Mold Inspection Lakeway

How much does Mold Inspection Lakeway cost?

The cost for mold removal will differ dependent upon many factors, for example, what number of square feet of mold was discovered, was asbestos tried and comes about were sure, is lead paint an issue, does it stretch out in behind kitchen or restroom cupboards, can the region be sealed off effectively, is there a great deal of materials to be cleaned and disinfected, has additional damage happened because of the mold damage, and so on. With such a large number of factors, it is exceptionally difficult to nail down a cost unless an expert evaluation has been.

The greatest concern a mold remediation is containing the mold and setting a negative pressure environment to prevent further contamination. The use of HEPA filtration units are essential in ensuring the health of workers and building tenants. The reason this is so imperative is that individuals are more inclined to health concerns when exposed to specific species as well as vast amounts of mold spores and amid the removal procedure the spores become airborne.

  1. Distinguish the cause of the mold growth
  2. Decide whether moisture source has been removed
  3. Determine the type of mold

Ordinarily, a private mold assessment will cost from $350 to $2000. Business mold assessments will commonly go from $750-$5,000.

The three most critical factors in deciding a definitive cost of a mold remediation venture are the accompanying:

  1. What amount of the house or business has mold?
  2. What sort of materials is contaminated?
  3. How simple is it to get to the mold?

Mold remediation undertakings can extend from two or three thousand dollars over ten thousand dollars.  The mold remediation undertaking will run from $1,700 to $9,000 while most business ventures are typically more. On the off chance that asbestos containing materials are found to be present the cost will  rise. You shouldn’t simply run with the least expensive quote, enlist the firm that will do the best mold removal and guarantee that the activity is done well and remain behind their work!

Best Tips for Mold Inspection Lakeway

Mold spores. They almost sound like alien invaders from a 1950's sci-fi movie --"Attack of the Killer Mold Spores!" But that description may not be too far off the mark. Mold is dangerous. It can be more prevalent and can cause more health problems than termites, carbon monoxide, asbestos, or radon. In fact, mold is everywhere and impossible to get rid of in nature. According to the EPA website, "There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture." From one third to one half of all buildings in the United States have the damp conditions necessary to facilitate the growth of mold, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Mold and mold spores can cause serious health problems and, in the case of someone with mold sensitivities, even death. Many people are vaguely aware of the health concerns when it comes to mold but most do not know that mold can also cause serious damage to a house or building (similar to a termite infestation.) When it comes to protecting your family and your home, fighting and preventing mold should be at the top of every homeowner's list.

WHAT IS MOLD?

The simple answer: molds are part of the fungi kingdom, similar to yeasts or mushrooms (the antibiotic Penicillin is actually a mold.)Mold is a living organism, a part of nature, and even has a beneficial function - it breaks down all of our dead organic matter. Mold reproduces by releasing tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, into the air. These spores land in moist areas and begin to grow and spread. While there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of mold, none would exist without the presence of moisture, air, and something to feed on. Since mold will always exist outdoors, it is important to control the one ingredient a homeowner doesn't need inside the house - moisture.

Mold can grow on rotting wood, grass, weeds, and compost piles. The problem is that it can also grow where you don't want it to - indoors. It can be found on food or clothing, in bathrooms and attics and damp basements, on carpeting, and even inside the walls of a house. Mold can feed on the wood in the wall, breaking down the materials as it spreads unseen throughout a house. As the mold digests organic material, it continues to spread to find new food sources.

Spotting mold can be easy, if the mold colony is visible. Mold comes in a variety of colors (including white, black, green, gray, brown, and more), bunching as spots or discolorations. If the mold is not visible, someone may not recognize mold is present until it is late in the process. People discover mold when there is physical damage to a structure or an increase in musty smells. Sometimes mold won't be found until the occupants experience health problems. By then, it may be too late. Whenever a house or building has an overexposure to moisture, it is important to inspect for mold. Moisture overexposure can come from many sources, including:

o Floods

o Roofs or basements that leak

o Irrigation or fire sprinklers

o Shower or bath water

o Sink or sewer overflow

o Humidifiers

o Plumbing leaks

WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT MOLD?

