Why Check for Mold?
Mold is one of the worst enemies your home can have. Once growth begins, it can spread and grow on your clothes,
furniture, interior surfaces, carpets and sub floors, and many other places. Mold growth can also cause deterioration
of insulation, peeling paint, stains on the walls and ceilings and ruin the structural integrity of your home through fungal
growth and rot. Mold grows in areas with excess moisture, which can be caused by a variety of factors.
If not treated properly and in a timely manner,
it could lead to health problems. Causes of increased moisture in your home include:
Heating and cooling systems
Number of occupants
Roof, wall and window leaks/failures
Long-term exposure to sprinklers
If your home is not properly insulated, ventilated or a leak occurs, this causes moisture to build up and creates an ideal
environment for mold to live and grow. Slow leaks under sinks, behind refrigerators, in the walls and sub floors of bathrooms
and around water heaters are common and can go unnoticed for long periods of time, creating severe mold growth. While not
all molds are toxic, it can lead to musty odors, deterioration of your home and also aggravate people with allergies.
When to Inspect and Test?
Inspections can be preventative or needed when visible mold growth, health concerns and/or water leaks are present. Our certified inspectors have the skills and knowledge to identify any problem areas with a visual inspection and sampling of any potential mold growth. Samples are sent to our laboratory for analysis and a full report will be constructed based on the lab results, visual inspection notes, any recommendations and an estimate for remediation work in areas that have been found to have fungal contamination. Sampling includes Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as well as surface samples in our basic mold inspection package. Specific sampling can be done based on the situation at hand.
A mold inspection may include the following:
Professional visual inspection of the property or the area(s) of concern
Surface and/or air sampling for laboratory analysis
Other types of sampling (only if needed and approved)
Infrared thermal imaging
Mold Testing (Clearance Testing) Following fungal remediation, clearance testing/sampling is necessary to ensure that contaminants initially found in areas of concern have been removed and are at acceptable levels for occupants. Along with a visual assessment, surface and IAQ sampling are required to have complete clearance of an area(s) per industry standards. A certificate of clearance is issued in an area(s) that passes the clearance testing. This certificate is necessary to prove successful fungal remediation has been completed inside of existing containment areas and to document the area(s) remediated are safe for occupants to enter.
Commercial and residential buildings may develop moisture and dampness problems from roof and window leaks, high indoor humidity, and flooding events, among other things. AIHA define "dampness" as the presence of unwanted and excessive moisture in buildings. This can lead to the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria; the release of volatile organic compounds; and the breakdown of building materials. The term "mold" is for a group of fungi that are common on wet materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of molds and they can be any color. Different mold species can adapt to different moisture conditions. Research studies have shown that exposures to building dampness and mold have been associated with respiratory symptoms, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and respiratory infections. Individuals with asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be at risk for progression to more severe disease if the relationship between illness and exposure to the damp building is not recognized and exposures continue.
According to The World Health Organization:
"Sufficient epidemiological evidence is available from studies conducted in different countries and under different climatic conditions to show that the occupants of damp or mouldy buildings, both houses and public buildings, are at increased risk of respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections and exacerbation of asthma. Some evidence suggests increased risks of allergic rhinitis and asthma. Although few intervention studies were available, their results show that remediation of dampness can reduce adverse health outcomes.”
Literature suggests that it's not just fungi alone that might cause health effects in damp buildings, but other substances such as bacterial endotoxins, protozoa and dust mites.
Elite Environmental Services LLC team inspectors/assessors include Board Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant(s) through the ACAC and IICRC Mater Water Technician(s). Our company routinely conduct M&M assessments for residential and commercial properties which may include any of the following services:
- Thorough inspections and assessment
- Project monitoring and air testing
- Flood damage assessments
- Exposure assessments
- Mold remediation
- Post-remediation verification (clearance) inspections
- Evaluation of mold causes- moisture, humidity, and ventilation
- Hidden moisture and mold inspections
- Pre-home purchase inspections
Evaluation of other indoor environmental health hazards such as asbestos materials, lead hazards & infestations commonly associated with water damage.