Hermiller Home Inspections will test your home or structure for mold.
Molds are a natural part of the environment. Outdoors, molds play an important role by breaking down dead organic matter, such as fallen leaves, limbs and trees. Indoors, mold growth should be avoided.
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores. These spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through the air – both indoors and out. Mold may begin growing indoors when spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without moisture. Unlike plants, molds do not get their energy from the sun. In fact, our sun’s ultraviolet light inhibits mold growth. Just like their outdoor peers, indoor molds digest or “eat” the material on which they are growing. Some places where mold thrives in the home include carpet, paper, clothes, leather, drywall, ceiling tiles, wood, insulation and food.
“Mold” and “mildew” are both commonly used names for various species of fungi that frequently grow in the home and garden. Both terms refer to fungal growth, and are sometimes used interchangeably. For our purposes of eliminating harmful substances from your home, there is no real difference between mold and mildew. These fungi, which can appear as white-whitish, pink, green, grey or black growth, can stain and damage surfaces. They often smell musty, with an unappealing odor. The organisms thrive in dark, damp locations with poor air circulation. The best way to control them is to improve ventilation in mildew-prone areas and eliminate the consistent presence of moisture.
For most households, molds are not a problem. But they can be very common in unventilated outbuildings with no heat or cooling capacities. Mold spores need to land on a consistently wet or damp spots to begin growing.
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hayfever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Hermiller Home Inspections mold testing can tell you if you have a mold problem in your home or other structure. Mold tests can also help you find hidden mold, measure your indoor air quality and identify what species of mold is in your home.
The primary reasons Hermiller Home Inspections gets called in for a mold test:
Notice signs of mold such as a mold smell or mold symptoms
Identify the species of mold in a home
To help find where mold is growing
To test indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air
To test if mold in the home has been fully removed
One sign you could have mold is a musty smell. If you notice a moldy smell in your home there’s a good chance you could have mold hidden somewhere. Another sign that you could have mold is if you are suffering allergic symptoms. If there’s mold hidden in your home there will be mold spores in the air. When you breathe these spores in not only will you notice a moldy smell but your body will react with allergic reactions like sneezing, a runny nose or sore eyes.
Most people want to find out what kind of species of mold is growing in your home. This is important for toxic molds since extra caution needs to be taken to safely remove toxic mold from the home. Two of the most common toxic molds are Stachybotrys (often called toxic black mold) and Aspergillus.
Seeing mold which looks like a toxic species or suffering toxic symptoms means you should have any and all molds tested before you try to remove it. The only way to identify the species of a mold colony for certain is to have a mold professional look at a sample of it under the microscope.
Not only can mold testing tell you if you have a mold problem somewhere in your home, but it can also help you to find it. Mold often grows hidden away behind walls, in basements, window wells and other inconspicuous places. Mold tests can help narrow down the location of hidden mold by indicating the areas with the highest concentration of mold spores.
You can have mold testing done to tell you the amount of mold spores in the indoor air. Residents can suffer the symptoms of mold allergies even if there is no significant amount of mold growing in the home. This can be because of mold spores blowing into the home from outdoor mold or because there used to be mold growing in your home which left behind a build up of spores. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold. This could spread mold throughout the building.
By testing for mold you can tell if there is an unhealthy level of spores in your house and find out if any allergies you might have are from mold or something else.
Hermiller Home Inspections will document findings and prepare a damage report for insurance purposes. If mold is bad enough it may require an insurance claim to mitigate the problem. Sine the mold is generally spawned from a water issue, the claim may go beyond clean up to include repair. Hermiller Home Inspections is experienced at collecting and analyzing mold samples will always lead to the most accurate results.
Should you attempt to cleanup the mold yourself?
There are a number of factors to making the decision to cleaning the mold yourself or hiring a professional for mold remediation. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3-foot by 3-foot patch), that is not that bad of an issue. Most people can handle the job.
If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, Hermiller Home Inspections will offer you names of responsible, trust-worthy professionals who are used to the task of cleaning up mold. Any contractor Hermiller Home Inspections would recommend has experience cleaning up mold. These contractors follow the recommendations of the EPA, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
Mold testing can be useful again after you’ve had mold removed from your home. Through testing you can make sure that the mold removal was a success. Surface sampling can show whether an area has been properly cleaned of mold. Having air testing some time after the mold removal can also confirm that mold spores in your home’s air have been reduced to a safe level.
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