The term mold is the non-technical name that refers to any growing fungus. This includes fungi such as mushrooms and yeasts. When present in clothing, it is often times referred to as mildew.
The answer should only be remediation. It is a conflict of interest to do both and illegal in some states to perform the inspection and remediation on the same project.
Mold can be found in several places in the home environment. It appears most often in moist or wet areas. A musty odor may also be present. Mold begins to grow indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet or damp. Mold will not grow without water or moisture. Therefore, it is important to dry out wet or moist areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Some examples of places where mold can be found inside the home include: – Basements, kitchens (bottom of fridge), around bathroom vanities, washer/dryer area. – The underside of carpets and pads. – The surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms) – Ceilings and the top side of ceiling tiles.
When moisture problems or water damage occur mold can grow within 24 – 48 hours. Since molds can digest most things, water is the factor that limits mold growth. Molds will often grow in damp or wet areas indoors.
Mold requires moisture or water and a substrate or surface to grow on. High humidity, typically more then 60% may also provide an ample source of moisture for mold growth. Substrates such as wood, wallboard, ceiling tiles, carpet, wallpaper, paneling and leather items are favorite breeding grounds. Basically any cellulose or porous material will do.
Mold has the potential to cause symptoms of exposure to mold and even make a home uninhabitable. However, everyone is affected differently when in contact with mold. The mold that may not bother the seller may severely affect the buyer. Some mold can produce allergens. Irritants and in some cases, potentially toxic chemical substances are known as mycotoxins. People who are sensitive to and exposed to mycotoxins can become ill. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. People diagnosed with allergies and asthma may be very sensitive to mold. Mold can cause asthma attacks. Others at risk may include; infants, children, the elderly, immune compromised patients, pregnant women and individuals with existing respiratory conditions. With exposure even in small amounts mold may cause: sinus infections, asthma, skin rash, chronic fatigue, respiratory problems, headaches & nose & throat irritation.
Mold can look white, gray, black, brown, yellow or greenish. Mold colonies may appear cottony, velvety, granular, leathery and glassy.
It is impossible to completely eliminate all mold spores indoors. Mold will always be found floating in the air and in house dust. Indoor mold growth can be prevented by controlling water and moisture in indoors.
Due to the growing concerns of mold in the home and the affects on health, Mold inspections are becoming a common practice. You should not buy a home or live in a home with mold. A mold inspection is your first line of defense!
A general mold inspection begins with a visual inspection of a home to determine if you have mold or the potential for mold growth in the future.Mold inspections can include the following: – Evaluate existing mold in the home. – Investigate environmental conditions causing mold to grow. – Identify moisture intrusion for mold. – Identify problem areas of possible mold intrusion/contamination. – Provide digital photos of problem areas. Provide report to include the following; areas inspected, findings, lab results, potential and problem areas, assessment of existing mold, general recommendations and preventative maintenance.
Through the course of the inspection the Inspector will offer their observations of suspected problem areas or potential problem areas which may suggest that further laboratory analysis is needed. This may range from sampling the air to surface sampling the suspected fungi. If samples are taken they are sent to a microbiology lab for analysis. Depending on the sample taken, normal turn around times are from 48 – 72 hours.
It is important to work with a company who understands the types of testing performed. You want them to at least have a general knowledge of the testing type.
Understanding the homeowners' needs is so important. Working with this clientele type requires a different degree of remediation.
At a minimum, you want to make sure they have Certified Mold Remediation Managers on staff that oversee the project day by day and are onsite with the workers making sure the work is getting done properly.
The company should require a remediation plan from a separate company, this should always be provided by the assessment company who performed the inspection and testing. Additionally, post-testing should always be performed by the initial inspector and be used to guarantee the remediation performed. If the work is failed by the inspector, there should be no added cost to the homeowner for the remediation company to come back and do work needed to finish the job, as long as the work falls within the original remediation plan provided. - Side note, post inspections should include both a visual inspection, moisture mapping, and testing. The testing protocols should mirror the samples collected during the initial inspection. A visual post inspection only is not acceptable!
This is a very thorough cleaning procedure performed after the remediation of the source areas that involves a full home wipe down and cleaning.
Should be yes, it's important there is a collaboration between all parties involved. They should have an all hands on deck approach.