There are two main reasons to worry about the spread of mold in a building. The most important consideration - mold can cause health problems. The second consideration - property damage. Frank Foreman, President & CEO of NO ODOR, Inc, a mold remediation company, believes mold is coming to the forefront because everyone is learning that mold damage can affect property value.

Let's start with the health issues. Molds produce allergens that can cause reactions such as sneezing, runny noses, even asthma attacks in those allergic to it. It can even cause irritation to the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes to those who are not allergic. Certain molds can also release toxins (mycotoxins) that cause more serious problems. According to the Mold Help Organization, exposure to these mycotoxins could cause people "to suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more" (http://www.mold-help.org/content/view/478/).

Because many people are not as aware or concerned about the health threats of mold, it is also important to consider the damage it can cause to property. Everyone tends to pay more attention to a problem when it affects the wallet. A home or business is the largest investment most people have. A colony or colonies of mold can cause severe devastation. According to the EPA website, "If you already have a mold problem - act quickly. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause" (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup.html).

Mold can cause structural damage to a building, because it feeds on and breaks down the organic matter (wood, mostly) within the structure. When mold grows in the walls, on insulation, or under carpeting, these items must be removed from the building. In addition to the damage caused to the building, mold may destroy personal items in the home. It can attach to personal property which may be very difficult or impossible to clean. Often the item will have to be destroyed because the mold cannot be completely removed.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE MOLD?

For the most part, since mold is everywhere, it is impossible to completely avoid all indoor molds. The key to preventing mold is to control the moisture levels indoors. The EPA website states, "If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back" (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html).

For small areas, usually a moldy section of 9 to 10 square feet, the home or business owner can usually clean up the mold themselves. For larger areas, it is important to hire a professional mold removal contractor to make sure the problem is taken care of safely.

If you have a small patch of black, green or gray colored spots, Frank Foreman, of NO ODOR, Inc., has a smart tip to determine whether or not it is mold: put some hydrogen peroxide on the growth and watch the reaction. Almost everyone has one of those brown bottles of the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in their medicine cabinet, so he suggests putting it in a clean spray bottle and spraying the colored spots. If the solution runs down the wall and there is no reaction, then the spots are not growths of mold (it could possibly just be dirt.) Since mold is a living organism, when sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide, there will be an oxidation process. If you hit it and the growth starts to foam up with white foam, then you know you are dealing with mold.

For small amounts of mold, many sources recommend using a combination of water and detergent to clean the moldy surfaces. However, Frank Foreman recommends using only products that are approved by the EPA to kill mold. He further states that care and precaution need to be taken when doing the cleanup by an individual. "Mold is a living organism and it can travel easily when disturbed. Someone may wash away half of the mold and the other half might release mold spores that can escape to another source of moisture in the home. Or worse, into the A/C or heating system which can spread mold spores to every room in the house," claims Foreman.

Foreman also suggests that someone with a mold problem should really educate themselves before hiring a professional to remove toxic mold. "The mold removal industry is completely unregulated. There are no federal, state, or local regulations that govern mold removal professionals." This means, according to Foreman, with no standards, there is no way to prove the job was done or that it is done right. "Only seventy to eighty percent of all mold removal jobs are done right, which means the property owner is going to have residual problems."

He says that it is important to shop around, to get references, and to scan the Internet to learn as much as possible about toxic mold and mold removal. "Education is the key. Learn the basics so you can talk to the remediation expert and you'll have a good idea if he or she really knows what they're doing."

Mold removal methods vary from company to company. But the process can be complicated and expensive. For example, if a 10' x 10' bedroom has two walls infested with mold, it may be necessary to seal off that portion of the house, remove all wall boards until there are no more visible signs of mold growth. Next, the remediation pro will have to hand sand away the mold. Then, a mold killing detergent will be washed over the surface. The exposed area will then be HEPA vacuumed to remove remnant spores. After the area is tested to make sure there is no more mold, new walls will have to be built back up and painted. As you can see, the process can be time consuming and very expensive. However, to save on excessive destruction, some professionals have been employing fiber optic technology to view within the walls or ceilings, looking for mold growth, before tearing down all the drywall.

