A few words aboutMold: Mold spores are everywhere waiting for the right condition become active. When moisture content or humidity reaches 60% and temperature is between approx. 40º and 115º F, mold will grow. Colonies of mold will establish in 48 hours. When the moisture is blocked or dried up the mold will no longer grow.
Some molds produce toxic gases from the decaying mold. Most vulnerable to health problems from mold
People with respiratory conditions
Potential health problems from inhaled mold spores and VOCs
Central nervous system problems
Aches and pain
Nasal and sinus congestion
Watery and red eyes
Nose and throat irritation
Recurring cold and flu like symptoms
Damage to heart, liver, kidneys, other organs
Some common places to find mold are:
damp basements and crawl spaces
backed - up drains
plumbing leaks for more then 48 hours
Testing for Mold Is Testing for Mold needed? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have
been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a
building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may
be useful to
determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.
What to look for Mold
may be easily found or may be completely hidden. Mold can often be
smelled even when not seen. The musty, smell associated with damp
basements comes from mold growth. If you think you smell mold (mildew),
you probably do.
The most dangerous and damaging mold infestations have been from growth inside walls.
trapped in walls during construction or seeped in after installation.
The moisture could not escape and hidden mold developed. Children died
in these homes. Families lost all their belongings. Furniture, clothes,
books, photo albums and other valued possessions have become so toxic
they had to be abandoned along with the home itself.
grows in places you would normally find water penetration or damage.
The first place to look is the grading around the foundation. If water
drains toward the house, inspect inside and out where the water ponds
near the foundation.
Look for water stains on the walls and
floors. This is usually from clogged or broken footer drains, bad
grading and gutters problems.
Inside the house, the basement is
the most likely place for mold. If you smell the unpleasant odors
associated with basements, it’s probably sewer gas or mold. Pour water
in floor drains and run faucets to fill drain traps. If the odor
remains it is probably mold. If you found places where water drained
toward the house or cascaded down the siding, look in this area in the
basement. Water stains on walls, floor or around expansion joints at
the outer edges of the floor merit closer examination. Sump pump areas
and backed-up drains are also good potential spots for mold.
Humidifiers, furnace ducts are common places for mold growth
Examine all exposed plumbing for leaks. Any place that’s wet for more than 48 hours at a time probably has mold.
Wet basement will develop many problems. When your basement leaks or
floods, everything in your basement is exposed to damage, furnace, hot
water tanks, drywall, paneling, carpets, cardboard boxes (with your
treasures in them), furniture, clothing, washer /dryer, wooden floors
even your sub flooring can start to rot. Mold starts to grow and
releases spores into the air. Even dust mites like this damp
environment. These mold spores, gases and smells may travel through the
house rising in the air and from furnace duct work.
These signs are a red flag for home buyers - sellers - and home owners alike.
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