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Evaluating Fungal Growths In Your Home

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Finding & Testing Mold

Home Inspector Checking a Garage Ceiling

Mold is everywhere. It is an essential part of our existence. You are inhaling mold at this exact moment. The important thing for me to know is if the mold levels are elevated and if the mold is harmful.

Mold is a very common issue in many households. This is especially true in older homes, crawlspaces, and homes that have been vacant for a while, but it can be found anywhere, including in newly constructed homes. Many forms of mold are not harmful to humans (such as blue cheese, penicillin (which is made from mold), etc.), but some harmful molds can be unhealthy in a home. It does not matter if the occupants have a compromised immune system or are perfectly healthy; these growths can cause a variety of health-related issues, including asthma.

It is critical that you know if the mold levels in your home are elevated. This is why If Walls Could Talk Home Inspection, Inc. offers mold inspection and mold sampling services.

Ensuring You Get Accurate Information

It is important to know that I am not a mold expert. While there is a lot of misinformation out there about molds and their associated health risks, I strive to be as accurate as possible when providing information about what is happening in your home.

What to Expect During Your Home Inspection

Although I am no mold expert, I have been trained by experts to identify conditions that promote mold growth, and I will look for a variety of factors. The first and most important contributing factor I will look for is moisture. Mold cannot grow without moisture, and it can come in many forms, such as water leaks, moisture vapor, and humidity. I have the training, knowledge, and tools to look for moisture in all its forms.

If I find a fungal growth during your home inspection, I can collect a mold sampling at an additional cost if you choose. Once I collect the samples, I overnight them to a trusted laboratory. The lab usually returns the results on the same day (Monday through Friday). This will determine the species of the molds, and if an air sampling is completed, it will determine the concentration levels. The lab will also tell you any potential health concerns.

Under most circumstances, most mold problems can be corrected by remediation.

Resources & Guidance

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

  1. Allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints are common symptoms associated with high mold exposure levels.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in an indoor environment, but the best way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture in the environment.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. To ensure that mold does not return, it is important to fix the water/moisture problem's source.
  5. Some easy ways to reduce indoor humidity and therefore mold growth include venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and dehumidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning.
  6. All damp or wet building materials and furnishings should be dried and cleaned or removed within 24 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. To clean hard surfaces, use water and detergent. Then, ensure that it is completely dry. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles may need to be replaced.
  8. Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. Do not install carpeting in areas with a perpetual moisture problem (i.e., by drinking fountains, sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere. They can grow on virtually any substance where moisture is present.

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, & Your Home

The EPA publication, "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home," provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.

Read the EPA Publication

Biological Pollutants' Impact on Indoor Air Quality

"Biological Pollutants' Impact on Indoor Air Quality" explains indoor biological pollution, health effects of biological pollutants, and how to control their growth and buildup. One-third to one-half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants, such as molds and bacteria. This document describes corrective measures to help achieve moisture control and cleanliness.

Read The Article on Biological Pollutants

Additional Hints for Preventing Moisture & Mold

If you have a crawl space that has a dirt floor, place a plastic cover over it to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Crawl spaces should also be well ventilated.

Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.

Pay special attention to the carpet that is laid on top of concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. In certain climates, if the carpet is to be installed over a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the concrete to cover the sub-flooring to prevent a moisture problem.

Additional Resources About Mold & Its Impact

If you spot mold in your home, call me immediately at (404) 786-3794 for a free quote.

Helping You Understand Your Mold Situation

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