What You Should Know About Mold
Molds can be found almost anywhere.
They are a naturally occurring part of our environment. There are thousands of types of molds all around us. They play a pivotal role in the outdoor environment breaking down dead organic materials and keeping the environment healthy and productive.
Molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, sheetrock, carpet and foods. Molds serve a valuable purpose in our lives. However, molds growing indoors can become hazardous and unhealthy.
When is Mold a problem?
Mold is a problem when it is indoors and whenever you can see it, smell it or have symptoms related to it.
In indoor environments, the presence of growing molds may cause unhealthy conditions for us and can lead to the decay and destruction of building materials. Molds reproduce by creating microscopic spores that can become airborne and enter our bodies through inhalation or ingestion. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures may include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
If mold spores come in contact with moist building materials (wood, sheetrock, etc.) or moist interior fixtures (carpeting, furniture, etc.), they can begin to grow and multiply. They then begin releasing spores into the air in large quantities. This is not a healthy environment for humans or animals.
There are many, many types of mold. Mold growing indoors is never healthy for us. However, some are more harmful than others. People in general have become very alarmed and afraid of the dreaded “black mold”.
We would like to tell you not all mold is “black mold”. There are many different types so don’t become unduly alarmed. However, indoor mold should be taken seriously. The longer it is present, the bigger the problem gets and the more expensive it is to correct. And, some indoor molds (even in small quantities) can be very serious. It can affect our home as well as our health.
What You Should Do About Mold
Don’t panic but take action. Do not become unduly alarmed. However, if and when you suspect you have a mold issue for any reason, or you or your family is experiencing mold related symptoms, or if you are purchasing a home (to identify possible health risks), you should:
Have a mold survey or inspection done by a Professional Mold Inspector.
A Mold Inspection is done to confirm whether there is a mold issue or not, identify what type of mold, to what extent and help identify the source of the moisture (if you don’t already know). In other words, do you have a problem? And, if so, how bad or serious is it?
The seriousness of the mold is determined by what type of mold it is and by how much there is. The longer it remains, the more serious it becomes. You cannot tell by looking what type of mold it is. A Professional Mold Inspector will take samples and submit those to a lab to determine exactly what type of mold it is so you know exactly how serious it is or is not and what action, if any, you need to take.
Once you determine the extent of the mold, depending upon what type and how bad the problem is, you may be able to rectify the problem yourself. If it is a serious type of mold or if it is a large problem, you will need to hire a professional mold remediator. However, no matter who does it, the same goals should be accomplished:
1) Eliminate sources of moisture. This is important because no type of mold can continue to grow without some type of moisture. There is often a leak or a lack of ventilation which increases humidity. So, whatever caused the problem in the first place must be identified and corrected. Remember, there is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control the moisture.
2) Clean up / Remove the mold. Any part of the home that has been affected must be cleaned up and dried out. It may be as simple as wiping it off or it could mean replacing sheetrock and insulation, cleaning or replacing carpet, etc. This is often the largest part of the cost of having a mold issue. Of course, the sooner the problem is identified and corrected, the easier and less expensive it will be to correct.
Additional Things to Do:
Humidity: To decrease mold growth, you may also want to reduce the indoor humidity in your home to 30-60%. You can do this by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing or cleaning.
Moisture? Whenever part of your home gets wet, be sure and clean and completely dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to help prevent mold growth. (This may mean drying out or removing sheetrock, carpet, furniture, etc).
Selling a Home? Some property owners fear the consequences of a mold inspection before a real estate transaction. This fear is unfounded since mold inspections have become a common practice.
A properly conducted mold investigation provides an honest, independent and objective assessment, which in the event a problem is found, allows the building owner to rectify the situation and provide a clean bill of health for the building prior to sale.
Buying a Home? A Professional Home Inspection is crucial to understanding any defects in a home. A Mold Inspection can also be done to ensure the air quality of a new environment as your family moves in. Your Home Inspector should be able to assist you in determining if a Mold Inspection should be done in addition to your standard Home Inspection. This may depend on what is seen during the standard home inspection or any specific health concerns you might have for your family.
Who You Should Call About Mold
Call a professional. Gibbs Residential Inspections can provide Professional Mold Inspections for you. We are trained, certified and knowledgeable about mold.
We are here to assist you in any way we can. We understand how serious a mold issue can be but we want to help you to minimize the worry and concern as you address this issue in your home. We are not here to alarm you but to educate you and help you in regard to your home and to mold.
If you call us for a mold inspection, we try to answer any questions you have. We come to your home at the appointed time, visually inspect the affected area and help to identify the source of any moisture. (This is critical to correcting the problem). If necessary, samples are taken to be sent to a professional lab. It will normally take 3-4 working days to get the results. However, expedited services are available. The results will then tell you what type of molds are present. This information will determine the next step of action you will need to take, if any.
Many times, if caught early, rectifying a mold problem can be simple. However, if left unchecked, mold can become serious, be difficult to repair and have serious consequences.
If the mold is serious enough to need professional remediation, we will refer you to qualified professionals that can assist you with an outside professional remediation plan. Don’t panic here. But, there are some molds (not all molds) that need to be professionally removed because they can be extremely harmful.
In addition to determining the type of mold and the extent of it, we will guide you through this process and will gladly answer any questions you have.
We are a Certified Professional Mold Inspection company. We are here to serve you with both the skill and knowledge you have come to expect from us. We are proud to serve you. Let us know if we can help you.