ALL ABOUT MOLD
Molds are found everywhere in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Some studies claim that exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases, death. Prolonged exposure, such as daily home or office exposure, may be particularly harmful. Research on the health impacts of mold has not been conclusive. The term “toxic mold” refers to molds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys, and not to all molds in general.
Mold in the home can usually be found in damp, dark or steamy areas, e.g. bathrooms, kitchens, cluttered storage areas, recently flooded areas, basement areas, plumbing spaces, areas with poor ventilation and outdoors in humid environments. Symptoms caused by mold allergy are: watery, itchy eyes; a chronic cough; headaches or migraines; difficulty breathing; rashes; tiredness; sinus problems; nasal blockage and frequent sneezing.
Mold basically needs three things to survive: mold spores (for reproduction), organic material (for food), and moisture (for water). Without any of those three things mold simply cannot live.
Mold Spores are prevalent everywhere outside. Every time you open a door or a window, mold spores enter your living area. We can install filters to catch them but you’ll never get them all, so that isn’t a viable option.
Mold eats almost anything. The wood your house is constructed from, any wallpaper, drywall, and some paints all provide mold with everything it needs to live. And we can’t really eliminate those things from our home.
Moisture is the most important factor because it is the one we can control. Mold needs around 60% or better humidity to thrive; the EPA recommends we keep our living spaces between 30% and 50%. The lower this number the better; we recommend a range of 30% to 40%.
Some of the common indicators of non-toxic mold allergies include cold and flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, itchy and red eyes, stuffy or runny nose, etc. Toxic mold sickness symptoms include seizures, swelling or bleeding of the lungs, irregular heartbeat, bleeding in brain and other organs, jaundice, immunosuppression, coma, and death. It is important to remember that not everyone is affected by mold in the same way. Take any complaints of mold sickness symptoms seriously and act on them immediately, even if you are not having any symptoms.
The first step in a remediation program is inspection and identification. A mold problem generally indicates a moisture problem, so our primary function is to identify the source of the moisture.
If there’s a plumbing leak we’ll find the source and get it fixed immediately. If the humidity is just too high inside the building due to outdoor weather circumstances, we’ll recommend a permanent installation of a dehumidifier.
These things need to be addressed before the remediation takes place – otherwise the mold will just grow back.
Our Certified Mold Inspector will explain the situation to you and offer some solutions.
Our remediation process as a Certified Mold Remediation Contractor is in strict accordance with ANSI/IICRC S520.
We begin by removing any materials that cannot be cleaned (drywall, carpet, anything porous).
Physical removal of mold from semi-porous materials (studs, joists, staircases) is performed via scraping, sanding or scrubbing.
After the area is properly dried, we spray stain remover and anti-microbial chemicals on the affected areas to prevent future mold growth.
We then dry the area again to ensure there is no moisture to allow further mold propagation.
Check your homeowner’s insurance policy – we regularly work with insurance carriers to get your property mold-free with little to no out-of-pocket expense!