square feet, you can clean the area yourself without hiring a mold remediator.
8Q. What areas of the home are the most frequently found places that Mold would be generally discovered?
A. Kitchen, Laundry Room & Bathrooms are the most susceptible areas due to the possible moisture levels that can be found. If your home has a Crawlspace or Basement, it is likely they too will be susceptible to microbial growth due to high humidity levels.
9Q. Why is cleaning the HVAC System and Ventilation Lines important when it comes to mold?
A. Mold spores, when disturbed, can become "airborne" and attached to any surface inside your home; therefore, the same mold spores can travel through the HVAC System, too. The HVAC System can contribute as a source of "moisture" for mold spores to feed upon because of "condensation". "Condensation" can be caused by rapid changes of temperature or if the indoor temperature is extremely reverse to the outside temperature (Example: Outside temp is 98 degrees Fahrenheit and the indoor temp is 65 degrees Fahrenheit).
10Q. When should I have my HVAC System and Ventilation Lines cleaned and how often should I change out my filter?
A. You should have your HVAC System & Lines cleaned once a year; and, change out your filter regularly once month. For commercial units that have HEPA Filtrations, you should at least change your filters out every three (3) months.
11Q. What kind of filters should I use in my HVAC System?
A. High Efficiency Particulate Absorption (HEPA) Filters.
12Q. What are the most "common" indoor Mold spores?
A. The most "common" mold spores found indoors is as follows: Alternaria Aspergillus Chaetomium Cladosporium Curvularia Epicoccum Humicola Oidiodendron Penicillium Stachybotrys – "The Black Mold" Memnoniella – Is like the "sister" to Stachybotrys. Trichoderma Stemphylium
13Q. Does mold affect everyone the same way; and, how much exposure does it take to be consider harmful?
A. Mold does not affect everyone the same way. Some people genetically can be affected with most all mold types, especially with those with respiratory conditions such as asthma. Individuals are very different with respect to the amount of mold exposure they can tolerate. Children under the age of one year may be more susceptible to the effects of some molds than older individuals. Measuring or estimating "exposure" levels is very difficult. Exposure means the amount of mold (microscopic spores and mold fragments) that gets into a person usually by breathing; but, also by eating or absorption through the skin. For example, a building may have a lot of mold in the walls; but, very little of that mold is getting into the air stream. In that case, the people working or living in that building would have little mold exposure.
14Q. What should I do to keep mold from becoming an issue in my home or office?
A. The main thing is to keep your humidity (moisture) level below 50% at all times. Mold needs moisture for it to continue growth or to survive. Any leak you find, fix it and dry the area affected within 24 to 72 hours of the occurrence. If you smell an unusual musty odor and can't determine the source of the odor, it would be preventative measure to contact a Certified Mold Assessor to do an inspection and/or test the affected area(s).