MOLD - INSPECTION, SAMPLING, TESTING & REPORTING
It is critical to pay attention to Mold as it pertains to Indoor Air Quality. Statistics indicate that Canadian residents spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, increasing exposure to a wide array of indoor air pollutants and MOLD was found to be HIGH on that list. Inspecting, Sampling and Testing for MOLD is Critical when determining what is causing sickness or your POOR Air Quality. Since there has been so much media hype surrounding MOLD, prospective residential and commercial buyers want a building that has been MOLD Inspected. Mold sampling has become a standard practice during Home and commercial Inspections. You should not buy a home or building with mold, sell a home or building with mold or live in a home or work in a building with mold. A MOLD Investigation is your First Line of Defense!
To find out if mold is a problem in your home or business, you must have a Mold inspection conducted by a Certified MOLD Inspector have samples taken and tested. Assure has Certified Inspectors!
A Visual Inspection
A visual inspection is the initial step in identifying possible contamination problems. It will identify any visible water leaks or mold stains on ceilings, walls, floors or under counters. The air conditioning and heating system, the attic and crawl spaces under homes will receive a visual inspection as well. The use of equipment, such as a borescope, to view the spaces in the ductwork or behind walls, and moisture meters are used to help identify hidden sources of mold growth in the extent of the water damage. Mold sampling will be recommended if there is any noticeable mold growth, musty odors, visible water damage or stains, poorly maintained HVAC systems or construction defects. By combining a visual inspection with air, tape or swab sampling, the inspector can help identify the hidden source of mold, allergens and indoor pollutants and the extent of any acute or chronic water or moisture damage.
The purpose of air sampling is to determine the type and amount of Airborne contamination in a building. Air sampling may be necessary if the presence of mold, allergens or toxins is suspected (e.g.: musty odors, allergies) but cannot be identified by a visual inspection. When air sampling is performed, both the outdoor air and the indoor air are sampled, so the results can be compared to see if a problem exists. Typically, the outdoor sample is taken while the heating and or air conditioning unit is operating; this will ensure the indoor air is effectively tested.
Safe & Easy, Reliable Results, Detects Toxic MOLD! CALL ASSURE PROPERTY SOLUTIONS INC.
Tape/Swab Samples are usually collected from visible moldy surfaces by wiping the area with a sterile swab. This type of sampling is
used to identify specific mold types.
Recommendations and Laboratory Results
Once the home or commercial building has a visual inspection completed and the mold evaluated, action can be taken to clean it up and prevent future contamination. Based upon site evaluations and sample lab analysis results, your inspector can provide a detailed written report that can be used for disclosure and references. In all situations, if mold exists, the underlying cause of the water damage must be corrected.
Mold… Literally is a Growing Concern.
National media attention has alerted the publics perception to the destructive and possibly toxic dangers of hidden mold spores that could affect their family’s health and their homes. EPA studies indicate that air levels of indoor pollutants may be two to three times higher than outdoor levels. Mold, the most dangerous offender of all, often goes undetected because of its invisibility. Most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors and are not aware of the health hazards created by this pollutant. You owe it to yourself to minimize your exposure to mold spores in the indoor environment.
Test for MOLD today! YOUR HEALTH is Worth it!
How Can Someone Be Exposed To MOLD?
There are several ways you can become exposed to mold:
✔ Breathing in the spores from the air
✔ Skin contact from handling an item that has mold growing on it
✔ Eating without properly washing your hands after handling moldy objects.
How Can I Reduce or Eliminate MOLD Inside My House?
It is impossible to eliminate all mold and 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 indoors. The following may prevent or reduce indoor mold growth:
1. Repair any water leaks
2. Provide good air circulation
3. All HVAC systems should have a good electrostatic filter on the return
4. Use bathroom, kitchen and laundry room exhaust fans
5. Insulate and ventilate attic and crawl space areas
6. Clean, dry or remove items that are damaged by water immediately.
NOT ALL Real Estate Deals Need to be Broken!
If the home or commercial property you are thinking about purchasing has mold, do not panic! Remediation is an option. Work with the current owner and have the MOLD removed from the home or commercial building and bring it back to the original condition prior to purchasing. Or have a remediation company provide you with an estimate to remediate the mold issue and request for the remediation expenses to be deducted from the purchase price. You and the buyer have options.
Note: If there is mold growth in your home or building, YOU MUST FIX THE WATER POROBLEM AND CLEAN UP THE MOLD!!! If you clean the mold, but do not fix the water problem, the mold will grow back
Introduction to Molds
Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. Assure Property Solutions Inc. offers Mold Investigation, Sampling, Testing and Reporting.
Basic Mold Cleanup
The key to mold control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, and depending upon the type of mold present, you may be able to clean up the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced. Assure Property Solutions Inc. Always recommends the use of de-humidifier(s) and Ozone Generators. De-humidifiers remove moisture from everything. That is why professional remediation companies swear by them. Ozone generator are known to kill mold, fungi and bacteria when raise to high levels. Assure provides Ozone generator services.
Ten Things You Should Know About MOLD
1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
3. If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
Asthma and MOLD
Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to molds.
