What’s all this talk about mold?
Molds serve a vital purpose in nature, they are the “BIO” in biodegradable. Outdoors, molds break down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves,trees, insects and animals. Unfortunately, mold growth can present health issues to certain individuals when found indoors. The EPA has reported that molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common, and can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
Is mold growing inside the home?
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye, and float through outdoor and indoor air. Thier presence is only visible to the unaided eyes when colonies grow. Mold begins growing indoors when mold spores land on suitable surfaces that provide adequate food and moisture. While there are many types of mold, none of them will grow without moisture, which is the key to thier control.
Often, buildings provide conditions conducive to mold growth when a moisture event occurs, whether it is due to a construction flaw or damage to the structure.
Should You Have Sampling for Mold Conducted?
Is sampling for mold necessary? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. In these cases your money is better spent on remediation. In addition, since no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other federal or New Jersey State limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal or state mold standards.
Surface or air sampling may be useful to determine if an area has active mold problems that are not visible . In these cases, sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have been trained in mold sampling protocols. For more information on indoor mold issues, check out the documents and resource websites found on the right side of this page, or call True Spec Home Inspections at 1.732.903.8002.
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