If you have had a flooding problem or a major water leak, it is also important to contact your insurance company. Many do not know that insurance may cover the mold removal as well. However, most insurance companies are starting to put limits on mold removal coverage (sometimes keeping caps at $5000 to $10,000.) While it may sound like a lot of money, the insurance company will be giving you money to fix the damage and remove the mold. The mold removal process may cost more than repairing the damage caused by the water. For example, if the roof of a house comes off during a storm and causes water damage to the house, the insurance company may give a lump sum to cover the repairs to the roof, the damage inside, and the mold problem. By accepting their lump sum, you have to pay to replace the roof and damage from water but the money also has to cover the costs to remove the mold that may come days, weeks, or months later.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MOLD FROM COMING BACK?

Once you have removed the entire mold infestation from your property, it is still important to control moisture levels in the structure.

- If there is any kind of flooding, it is imperative you remove the water within 24 to 48 hours.

- Whenever possible, move wet items to a dry, well-ventilated place or outside to speed up the drying process. Remove drywall up to the height of the water level. Remove carpeting as soon as possible.

- Keep the indoor humidity low. If possible, keep below 60 percent relative humidity.

- If condensation or moisture collects on windows, walls or water pipes, dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

- Keep gutters clean and make sure water drains away from the building to prevent it from collecting around the foundation.

- Run or install venting fans in high moisture areas, like the bathroom.

- Run a dehumidifier in moist areas, such as a basement or bathroom.

- Ventilating areas can help reduce moisture, as well as keeping the temperature up or the air conditioner on. However, aim the air conditioning vents away from the condensing surfaces to prevent cold spots where moisture condensation can occur.

- Adding thermal insulation to walls, ceilings, and pipes can help, too (in fact, rust spots on any water pipes could be an indication there is too much moisture in a room. Adding insulation to the pipes is a good idea.)

Mold can be a very serious problem in homes and businesses and it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. The consequences to health and property can be severe. While remediation of mold can be expensive, the damage mold can cause could be even worse. Frank Foreman has seen many cases where it is actually cheaper for the homeowner to knock down and rebuild an entire house rather than remove the existing mold infestation.

Keep in mind some of the potential signs that mold may be growing within a property:

o Unexplained discoloration on a surface

o Musty or earthy odor

o Dark spots on or around vents

o Water stains anywhere

o Peeling or curling of floors or wallpaper

Do your homework and hire a professional to handle even moderate mold problems as soon as possible. If one is not sure where to look for a mold removal and remediation specialist, there are services that can help everyone find a local professional.

Whenever a home or business owner believes there are signs of mold growth within their property, he or she should contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid future problems or costs. Attack those "Killer Mold Spores" before your own personal home invasion gets any worse.

Mold Testing Houston

Interesting Facts About Mold Inspection Lakeway

You can hardly find an individual who had not suffered from black mold. Mildews and black molds are the problem of the day. They grow on practically anything and amplify very fast. Different types of molds and mildews are found in nature. They grow naturally on dead organic substances. Molds collect their nutrition from organic matters and decompose complex molecules into simpler forms.

When dead animals, vegetables, foods or any other organic substances are abandoned in nature, they decompose naturally due to mold formation. Even if you leave any food, covered or uncovered, untouched for long, it starts smelling bad. The reason is mold.

Indoor mold growth can really be frightening if not inspected early. Among different types of molds and mildews black mold is frequently found in environment. Toxic black molds when grow inside your house lead to various health problems. What is black mold actually and how it is toxic?

How to identify and kill black mold:

It may be difficult for home dwellers to inspect and locate the exact place of mold growth. Any exposure to toxins can lead to serious ailments. It is suggested to take help from professionals. They conduct a thorough investigation to find out the degree and location of mold growth. Mold testing result shows the type of mold that has infected your house.

With mold testing done, you can start mold cleaning process. Organic mold removers can effectively remove molds and mildews from your home. Unlike bleaches, natural cleaning products kill molds permanently. Top of all, natural products are free from side effects and do not affect your health adversely.

Mold Removal Companies

How do I hire a Mold Inspection Lakeway Company?

Mold & Moisture

The crawl space is the number one source for potential moisture entering your home. The moisture may be equal to gallons of water but in vapor form and not even visible. A seal tight liner kit will instantly stop the moisture in the crawl space from entering home as well as eliminating radon gas, musty odors, mildew and mold.

