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If you have elevated levels of mold in your home or business, hiring the professionals at American Catastrophe Emergency Services will help ensure the problem is handled correctly. Indoor mold growth can be harmful one’s health and must be handled properly. We know exactly what needs to be done!
Mold Inspections and Mold Assessments
Mold Inspections can either be performed directly by a restoration company or by a third-party mold inspector. In a perfect world there is no difference as to who performs this, so long as the inspector is qualified to do so.
Recently, certain states have made regulations in the mold industry that prohibit performing a mold assessment and remediation on the same job. The reason for this is that there is a possible conflict of interest.
The inspector should be unbiased, and a restoration company has an incentive (getting a remediation job) to say there is a serious problem when there may not be.
The states that have added licensing for mold contractors include Florida, New York, Texas and the District of Columbia. Each of these states have different guidelines for what defines a mold assessment.
For example, the State of Texas requires a mold assessment by a Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant/Technician before and after a mold remediation take place whenever there is twenty-five square feet or more of contiguous mold. Did you know in the State of Florida allows a restoration company to give an estimate whenever there is visible mold, they simply cannot test their own job before or after if they perform the remediation.
Mold growing inside a building is a serious situation that requires immediate action. It is a common problem for home and business owners to have because it can occur any time there has been a water leak, flooding, condensation, or poor ventilation. Once alive and growing, mold colonies can cause chronic respiratory and sinus illness in building occupants.
If you see discolored areas on the walls, ceiling, or carpet, you know you have a mold problem. Other red flags that signal mold is flourishing in your inside environment include a musty odor or a feeling of dampness in the air. Luckily, help in the form of professional mold remediation from American Catastrophe Emergency Services Group is only a phone call away.
Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation
Some mold removal companies specialize in just that: removing the existing mold you see in your home. While this service may seem affordable at first glance, it will cost more in the long term, as you continue to battle mold in the future. A simple removal of the existing mold on the surfaces of your home is not enough. Without cleaning the air of spores and addressing areas of moisture where they can land and grow, your mold problem is certain to return eventually.
Mold remediation is a more holistic process in which our technicians employ knowledge of the life cycle of the mold species to prevent it from reestablishing itself. Besides removing existing mold from the air and surfaces, we also inspect your home for sources of water damage and high humidity levels. Since it is scientifically impossible to remove all spores from the air, we focus on creating a plan to return them to the same natural levels as healthy, outdoor air.
If you are doing your research on indoor mold growth, you have likely come across some information on mold testing. These tests can be performed by a mold inspector, before a job is started to:
- Determine if a problem exist
- Find a source of an issue
- See what areas are
Tests are also taken at the end of a mold remediation to confirm a job has been completed correctly. This typically called clearance testing a Post Remediation Verification Testing. Here is a brief overview on how mold testing is performed and what it accomplishes.
These mold tests are taken with a vacuum pump and a spore trap. The spore trap is basically a plastic cassette with a lab slide that has adhesive on it. The vacuum pump sucks air into the spore trap, and any mold spores in the air stick to the slide. These cassettes are sent into a third-party laboratory, preferably one that is AIHA accredited, where they are opened and analyzed.
The standard procedure is that an outside control sample is taken and compared to various inside air samples to see if abnormal or “elevated” conditions exist.
Direct samples can be taken with a swab or tape lift when visible mold is present. This is helpful to the inspector because not all mold, including Stachybotrys, is easily airborne. It is very possible to have visible mold and not have an airborne mold problem, especially in water damage related mold growth that has recently started to colonize. These samples are used as proof for the inspector to make the correct recommendations and useful to help determine if the species is surface mold or deep rooted into a material.
The mold inspector will then take these lab results and make recommendations of them along with what they saw on the visual inspection. Ultimately the inspector is performing mold tests to determine if:
- There is a mold problem or not
- What or where the source is
- How far has the problem spread
- What needs to be done to fix the issue.
This one is easy; water gets into a building envelope in a place that it is not supposed to be which is generally anywhere outside of a sink, toilet, or shower.
- Rising Waters / Flooding
- Poor Grading – Water Going back to a home instead of away from it.
- Foundation Cracks• Pipe Break or Leak
- Sink/Toilet Overflow
- HVAC Problem
- Fires / floods
If you have mold & water damaged on building material due to water intrusion, you almost certainly have to remove all materials unless it is in an unfinished it’s in an area like a basement or attic that might not have drywall to remove. It is possible that a mold test shows normal levels before beginning work, but air scrubbers are typically used during and after work. This is because the mold colonies are disturbed when removing the material, you actually end up with more mold in the air then when you started. The air filtration removes those mold spores and gets the air quality back to normal.