Many people call us a little frantic. It starts with a concern about mold and after searching on the internet, the concerns tend to get more intense. Here at EcoPure, we like to take a different approach so you can feel more confident to understand your situation and your choices so you can make informed decisions and take the most appropriate action.
Let’s start with understanding about mold.
Did you know…Molds are not plants or animals, they are organisms found in the kingdom Fungi, like mushrooms and yeast. They have an important role in the environment by breaking down organic material, such as dead leaves.
Did you know… molds are found both indoors and outdoors.
Did you know… Molds multiply by producing microscopic spores about 2 – 100 microns [μm] in diameter. A micron is about .000039 of an inch, which is really small! Because spores are so small they easily float through the air and can be carried for great distances by even the gentlest breezes. The number of mold spores suspended in the air fluctuates seasonally, daily, and even hourly.
Did you know… Mold spores cannot be completely eliminated from indoor environments. Normally, some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in settled dust and not usually a problem as the spores will not grow if moisture is not present.
Did you know… If mold spores land on a wet or damp spot, they can begin growing. As molds grow they digest whatever they are growing on. Mold growth can damage buildings and furnishings; molds can rot wood, damage drywall, and eventually cause structural damage to buildings. Mold can also cause cosmetic damage, such as stains, to furnishings.
Did you know… To grow indoors, mold needs moisture and food. Moisture is the most important factor influencing mold growth indoors and mold needs very little of it. Condensation is enough moisture for mold to grow. Moisture control is the key to mold control.
Did you know… Common sites for indoor mold growth include bathroom tile and grout, basement walls, and areas around windows, near leaky water fountains, and around sinks. Common sources of water or moisture include roof leaks, condensation due to high humidity or cold spots in a building, slow leaks in plumbing fixtures, humidification systems, sprinkler systems, and floods.
Did you know… Besides moisture, mold needs nutrients, or food, to grow. Mold can grow on virtually any organic substance. Most buildings are full of organic materials that mold can use as food, including paper, cloth, wood, plant material, and even soil. In most cases, temperature is not an issue; some molds grow in warm areas, while others prefer cool locations such as bread stored in a refrigerator. Often, more than one type of mold can be found growing in the same area, although conditions such as moisture, light, and temperature may favor one species of mold over another.
Did you know… In addition to the structural and cosmetic damage, mold can also impact human health. Health effects of mold spores include:
Did you know… mold can cause other health issues.
Breathing in mold may also cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an uncommon disease that resembles bacterial pneumonia. In addition, mold exposure may result in opportunistic infections in persons whose immune systems are weakened or suppressed.
When mold grows indoors, the occupants of a building may begin to report odors and a variety of symptoms including headaches, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravated asthma symptoms.
It is important to note all of these symptoms could be caused by other exposures or conditions unrelated to mold growth. Therefore, it is important not to assume that, whenever any of these symptoms occurs, mold is the cause.
Did you know… Health effects of mycotoxins- As molds grow, some (but not all) of them can produce potentially toxic byproducts called mycotoxins under some conditions. Some of these molds are commonly found in moisture-damaged buildings. More than 200 mycotoxins from common molds have been identified, and many more remain to be identified. The amount and types of mycotoxins produced by a particular mold depends on many environmental and genetic factors. No one can tell whether a mold is producing mycotoxins just by looking at it. Some mycotoxins are known to affect people, but for many mycotoxins little health information is available. Research on mycotoxins is ongoing. Exposure to mycotoxins can occur from inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. It is prudent to avoid unnecessary inhalation exposure to mold.
Typically, mold is found with eyes and noses. Musty smells and visible growth are the most common ways of finding mold. Molds grow in all shapes, sizes, colors and figurations, so it may be hard to tell if something is actually mold. Mold can be confused with dirt, efflorescence, soot, and other substances. Even a trained mold professional can’t always determine if the substance is actually mold. However, a trained professional by a thorough inspection will know if the conditions are favorable and determine if there is a need to test the substance.
Hidden mold-there are times when mold is growing where it cannot be seen. A trained professional will use tools such as a moisture meter and/or infrared technology to determine if there is a moisture issue. If there is a moisture issue found, regardless if there is mold present, the issue will need corrected to prevent mold. There are other ways and tests trained professionals can use to look for signs of hidden mold.
Have an inspection-the most effective first step in addressing a possible mold issue.
Mold Testing is not recommended as the first course of action for mold. In fact, the US EPA states that testing is often not necessary when there is visible mold present.
According to the US EPA
Cleaning up mold includes identifying the source of moisture in the structure and preventing the moisture from reoccurring. If this is not done, mold will return.
For more information, please visit the EPA website. https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home
EcoPure does not provide mold remediation services; we provide consulting services for remediation which can include:
Mold remediation protocol writing
Mold remediation service provider selection
Mold remediation oversight
Post mold remediation testing