Mold is a fungus that grows on moisture. When the mold spores land on a moist surface, they can turn into dangerously powerful (depending on what kind) and release alarming chemicals such as mycotoxins which are potent toxins.
Mold inspections are important because certain types of molds can be harmful to the health of you and your family.
Air testing is performed to determine whether there is hidden mold in the house. Mold spores float around in the air until they find an area conductive to growth. If the surface is moist, mold spores can take hold and grow.
The mold typically develops in dark, moist places, slowly spreading over time. It can be some time before you notice the presence of mold, especially if it is forming in areas such as the attic, basement, or within the walls.
As the mold spreads, it can cause damage to whatever surface it is growing on. If the mold has been in the home undetected or untreated for some time, it can cause larger issues.’
There are several types of devices used to collect air samples that can be analyzed for mold.
Some of the most common are:
• Impactions samplers that use a calibrated air pump to impact spores onto a prepared microscope slide.
• Cassette samplers, which may be of the disposable or one-time-use type, and employ forced air to impact spores onto a collection media; and,
• Airborne-particle collectors that trap spores directly on a culture dish. This may be utilized to identify the species of mold that has been found.
All samples will be sent to specialized labs. Results could take up to two business days.
• MOISTURE CONTROL IS KEY
• Keep the building clean and dry. Dry wet or damp areas within 48 hours.
• Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
• Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix the sources of moisture problems as soon as possible.
• Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks and increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
• Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
• Vent moisture generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60 percent relative humidity (RH), ideally 30 percent to 50 percent, if possible.
• Perform regular building and HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
• Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
• If you are not experienced with home/building repairs you may want to consult a professional when making repairs, or for assistance with mold-prevention-related changes to your home/building.