Health and MOLD
How do molds affect people?
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
EPA’s publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals, assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office. Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome.
“A major concern associated with exposure to biological pollutants is allergic reactions, which range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, conjunctival inflammation, and urticaria to asthma. Notable triggers for these diseases are allergens derived from house dust mites; other arthropods, including cockroaches; pets (cats, dogs, birds, rodents); molds; and protein-containing furnishings, including feathers, kapok, etc. In occupational settings, more unusual allergens (e.g., bacterial enzymes, algae) have caused asthma epidemics. Probably most proteins of non-human origin can cause asthma in a subset of any appropriately exposed population.”
Homes and MOLDS
Biological Pollutants in Your Home – One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions — including asthma — and spread infectious diseases. Corrective measures for achieving moisture control and cleanliness can aide in preventing mold from growing in your home.
Moisture control is the key to Mold control!
Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture that the air in your home can hold depends on the temperature of the air. As the temperature goes down, the air is able to hold less moisture. This is why, in cold weather, moisture condenses on cold surfaces (for example, drops of water form on the inside of a window). This moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow.
There are Many Ways to Control Moisture in Your Home
✔ Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing. (The ground should slope away from the house.) Water in the basement can result from the lack of gutters or a water flow toward the house. Water leaks in pipes or around tubs and sinks can provide a place for biological pollutants to grow.
✔ Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well-ventilated.
✔ Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside (not into the attic). Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
✔ Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
✔ Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air, but be sure that the appliances themselves don’t become sources of biological pollutants.
✔ Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Use insulation or storm windows. (A storm window installed on the inside works better than one installed on the outside.) Open doors between rooms (especially doors to closets which may be colder than the rooms) to increase circulation. Circulation carries heat to the cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners to promote air and heat circulation. Be sure that your house has a source of fresh air and can expel excessive moisture from the home.
✔ Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In certain climates, if carpet is to be installed over a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the concrete and cover that with sub-flooring (insulation covered with plywood) to prevent a moisture problem.
✔ Moisture problems and their solutions differ from one climate to another. The Northeast is cold and wet; the Southwest is hot and dry; the South is hot and wet; and the Western Mountain states are cold and dry. All of these regions can have moisture problems. For example, evaporative coolers used in the Southwest can encourage the growth of biological pollutants. In other hot regions, the use of air conditioners which cool the air too quickly may prevent the air conditioners from running long enough to remove excess moisture from the air. The types of construction and weatherization for the different climates can lead to different problems and solutions.
Humidifiers are not recommended for use in buildings without proper vapor barriers because of potential damage from moisture buildup. Consult a building contractor to determine the adequacy of the vapor barrier in your house. Use a humidity indicator to measure the relative humidity in your house. The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends these maximum indoor humidity levels.
Outdoor Recommended - Indoor Temperature
What should humidity level be in house in winter Canada?
Between 30% and 55%
Health Canada recommends that you aim to keep your home's humidity levels between 30% and 55%. This ideal level of moisture will help your home feel warmer in the winter without having to turn up the thermostat.
Reference: Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (www.aham.org ).
You Should Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned If:
There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
1. Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
2. You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and most times requires a laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $150, some microbiology laboratories
can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
3. If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
4. If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
All items contained above are for reference only and have been compiled from
numerous sources. It is Always Recommended that a Certified Mold
Remediation Specialists or other Qualified Health Personnel Be Consulted for
Advice Anytime Mold is a Concern.
Tip: To be sure whether your family is exposed to airborne toxic mold spores or not, we recommend taking a minimum of 3 air samples. One from the outside (control sample) and 2 from indoors (for example living room and one of the bedrooms).
Caution! Please do not disturb any type of mold growth without proper protection. Disturbing mold releases spores into the air, which can make you sick.
Fact: Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome - The term “Sick Building Syndrome” was first coined by the World Health Organization in the 1980s and it is believed that it is caused by poor air quality that is likely caused by water damage.
Fact: Testing the air quality for mold in your home means you can have the peace of mind of knowing without a doubt whether that mold could be making you or your loved ones sick.
Fact: Mold is a type of fungus that grows in buildings and outdoors, especially on surfaces and food. Molds have a fuzzy appearance and can be white, orange, green or black.
Fact: Spraying bleach on mold is not recommended There is misinformation on the internet recommending that you spray chemicals on mold. Many times, spraying mold will in fact make the situation worse. Products like RMR 86 instant mold stain mildew stain remover are for sale in the market and are proven to work much better than bleach.
Mold in air is one of the main causes of allergy symptoms. Assure Property Solutions Inc. is a environmental Indoor Air Quality Company which conducts CERTIFIED Indoor Air Quality Inspections, Sampling and Testing in your home, office or commercial building(s). Assure’s professionalism is backed up by our Reporting.
Therefore, if you suspect you have a mold/air quality problem in your home or office, we suggest, as a first step, to call us Assure Property Solutions. It’s fast, inexpensive and the most effective method to quickly determine whether you are breathing safe air. With our tests, you will be able to decide and confirm what situation your home or office air quality is really in, if remediation is necessary, or if you just require an Ozone shock Sanitization Treatment. Don’t let the air you breathe make you sick.