The Homeowner’s Guide to Mold

What is Mold?
Molds are a type of Fungus and are a fundamental part of the outdoor ecosystem. Molds play an important role in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores which are invisible to the naked eye. Mold spores float in both the indoor and outdoor air, and when they land on wet surfaces they begin to grow. The key to controlling or inhibiting mold growth is to minimize moisture in the environment. This can be accomplished by controlling indoor humidity and eliminating water-leakage problems.

Can Mold Cause Health Problems?
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances called mycotoxins. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Some symptoms of allergic reactions to molds include: itchy, watery eyes; chronic cough; headaches (including migraines); difficulty breathing; rashes; tiredness; sinus problems; nasal stuffiness; and sneezing. Exposure to mold can cause asthma attacks in susceptible individuals.

Mold Remediation Process
The mold assessment and remediation process involves three steps: mold detection, mold removal, and mold final clearance testing.

Mold Assessments
All of our Mold Assessors are licensed by New York State and have completed nationally-recognized, certified courses in Mold Assessment.

Mold Inspections
Our certified mold inspectors will visually inspect your property for any noticeable signs of mold. Initial investigation will center on areas where humidity, moisture and water tend to accumulate, such as bathrooms, basements, kitchen areas and areas located near pipes.

Mold Detection

Fungi (mold) Assessments
Fungi assessments include evaluating the cause(s) of fungi proliferation, sampling, recommendations for remediation, remediation protocols, and clearance evaluations. The aim of the assessment is to improve home health and safety\. Fungi (mold) assessments are also completed and (when necessary) remediation performed at residential and commercial structures prior to change in ownership.

Physical Sampling for Mold
When mold is discovered on any surface, a physical sample will be taken and sent to a laboratory that specializes in mold analysis. Confirming the presence of mold and also the type of mold found will assist in designing a plan for remediation.

Moisture Meters for Mold Detection
When mold is not seen but still suspected, moisture meters can be employed to detect conditions (moisture pockets and damp areas) within walls and flooring that favor mold growth and development.
Some hidden spots where mold spores can settle and begin to grow include:

  • beneath tile, wood flooring, sub-floors and carpets
  • between walls and within drywall
  • within insulation material between walls
  • within ceiling materials and beneath leaking roofs
  • in dark, damp attics and basements

Air Sampling for Mold
Taking samples of the air in a building where mold is suspected can help to not only detect the presence of mold prior to mold removal, but also aid in determining that the removal process has successfully eliminated the mold contamination.

Mold Remediation Design
Once the presence of mold has been confirmed and the type of mold has been identified, our certified mold professionals will recommend a plan for mold removal. We will design a customized remediation proposal that will be the least disruptive and most cost-effective possible.

Mold Final Clearance Inspections

Once the remediation work has been completed, air testing will again be performed to ensure that the remediation process has eliminated the potentially harmful mold from the structure. You will receive a written laboratory report detailing the air quality after the remediation process.