Most Frequently Asked Questions that we hear.
Q. Do I have mold?
The best way to identify a mold problem is by visual inspection and following odors.
Q. How do I tell if I have a mold problem?
Call for a free consultation.
- If mold (any type) can be seen or smelled, a mold problem exists! CALL NOW!
Q. How do I investigate on my own?
Though not recommended, you may check for visual signs and odors.
- Look for moisture or damage (leaks, standing water, water stains, condensation)
- Measure relative humidity at cold surfaces and within wall cavities
- Look for visible mold colonies (may appear cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery and have varied colors white, gray, brown, black, yellow, green or other)
- Use smell to locate sources of “musty” or “earthy” odors.
Q. Why is mold growing in my home?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Q. How do I get rid of mold?
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
Q. How do I prevent mold?
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing indoor mold growth. Rapid response to moisture problems is often critical.
Control indoor moisture:
- Fix plumbing leaks, drips or “sweating” pipes
- Limit sources of indoor humidity/dehumidify indoor air
- Improve air movement in poorly ventilated areas
- Increase fresh air ventilation when outdoor air is not humid
- Warm cold surfaces where condensation occurs
Control outdoor moisture:
- Maintain roof and gutter/downspout system
- Direct runoff away from foundation by grading, drain tile, landscaping, etc.
- Use air conditioning and keep building closed during high outdoor humidity
- Prevent leakage around windows, doors, flashing, etc.
- Waterproof foundation structure
Q. What causes mold?
Mold spores are everywhere, including the indoor environment. Under favorable conditions, spores germinate and mold colonies grow and multiply. Excess moisture is the underlying cause of indoor mold problems. The key to prevention and correction is moisture control.
Common moisture Sources Indoor:
- Cooking and dishwashing
- Plumbing leaks- toilet, reverse osmosis units, water softener, shower, clothes washer, dishwasher, a/c unit condensation drains
- House plants
- Firewood storage indoors
- Unvented clothes dryer/indoor clothes line
- Improper venting of combustion appliances
Common moisture Sources Outdoor:
- Rain or snow melt
- Seasonal high humidity
- Ground moisture
- Wet building materials
Q. How can molds affect your health?
The most common types of mold are generally not hazardous to healthy individuals. However, people who have asthma, hay fever, or other allergies or have weakened immune systems are more likely to react to mold. The most common symptoms are running nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma. A small percentage of the population can develop more serious effects — such as fevers and breathing difficulties — but these effects are uncommon. Some types of mold can cause more serious health problems, but this is much more rare.
Q. How can I be exposed to mold?
When moldy material becomes damaged or disturbed, spores (reproductive bodies similar to seeds) can be released into the air. Exposure can occur if people inhale the spores or directly handle mold-containing material and accidentally ingest it. Some molds can produce chemicals called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins may cause illness in persons who are sensitive to them (for example, persons who are prone to allergies) or when persons are exposed to large amounts in the air (typically associated with certain occupations).
Q. What should you do if mold is present in your home or apartment?
Although any visible mold can be tested by an environmental consultant and/or analyzed by a laboratory specializing in microbiology, these tests can be very expensive — from hundreds to thousands of dollars. There is no simple and cheap way to sample the air in your home to find out what types of mold are present and if they are airborne. As noted above, even if you had your home tested, it is difficult to say at what levels molds would cause health effects. Therefore, it is more important get rid of the mold rather than find out more about it. The most effective way to treat mold is to correct underlying water damage and clean the affected area.
Q. How should mold be cleaned?
Mold should be cleaned as soon as it appears. Persons cleaning mold should be free of symptoms and allergies and be professionally trained. Any underlying water problems must be fixed to successfully eliminate mold problems. If mold contamination is extensive, Contact Us
Q. Should we see a physician?
If you believe that you or your children have symptoms that you suspect are caused by exposure to mold, you should see a physician. Keep in mind that many symptoms associated with mold exposure may also be caused by many other illnesses. You should tell your physician about the symptoms and about when, how, and for how long you think you or your children were exposed.