Mold Facts and Why Testing is Important
What Makes Mold Grow?
Mold only needs a few things to grow and become a very big problem:
- Nutrients (aka food)
- Optimal place to grow
- Moisture – any kind
Mold Testing, Why?
-You notice a mold smell “wet sock or musty”, mold is visual, or someone is showing negative health
symptoms that could be related to mold exposure
-You have a leak, burst pipe or your home was flooded and experienced water damage
-To identify the species of mold in your home
-To help you find where mold is growing – the likely or unlikely places
-To test indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air
-To test if previous mold problems have been fully removed
Many common building materials, such as wood, drywall, and the like, provide the ideal ‘food’ that can support mold growth! Even the smallest of dust particles that have settled on these materials or furniture can be a food source for these pesky molds. They can grow almost anywhere there is enough moisture or high humidity.
The EPA states from there website the following:
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
- Venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
Air Quality Testing – Why is it important?
Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home’s air. Samples are taken from the air and are then examined under a microscope by a qualified lab to analyze the results for accuracy. Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot see or find any evidence that it exists.
At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. Contact us today for your free consultation.