Mold is a common problem – April 15, 2020
Mold is everywhere
Protecting your home & family from mold, more appropriately referred to as microbial growth and other contaminants, can be a daunting job. Indoor air quality is a significant concern as we spend a lot more time inside our homes these days. Even before pandemic worries had us all staying home, people in the U.S. spent about 70% of their lives inside their homes. This suggests that the condition of your home is a primary factor in your overall health. If your home has problems, your health may be suffering, too.
Of the 137 million homes in the United States, 12 million have problems with water leaks, and four million have experienced microbial growth problems within the last year.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, molds are part of the natural environment and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. The EPA says it isn’t generally a problem unless it begins growing indoors. Unchecked indoors can damage a home’s structure, causing wood rot and ruined drywall. It can also cause significant health problems.
High indoor levels are associated with many health issues, including respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue, and persistent headaches can be symptomatic of black mold exposure or black mold poisoning. The condition of a person’s housing is an important influence on their health.
It can be hard to identify microbial problems because the source is often in isolated areas—behind walls and in attics and crawl spaces. An indoor Air Quality Test can identify these issues and allows us to make recommendations that will guard your family’s health and your home’s safety.
Our mold reports include laboratory analyses.
A professional test starts with a thorough inspection of your property. We will investigate any signs of past or present water intrusion which can promote microbial growth. Testing allows us to record an accurate comparison. Swab testing is also available for visible microbial growth. Our inspectors are IAC2 Certified. That means they’re air quality experts.
If our inspectors do find mold in your home, there are ways to clean it up. The US EPA (https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home) has plenty of helpful information on mold clean-up, including when to do it yourself and when to call in professionals.
Clean-up starts by understanding the three components microbial growth must have to grow and reproduce.
- Mold must have a food source. Unfortunately, mold can use almost anything for a food source. Some have a preference; others grow on nearly anything.
- Mold requires water. However, it can be in the form of high humidity. Unfortunately, all it takes for most molds is 20% relative humidity or higher.
- Mold must have a comfortable temperature. It likes temperatures of 40 to 120 degrees best but will continue to grow slowly at sub-freezing temperatures.
The easiest to control of these three is moisture. Dehumidifiers in basements and moisture barriers in crawl spaces are two of the most effective ways to prevent unwanted moisture.
One easy fix is maintaining gutters and downspouts, making sure rainwater is diverted 6 to 10 feet away from the foundation. Heavier water infiltrations may require an expensive foundation and or roof repairs.
Contact us if you suspect your home or the home you are about to buy may have a mold/mildew problem.
For more information on our Mold Warranty
Check us out at the Better Business Bureau