FAQ About Mold Testing And Mold Remediation
How do I know if I have a mold problem?
Mold appears as thread-like clusters of small, black, brown, green, or white dots. You might see them on the walls of your bathroom or basement. A musty odor is often associated with mold growth. If you’ve seen it or smelled it in your home, you might have a mold problem.
What if I suspect the presence of mold but cannot find it?
Signs of mold can be found in areas with previous water damage, plumbing leaks, standing water, or where there is a lot of humidity. Visible mold growth can sometimes be found behind walls or where water has damaged surfaces.
If I can’t see or smell mold, how will I know it’s there?
Severe mold problems are often easy to identify. Some mold, however, is hidden and cannot be easily detected by our senses. You may find some online mold test kits. Many of these aren’t worth the expense. Basic kits test for mold spores. This isn’t an accurate indicator of a mold problem, unless the mold count is extremely elevated.
The best test is a physical inspection, along with indoor air quality testing. However, it is generally best to use a licensed, reputable, insured mold removal specialist who will perform a full assessment of your property.
Is exposure to mold dangerous?
It is possible to inhale over a half million spores per minute without even knowing it. Mold allergy symptoms may include skin rash, runny nose, irritated eyes, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma.
If I’m not allergic, will mold still affect me?
This array of toxic byproducts has even been known to cause death in some of the most severe cases.
How much mold can make me sick?
The basic rule is, if you can see or smell it, take steps to eliminate the excess moistureand get it tested.
What symptoms do molds commonly cause?
Irritation: Exposure to mold can irritate the eyes, nose, and upper breathing passages. Symptoms include burning eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, and post-nasal drip.
Allergy: Many people become allergic to mold and develop hay fever or asthma symptoms. This includes itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, chest tightness, cough, and wheezing.
Toxins: Some molds create chemicals called mycotoxins that can cause illness. Much remains unknown about mold toxins. What we do know is that some molds effect the skin, the respiratory system, the immune system, and the nervous system.
Infection: Some molds can also cause infection, such as chronic sinus infections. Other types of mold-induced infection are much less common, and occur mainly among people with weakened immune systems. Examples of individuals with weakened immune systems include: those with HIV infection; those receiving chemotherapy; the elderly; children; and pregnant women.
Are some molds more hazardous than others?
Mycotoxins are not always produced. This depends on what the mold is growing on, temperature, pH, humidity, and other unknown factors. When mycotoxins are present, they occur in both living and dead mold spores and can be found in materials that have become contaminated with molds.
If I see mold, couldn’t I just treat it myself with an off-the-shelf spray?
Furthermore, such sprays or aerosols often contain harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients that could be harmful when ingested. The feeding ground of the mold spores must be identified in order to eliminate the source. Otherwise the problem will not be fully resolved.
The act of disturbing mold can increase the airborne spore level by ten-thousand times. This can result in severe illness and actually encourages mold growth if done improperly. Such high levels of airborne mold spores warrant protective clothing, including gloves, goggles, and a HEPA respirator.
If you suspect you have toxic mold in your home, consider hiring a professional mold remediation expert. They will be able to safely clean up the mold and dispose of it.
After I contact TCB EnviroCorp, how quickly can the initial mold inspection take place?
Before we begin treating your mold problem, we conduct a thorough evaluation. This includes locating the source of moisture that started the problem in the first place. Then we’ll discuss treatment options.
How much does mold remediation cost?
Is mold sampling necessary?
What are the advantages of tape-lift/swab surface sampling for mold?
Additionally, some types of mold grow much faster than other types. Slower-growers (like the black mold Stachybotrys) may be overgrown by molds that grow more rapidly. This can make those slow-growers difficult to find using the culture technique. The tape-lift/swab surface method enables all spores in the sample to be observed.
How are my mold samples analyzed?
We also use spore trap (non-culturable) air sampling in order to capture and quantify a broad spectrum of fungal spores present in the air. This allows us to determine if the levels present suggest a mold problem in your home.
How long does the mold remediation process take?
- Preparation (which includes containment) and installation of engineering controls can start immediately.
- Demolition and sanitizing can be completed in one to two days in many cases.
- After remediation work is completed, the air scrubber must run 24 to 48 hours.
So, in all, 1-2 days if the mold is under 10 square feet; 3-7 days if the mold is over 10 square feet.
What do I need to do to prepare for mold remediation?
Can we stay in the building or house during mold remediation?
Can my pets stay in the house during mold remediation?
Does the air scrubber need to stay on during the entire mold removal process?
How do I know the mold removal treatment worked?
Can you remove the appearance of mold from surfaces?
Can I paint over mold?
Before painting or caulking, remove the mold and dry the area completely. This should be done by a licensed mold removal specialist in order to prevent cross contamination.
After mold remediation, what should I do with mold damaged items?
Can air duct systems become contaminated with mold?
Should I have my ducts cleaned?
Tape-lift/swab surface samples should be taken from inside a supply vent or from the outside of a supply register. The results will indicate if the supply air from the ventilation system is contaminated with mold.
A good sample from the supply duct or register will have a visible deposit of dust. If there is too much dust, it will be difficult to see under the microscope. Do not run the heater or air conditioner if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold. Cleaning should be done by a mold licensed remediator.
Can ozone air cleaners improve/reduce odor or pollution levels?
Symptoms associated with exposure include cough and chest pain, as well as eye, nose and throat irritation. Ozone generators have been shown to increase indoor levels above the safe limit.
Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that ozone is ineffective at controlling molds and fungi, even at high concentrations far above safe health levels. Ozone can also damage materials in the home. For these reasons, the EPA strongly recommends that you do not use an ozone air cleaner in any occupied residential space.