Mold Inspection, Remediation,
and Mitigation

Does the thought of indoor mold growth have you concerned about the health of yourself and those around you? According to numerous recent studies, those concerns are not without warrant. As research continues, the evidence for how breathing elevated levels of mold on a regular basis can impact your health is growing. In the proper conditions, mold growth can start in less than 24 hours. The longer it goes unresolved, the worse a problem can get and the greater impact it can have on your health. It is important to address issues with mold as soon as possible. Early action is the most important thing you can do when it comes to minimizing the impact mold has on not only your health, but also your home.  Call Polished Restoration if you notice the following:

  • Visible mold
  • Rotting wood
  • Staining
  • Musty odors
  • Flaking wallpaper
  • Warped walls and ceilings
  • Increased allergy symptoms
  • Asthma attacks and other respiratory problems
In the event that your home or business does have a problem, we offer services that a general contractor simply cannot provide. Professional mold removal jobs require containment of areas, HEPA Vacuuming, disinfecting, treating, encapsulating and air scrubbers. These are precautions that need to be taken to ensure a problem does not spread in the process and is removed to the point where it will not come back assuming the moisture problem has been taken care of.  Some people hire handymen or general contractors only to find the problem comes back or has even spread worse than before.  The inspection process includes the following:

  • Evaluating potential health and safety hazards
  • Find the Source of Water
  • What is the Extent of the Water Intrusion
  • What Needs to be Done from Start to Finish
  • Evaluate Flooring
  • Inventory All Contents
  • Check the HVAC System
  • Assess Structural Damage (Walls, Ceilings, etc.);
  • Establishing Drying Goals.

After the mold remediation is complete, we usually recommend having and independent inspector come out to complete a clearance test of the property. This will ensure that the job was done thoroughly and that we have completely cleaned the contaminated area as well as scrubbed the air. Clients should do this so they can rest easy with a job well done.

The Science Behind Mold

There are many issues that come with buildings both commercial and residential.  Mold is one of the better-known, most common building issues and is among those with the more serious potential health hazards.  Not all mold is the same or carries the same potential risks, and a general understanding can help you make a plan of action for its removal.

Molds are a group of fungi, which tend to thrive in moist places. Mold can grow on a wide variety of surfaces from food, inside walls, and has even been known to grow on snow! It can often be identified visually by noticeable growth or discoloration of a surface, with different molds having different colors.  The varying colors of mold are usually determined by the mold’s food or nutrient source. Oftentimes, mold is not easy to see, especially if it occurs in a hidden area, such as behind walls, or in less trafficked areas of the home such as attics and basements. When the presence of mold is not obvious, smell may be the initial indicator.  Molds typically have an unpleasant “musty” odor that can range from faint to unbearable.  Generally speaking, if there is a moisture problem in the home, a mold problem could develop. Species of mold vary both in appearance as well as in the effects they can have on health.

Mold spores and mycotoxins

Mold spores and mycotoxins emitted by mold colonies are responsible for most mold related adverse health effects. They are both easily inhaled. While mold spores are found naturally in the air outdoors, it is less concentrated in open air than it is indoors, and therefore is less able to cause adverse effects. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure such as daily workplace exposure can be particularly harmful. The five most common genera of indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Alternaria and Trichoderma.

Aspergillus

Aspergillus molds are most likely to grow on food and organic surfaces like leather or cloth. Like all molds this species can range in color from blue-green, yellowish, black or gray, and in many cases are less harmful. However, this mold’s risk increases exponentially in those who are allergic or have compromised immune systems and can create problems like sinus infections, lung damage and sepsis.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium another common household mold, often has a “peppery” appearance but is usually green or black in color but can also widely vary. It can usually be found on or near plumbing fixtures, air ducts, and painted materials. Cladosporium rarely causes serious health issues, but it can cause or exacerbate annoying allergic reactions such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, which can be unpleasant in appearance.

Stachybotrys chartarum aka “Black mold”

Stachybotrys chartarum aka “Black mold” carries the highest risk and can grow on flooring, carpet, walls drywall, insulation, and many other surfaces.  Inhalation of this mold’s spores and mycotoxins can cause symptoms that range from mild discomfort to dangerous for people and pets. In extreme cases severe, chronic allergy symptoms like sinus and eye irritation, frequent sneezing, coughing fits, rashes, chronic fatigue, recurring headaches, and serious respiratory illness. If one continues to be exposed to this toxic environment, vomiting and bleeding in lung and nose tissues can develop.

It must be a top priority to proceed with mold removal as soon as possible to avoid adverse effects on the household especially if you have young children or pets. These fungi can be difficult to remove, and professionals are often necessary to fully remedy the problem.  Many surfaces can be cleared of mold using cleaning solutions, scrubbing, sanding, dry ice, but some infested items such as moldy upholstery must be removed.  However, mold remediation often requires more than simply removing visually noticeable growth from the home. Spores in the air can cause new growth on surfaces within the home and may need to be removed using commercial High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA), air scrubbers and air exchange cycles. In addition to directly remediating mold, Professional mold remediation will include assisting in the resolution of issues causing excess moisture and humidity conditions within the home. These can include issues like roof and plumbing leaks or poorly ventilated bathrooms as well as simply living in a high-humidity climate. The leaks should be repaired, proper ventilation should be installed and an adequate dehumidifier should be implemented.

How Mold Can affect your home value

Mold in a home does not have to ruin a sale! It can negatively affect the property value if the problem isn’t handled correctly and timely. Part of the negative affect on property value is perception. As a home seller, you cannot afford to mess around with mold growth. Unchecked mold growth can do permanent damage and can really cost you! You should deal with mold in a responsible way that will help you sell your home for a fair price and clear you of any liability should the mold return after the sale – but you must deal with the problem directly. There are few things that will scare prospective homebuyers more than mold!

Everyone is familiar with common household molds such as cheese and the mold that grows on food left in the refrigerator to long. But we rarely think about mold growing within walls, air ducts, floors, ceilings, under sinks, attics, bathrooms, basements, or any other place with moisture. If you see black spots developing on a wall in a poorly ventilated room or notice a musty odor that won’t go away, you are probably noticing the beginning stages of a mold problem and should contact us at Polished Restoration right away.