Mold Inspections & Testing
Are you concerned about the presence of mold growth within your home due to water leaks and water intrusion? Unfortunately water leaks and water intrusion can happen to any home. Some damages are very obvious to the home owner however, due to the nature of todays building materials, most leaks or water intrusion can go undetected for years which, if left untreated, can lead to mold growth and cause severe health concerns or even death, along with structural damage within your family home. Have a mold inspection conducted to address the water intrusion and avoid the health issues and side effects caused by mold and prevent any further damage in the future.
I am trained, certified and experienced at collecting mold samples for laboratory analysis to determine the level and type of mold present. Let me ensure your home and families health are sound by conducting a mold inspection and testing for you. During a mold inspection you will receive a full visual examination of your home and be made aware of any areas of apparent mold, water intrusion or areas at risk for future water intrusion. I am here to provide my expertise so that you can breathe easy in a healthy mold-free home, while also preventing any further structural and aesthetic damage in your home/building caused by mold growth and water intrusion.
WHAT IS MOLD?
Mold Is Fungi
Molds are organisms that are found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural environment and play an important role in our ecological system by breaking down and digesting organic material. Molds are neither plants nor animals. They are part of the kingdom Fungi.
The diagram above demonstrates the role of fungi in relation to other living organisms. Fungi are not plants. Fungi are not animals. Fungi belong to a taxonomic classification, or kingdom, of their own. Plants convert carbon dioxide directly into carbohydrates for food. Animals and fungi must find complex carbon in the environment for food. While animals ingest the food and degrade it internally, fungi excrete chemicals (enzymes) into the environment that degrade the complex carbon into a soluble form.
Fungi do not make their own food the way that green plants do. Fungi get nourishment from other living organisms. The main role of fungi in the ecosystem is to break down dead materials, such as fallen leaves, trees, insects and animal carcasses. The same enzymes that assist fungi in breaking down dead materials are what help fungi to damage wooden components in a building. Molds can damage food, stored goods, and building materials of houses.
Yeast, mold, mildew and mushrooms are common forms of fungi. Mold is essentially a description of fungi that grows on surfaces, such as the black substance on a moldy shower wall. Mold and mildew often refer to the same type of fungi. All mold is fungi, but not all fungi is mold.
Molds grow in many colors, including white. “Black mold” is not a species or specific kind of mold, and neither is “toxic mold.” Sometimes the news media use the terms “toxic mold” and “black mold” to refer to molds that may produce mycotoxins, or for a specific mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum. Molds that produce mycotoxins are often referred to as toxigenic fungi.
Molds can multiply by producing microscopic spores (2 to 100 microns [μm] in diameter), similar
to the seeds produced by plants. Many spores are so small, they easily float through the air and can be carried for great distances by even the gentlest breeze. The number of mold spores suspended in indoor and outdoor air fluctuates from season to season, day to day, and even hour to hour.
No one knows how many species of fungi exist, but estimates range from the tens of thousands to perhaps 300,000 or more. Some of the more common indoor molds are Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Alternaria.
Mold Is Everywhere
Mold spores are ubiquitous; they are found both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated from indoor environments. Some mold spores will be found floating through the air and on settled dust; however, they will not grow if moisture is not present.
Why Be Concerned?
Mold is not usually a problem indoors—unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. As molds grow, they digest whatever they are growing on. Unchecked mold growth can cause several health problems, damage buildings and furnishings; molds can rot wood, damage drywall, and eventually cause structural damage to buildings. Mold can cause cosmetic damage, such as stains, to furnishings.
Discovering fungi in the indoor environment raises three major concerns:
the potential negative health effects of exposure to fungi and their byproducts;
the effects of fungal contamination on the structural integrity of a building; and
the negative aesthetic effects fungi can produce both visually and on the human olfactory system.
Some common types of dangerous molds are:
Stachybotrys are the most dangerous and their symptoms include:
nasal and sinus congestion
central nervous system issues
aches and pains
Stachybotrys mold has been linked to hay fever, liver damage, pulmonary edema, and in the most severe cases, brain or nerve damage and even death. Infants and the elderly are particularly susceptible to Stachybotrys and can become very ill when they are exposed to Stachybotrys and in worse case even death.
Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Penicillium:
Are not as dangerous as Stachybotrys but still have the potential to cause allergic reactions, hay fever, nail fungus, asthma, and also infections of the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Fusarium has been linked to gastrointestinal illnesses and even complications to the female reproductive system. Chronic cases of Cladosporium may produce pulmonary edema and emphysema.
Aspergillus is the least toxic of the mold groups and has over 160 subspecies of which only 16 effect humans and they can all be treated by a doctor.