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 - a. Mold - Got It? Start Here!
 - b. Mold Panic - FAQ's
 - c. Mold Basics
 - d. Some Mold Facts
 - e. Mold Health Effects
 - f. Mold Prevention
 - g. Mold Remediation
 - h. Chlorine Bleach and Mold
 - i. Mold and Real Estate
 - j. Construction And Mold
 - k. Mold Litigation
 - l. Physicians Mold Info
 - m. Mold In The News
 - n. Infrared Finds Moisture & Mold!


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Mold panic and fear. The Who, What, Why, When and How FAQs to toxic mold and mildew problems. Mold and mildew inspections, mold testing & sampling by Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC, Louisville, KY 502-262-2022.

 

We Take The Fear and Panic Out of Your
Mold Problems

If you visited this website in the belief that you might have a potential mold problem, a number of the following questions no doubt have crossed your mind. Answers appear below the commentary.

  • How serious is my mold problem?
  • What kind of mold do I have—is it toxic?
  • What are the health implications?
  • What should I do?
  • Who should I call?
  • What’s causing the mold?
  • How can the mold growth be stopped?
  • If I can see mold why may mold testing be needed?
  • How much will this cost me?
  • Is it covered under my insurance policy?

These questions are usually posed to us with a variety of emotional overtones — panic, horror, anguish, fear, shame and even anger. These are not uncommon feelings encountered by anyone suddenly confronted with an “ominous unknown”.

Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC fully understands the dilemma of those concerned about exposure to mold. Our initial purpose is to provide the answers to questions that address the specifics of each client’s situation in order to bring calm and stability in their “crisis”. Once we have the opportunity to explain the dynamics of their particular mold condition, a client is better able to make rational and informed decisions regarding the remedy and control of the circumstances at hand — and this can equate to improved quality of health and minimized costs of mold clean-up.

Given the fact that all mold situations are different, the above questions can only be generically answered. None-the-less, the answers below provide an excellent overview and a baseline understanding of indoor mold conditions and problems:

How serious is my mold problem?
The extent of a mold problem is determined by

  • Types (genus/species) of mold and their toxicity.
  • Airborne count level of live and dead spores. 
  • Cumulative amount of cosmetic and visual or hidden structural damages from mold.

A “minor” visual appearance of mold can give a false sense of security to one thinking it to be a low or no risk occurrence — only the results of air sampling will reveal the level of health risk and extent or severity of a colonization. It has been stated that the visual appearance of mold on an interior wall can mean that the back of the wall may be 75-100% covered in mold — the surprising discovery of this condition usually causes mold panic. Sampling for mold, however, is always at the discretionary decision of the property owner.

What kind of mold do I have—is it toxic?
Some types of mold are more toxic than others — but all molds are considered toxic. Toxic mold grows in a variety of colors other than black — and many colored toxic molds are more toxic than black-colored mold. Laboratory analysis of air, swab, lift tape and/or bulk samplings by a qualified technician using accepted mold industry collection methods and investigation techniques are the necessary means to amass and identify the different kinds of mold that have or  may have potential health consequences.

What are the health implications?
This should be the number one concern of anyone who has a potential mold problem. Every individual has a different sensitivity to mold. While one may experience extreme discomfort, others in the same environment have no symptoms. Those displaying no symptoms, however, can acquire a sensitivity to mold from prolonged exposures to it. Health implications include:

  • Headache, fatigue, shortness of breath. 
  • Sinus congestion, coughing and sneezing. 
  • Eye, nose, throat and skin irritation (itching). 
  • Dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting.

Note: Studies indicate mold is responsible for a variety of diseases including cancer, memory loss, learning disabilities and more and in some instances even death.

Individuals at highest risk for health complications from mold include:

  • Allergy and asthma sufferers. 
  • People with respiratory disease. 
  • Those with weak immune systems (elderly, youths and others).
  • Contact lens wearers!

