Molds... We Don't Want Them in Our Homes
Mold is a natural part of our environment. Bears, Poison Ivy, and Ticks are a natural part as well, but we don’t want them in our homes. Mold is similar in that there are certain kinds of molds that we don’t want to see in our homes.
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Mold in Your Home
Have moldy areas that just keep coming back? Are family members sick with nasal or upper respiratory issues and suspect your house might be to blame? Have mold growth in the attic or basement and not sure what to do? GreenWorks can help! Mold is a natural part of our environment. Bears, poison ivy, and ticks are a natural part as well – but we don’t want them in our homes! Mold is similar in that there are certain kinds of molds that we don’t want to see in our homes.
Remodeled homes often wind up concealing a lot of the clues we look for when we assess for mold, making the issues often difficult to find. Take for instance, an older 1940's home recently renovated where the attic was converted to a master bedroom (now we can't see the underside of the roof), and the rear porch was enclosed (has an inaccessible crawl space and enclosed cathedral ceiling with failing ridge vent). More time and some invasive investigating / sampling are often necessary.
Scrubbing molded areas with a detergent and water and then drying the area thoroughly often works for small areas of mold. Using bleach is not recommended as it may cause more harm than good. But there are instances where using a Biocide may be called for.
Many folks have (or develop) sensitivity to molds and chemicals that are immediately noticeable. Other times it takes longer as we age, and our immune systems start to decline. Everyone is different. But when one room in your home gives you such immediate discomfort, there is almost always a hidden microorganism to blame. Better bring in a mold specialist.
First, was the moisture intrusion source(s) corrected? If moisture is under control, a Clearance Test should be performed, which is a combination of factors that include a visual inspection, review of remediation protocol, sampling, etc. Only then can you get a good idea if the area was properly brought back to normal fungal ecology.
Simple cleanses and spot remediation can be completed in a few hours, where more elaborate remediations and restoration might take weeks. It depends on the impacts on the home and the occupants.
Mold is a product of hydrology, humidity, and moisture. Was the source of water that caused the mold addressed as part of your remediation? We know that mold and water go hand in hand. If your environment’s hydrology is not managed correctly, the mold will return. We have Certified Hydrologists on staff to ensure that the water source is appropriately addressed to ensure any future mold growth is mitigated.
Many times moisture makes its way into the wall cavity and stimulates molds to grow. Given time they will start to “Bleed Through” the outside wall and at first look like a small dark area. If the moisture source is not obvious, further investigation by a pro is recommended.
Actively growing molds have a distinctive musty aroma associated with their life cycle. Picture walking into a basement and what aroma is typically associated with that environment. If you smell smoke, there’s almost always fire. A pro would help you determine what is going on with that aroma.
It depends. It’s been our experience that if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, yes! Mold is on everyone’s mind these days, and knowing if you have a mold issue can only be determined by a mold test. If negative, the test can be used to assure prospective buyers that there is no mold to worry about.
Who did the test? If one of those over the counter tests were used, they recommend that you need a mold professional to interpret the results. Any mold pro should be able to tell you about the molds detected and the water trigger, but you might need to do an additional control test to see if your molds are beyond Normal Fungal Ecology and pose a health risk.
Yes! Mold is a natural part of our environment where we like to see normal fungal ecology. But so are bears, ticks, and poison ivy. You wouldn’t want to see any of them in your house now, would you? The same goes for mold, and there are some that we don’t want to see in our homes at any level due to the potential health risks.
Molds and the byproducts of their life cycle (gases known as mycotoxins, odors & mold spores) are often airborne throughout the home. Materials (like clothing) are porous and absorbent and tend to collect (and concentrate) these items that often have a very distinct aroma. You might not be aware of it, as we tend to become desensitized to the aroma the closer we are to it. By your family and friends will smell it. Better call a mold pro.
There are many allergy-like symptoms (like sore throats, sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, sinus infections, headaches) that also come from mold exposure. So ask yourself, when you leave the suspect area, do your symptoms get better? If so, some air tests to identify possible mold contamination would be a good idea.
Our nasal cavity and sinus chambers are our primary line of defense in conditioning air as it enters our bodies. Persistent sinus infections are often tied to a hidden environmental stressor that re-exposure to has detrimental health effects. Address the issue before it spreads beyond your sinuses.
We often hear terms like “winter allergy,” “seasonal allergy,” “winter asthma,” and “overactive sinus” when discussing seasonal allergies. What most folks don’t realize is that fungi thrive when plants thrive where their spores mix with other airborne particulates like pollen, dust, etc. It’s easy to think it’s seasonal because it’s so apparent. But from our experience, mold spores are most likely to blame when the term “seasonal allergy” starts getting thrown around.
It’s always a good idea to be well informed going into your home’s sale. Having an inspection done yourself is a good way to pinpoint potential issues and be prepared for buyer's concerns.
Cleaning mold often does not address what is causing the mold to grow in the first place. And that’s what we call the “Moisture Trigger.” While we often think of moisture as a “puddle,” in this case, molds don’t like puddles, and they like elevated humidity, which is hard to detect on your own. Better call a mold pro.
We all have had those stubborn leaks. They tend to show up only when the rain hits the house a certain way, then presto – a puddle or damp spot in the wall. Molds are uniquely adapted to exploit these intermittent micro-climates. Before the mold issue becomes intolerable, better call a mold pro.
Mold growth of this nature is often tied to elevated humidity and poor ventilation in your closet. If you frequently exercise, putting your sneakers away damp could be the culprit.
The term “Black Mold” or “Toxic Black Mold” has been attributed to a dark/ black mold (called Stachybotrys) that has been demonized in the media as a result of some very well-known lawsuits. While Stachybotrys is known to produce “mycotoxins” that can adversely affect human health, it does not fare to say it is toxic.
While the State of New Jersey does not require any specific certifications, anyone you work with should have an NJHICL & proper general liability insurance. There are numerous mold certification firms that offer training; any contractor you work with should have mold training and participate in ongoing continuing education.
Many times, areas less than 10 square feet can be cleaned by an individual. If it’s more involved than that, it’s best to get a quote from a mold pro who follows EPA guidelines. Access challenged spaces work well with dry ice treatments where easily accessible basements respond well to traditional “rubbing and scrubbing”. Your particular space will dictate what is best.
We are all going to die (eventually). But there are no known documented death’s from mold toxicity that we are aware of. But the young, old, and immuno-compromised individuals are more susceptible to mold-related illnesses.