FAQ

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1) If I can’t see the mold, how do the professionals?

Mold inspection and/or remediation professionals utilize special moisture detecting equipment to evaluate mold infestation in your home. The most common mold remediation equipment include…s borescopes and moisture meters. Both of these devices are used to find the hidden mold in your home by testing moisture content in certain areas. Remember that mold remediation is no different than any other profession. A specialist is needed to properly diagnose a situation, so do not settle for less than the best. Ask alot of questions and make sure they are a professional in the trade not just a Jack of all trades master of none.
If you recognize any visible signs of mold in your home, the best thing you can do for your home and your family is to contact a certified mold inspection company and/or mold remediation company.

2) Who should ask for microbial air testing?

Those who suspect a mold infestation – A Mold Testing company should be contacted if you suspect that you may have a problem with mold in your home or building.
All home owners and potential home buyers should be interested to know what kind of indoor air quality is in place.
Offices, schools, cottages, hospitals, clinics, gyms and other indoor area should be tested for mold problems.
Precautionary Measure – Whether or not you are aware of a mold problem in your home or building, air testing can be performed as a precautionary measure. Leave the Investigating to the professionals. Disturbance of a mold infested area can lead to a release of spores into the air that can cause serious illnesses.
Now is the time to find out, before the occupants become sick.

3) What causes mold to develop?

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; mold can also derive nutrients from some synthetic products such as paints and adhesives. Mold requires moisture, although some mold species can obtain that moisture from moist air when the relative humidity is above 60%. Many molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures; few if any molds are able to grow below 40 F or above 100 F. Outside this range molds may remain dormant or inactive; they may begin to grow again when the temperature is more favorable.

4) How does mold get into a building?

Molds are decomposers of organic material 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 or on people, animals and objects that are brought into the building. Spores are small bundles of genetic material and chemicals (similar to seeds) that molds make under certain conditions.

5) Does mold affect everyone the same way?

No. Some individuals have a genetic makeup that puts them at risk for developing allergies to mold. People who have an allergy to mold, especially if they also have asthma, can become ill from exposure to a small amount of mold. Individuals also seem to be quite different in their response to exposure to the toxic chemicals that some molds release. These differences between individuals contribute to the difficult question of determining safe exposure limits for mold.

6) How much mold exposure is harmful?

No one knows the answer to this question for several reasons. 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.

7) Does tighter building construction promote mold development?

Tighter building construction does not by itself promote mold growth, but tight construction combined with some poor choices in design, building materials or operations can increase the probability of mold growth. What do we mean? The tighter the building construction the less air exchange there is between the inside air and the outside air. Whatever gets into the inside air stays there longer than it would in a house with loose construction. Moisture that gets into the air from activities such as cooking, bathing and even breathing will remain in a tight house longer than it would in a loose house. That’s why exhaust fans should be installed in bathrooms and kitchens and vented to the outside. Clothes dryers should also be vented to the outside as well.
Tight construction permits control of the air exchange between the inside and the outside and can prevent the deposition of moisture in walls and roofs. Controlling moisture, including indoor relative humidity is the key to preventing mold growth. Tight building construction when combined with source control of moisture (exhaust fans) and controlled ventilation (intentional introduction of outside air) reduces the probability of mold growth in a building. Controlled ventilation can be provided by a duct that brings outside air to the return side of the air handler of a forced air system. A timing device or fan cycler can be programmed to have the air handler turn on for a specified number of minutes each hour even when there is no call for heating or cooling. In cold climates controlled ventilation is frequently provided by a heat recovery ventilato.

8) Do new building materials (e.g. drywall or paper faced gypsum board) promote mold growth?

Mold needs water, a nutrient source, oxygen and favorable temperature to grow. Many species of mold love paper faced gypsum board. Why? Making paper involves the mechanical and chemical processing of wood. Paper is largely pre-digested so it is easy for mold to get nutrients from the paper. But unless there is enough moisture present mold can’t grow on the paper. If paper faced gypsum board is kept dry, it can be used and still not have mold. This material is kept dry by controlling the interior relative humidity, keeping rain from entering roofs and walls, and NOT using paper faced gypsum in areas that are likely to get wet. This means no paper faced gypsum board in shower and tub areas. Cement board, mortar or non-paper faced gypsum can safely be used in these damp areas because these products do not contain nutrients to support mold growth.

9) Should I use bleach to get rid of mold?

No. Although bleach will kill and decolorize mold, it does not remove mold. Dead mold can still cause allergic reactions. It is not necessary to kill mold to remove mold. Soap and water and scrubbing can remove mold from hard surfaces. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York City Health Department agree that bleach or other biocides should not routinely be used to clean up mold.

10) How do I know when the mold clean up is finished?<

The mold cleanup is finished when there is no visible mold remaining and there is no dust or dirt remaining that could contain large amounts of mold and mold spores.Mold clearance testing can be very useful in determining the air quality levels . Remember that mold spores are virtually everywhere. Even if all mold and mold spores are removed as part of the cleanup, spores from outside will re-enter that space. The spores won’t be able to grow unless water is also present.

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