What should I do? / Who should I call?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states to “ACT QUICKLY” if you have a mold problem and to “LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE” to mold. Consequently, do not delay addressing your suspected problem — complacency in a mold situation is not a good thing. A mold problem can have severe health implications. Mold is an insidious “creature” that can also cause serious and costly structural and cosmetic damages over a period of time and in many cases in as little as 24-48 hours after an area has become wet and not completely dried. Contact Spore°Tech Mold Investigations or other reputable, qualified mold professional for consultation and services. Doing some research about mold on the internet or at the library is strongly encouraged — become familiar with mold and all its implications. Your best information will come from a reputable mold professional’s on-site consultation and assessment.
 
What is causing the mold?
Water. Simple as that. Water is the primary “catalyst” that promotes mold growth. The EPA emphasizes, “MOISTURE CONTROL is the key to mold control”. Water can be from the source of any faulty plumbing, cracked foundation wall, leaky roof or other exterior point of water entry. Humidity in the air is a form of water. High humidity (above 40-50%, depending on who you listen to) is a big culprit in promoting mold growth. Bath, shower and laundry rooms are notoriously high humidity areas that launch serious mold problems.

How can the mold growth be stopped?
Stop the water — reduce the indoor humidity! Again, the answer is that simple. However, correcting the actual source  of the water may not be simple. If it is a matter of fixing a plumbing leak, the task is not too complex nor is the installation of a fan to exhaust bath or laundry area humidity to the outside environment. But, foundation crack repairs to prevent water intrusion can be complex. Whatever the case, water intrusion and/or elevated humidity must be eliminated! Furthermore, mold needs food — good housekeeping practices help to minimize dust, a known food source for mold. Mold also uses the nutrients found in drywall, wood, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpet, fabric and paint, all of which commonly exist in a home or occupational work place. The key factor that stops or minimizes mold growth is to control the water/humidity level with adequate ventilation.

If I can see mold why is mold testing needed?
When a rampant, visible mold condition exists, Spore°Tech Mold Investigations does not automatically suggest or recommend initial mold sampling except on occasions where serious occupant health complications or potential litigation conditions exists. A mold problem is often far more reaching than just a visible patch of mold on a wall or ceiling. Whether visible mold is present or not, testing can determine the overall indoor mold contamination level and with what types of toxic molds one is contending. This information can be critical to the preparation of a remediation and clean-up protocol. After remediation, many local, state and federal agencies recommend a “clearance test” be conducted to establish the success level of the clean-up process. With regard to the need for initial mold sampling before the clean-up, each site condition is unique and regardless of our recommendations, the final decision belongs to the property owner. The core value of our services to the property owner is not necessarily from conducting initial mold sampling - it is in our inspection/assessment of the site and the corrective action planning to abate the moisture problem feeding the mold and in outlining safe clean-up protocols.

How much will this cost me?
The amount of total services activities costs are determined by individual conditions — there is no “average” cost. However, be prepared for expenses to fall under four category headings: 

  • Mold Inspections, Mold Sampling & Lab Services.
  • Water and/or Moisture Abatement and Repair Services.
  • Mold Remediation Services.
  • Remodeling/Construction Restoration Services.

The rule to remember is that the longer one waits to remedy a mold problem, expenditures will exponentially increase. For the do-it-yourselfer whose mold problem is not too serious, Spore°Tech Mold Investigations can provide guidelines that will dramatically economize your expenses. For those preferring or needing professional contractor services, upon request, we can provide a resource list from which to start a search for those different services costs.

Is it covered under my insurance policy?
This question can be answered by reviewing your policy or asking your insurance agent. Many insurance companies have historically covered mold damages prompted by water line breaks or flooding. Mold damages caused by condensation from inadequate or improperly installed insulation, elevated indoor humidity conditions or maintenance negligence may not, however, be covered by your policy. In light of the growing number of mold damage claims being filed, numerous property insurance carriers are now revising their policies to include language that limits or eliminates payments to mold related claims.

Do you have other questions or need more information?
To get answers to your other “Who, What, Why, When, Where and How” questions, contact Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC, Louisville, KY. Emailed requests to
info@spore-tech.com that include your name and phone number will receive a prompt response. Or, you can speak directly with one of our certified mold inspectors at  502.262.2022.

 

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