"The U.S. EPA states: "Molds are usually not a problem unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds produce allergens, irritants and potentially toxic substances. The key to mold control is moisture control. The mold will not grow if moisture is not present (source: EPA " A Brief Guide to Mold, Mildew and Your Home," publication #402-K-02-003)."

Eliminate the Existing Mold

To eliminate and prevent future mold growth, spray the affected areas with a mold killing and growth preventing spray, there are good products for purchase at your local building supply house.

My Take on the Problems with Bleach

The Myth Of Using Bleach To Kill Mold! Mold has a root system that actually grows into the surfaces of wood, drywall, concrete, etc..., like tree roots grow into the soil. The roots are not killed by bleach alone because the bleach does not penetrate the surface of porous materials. The bleach chemical portion sits on the surface until gassing off, killing only the mold on the surface leaving the roots intact, while the water portion of the bleach soaks into the material giving the mold roots a food source to start growing again. Think of it this way, if you were to cut a tree, plant, grass, or anything that has roots down and you water the area, you will see what you cut start to grow again. This is because the roots were not killed. The other problem with using bleach for an extended period is that if sprayed on wood and other building materials it actually starts to break down the products.

STOPPING MOLD AT THE ROOTS IS THE ONLY WAY!!!

Chlorine Bleach is NOT a registered EPA Mold Killing product!

If you think that we're just knocking bleach. Don't take our word for it! Go to http://epa.gov/mold/moldcourse/index.html and read what the EPA has to say about using bleach to kill mold. The EPA says that "The use of bleach is not recommended as a routine practice during mold clean-up" http://iaq.custhelp.com question #7.

Now you might ask: How do I kill mold if not with bleach?

Answer: Use an EPA approved and registered fungicide to kill the mold at its roots.

Mold Questions

Which Mold Inspection Lakeway service provider is performs 24/7 water damage services?

I maintain a few health related websites, one of which discusses the benefits of air purifiers as well as de-humidifiers and I have done extensive research on mold. I thought it would be appropriate to share them here as the content included some lesser known facts about black mold removal.

According to my research and against the common belief that Stachybotrys is a toxic strain of mold, surprisingly though, it is not deemed as a lethal species. They are the black mold found on your leaky plumbing, toilets, wall sidings, ceiling and roof tops, flooring, even on your carpets at times. You might be relieved to know that contrary to common belief, Stachybotrys is a mold strain not as lethal as the infamous Aspergillus which is proven toxic. Often in homes, both exist side by side. Although the former grows faster during the first week or so, the latter strain is a more robust species and often overwhelms the former.

To help you recognize Stachybotrys, they are black, the tiny colonies with brownish surroundings. You should never use chlorine bleach to scrub and clean out the mold, as they are incapable of killing the mold at its roots. Chlorine bleach should not be used in black mold removal as stated by OSHA's mold remediation guidelines.

Mold Problems


Lakeway

For More Information on Mold Inspection Lakeway

 

Mold Inspection Lakeway

How much does Mold Inspection Lakeway cost?

The cost for mold removal will differ dependent upon many factors, for example, what number of square feet of mold was discovered, was asbestos tried and comes about were sure, is lead paint an issue, does it stretch out in behind kitchen or restroom cupboards, can the region be sealed off effectively, is there a great deal of materials to be cleaned and disinfected, has additional damage happened because of the mold damage, and so on. With such a large number of factors, it is exceptionally difficult to nail down a cost unless an expert evaluation has been.

The greatest concern a mold remediation is containing the mold and setting a negative pressure environment to prevent further contamination. The use of HEPA filtration units are essential in ensuring the health of workers and building tenants. The reason this is so imperative is that individuals are more inclined to health concerns when exposed to specific species as well as vast amounts of mold spores and amid the removal procedure the spores become airborne.

  1. Distinguish the cause of the mold growth
  2. Decide whether moisture source has been removed
  3. Determine the type of mold

Ordinarily, a private mold assessment will cost from $350 to $2000. Business mold assessments will commonly go from $750-$5,000.

The three most critical factors in deciding a definitive cost of a mold remediation venture are the accompanying:

  1. What amount of the house or business has mold?
  2. What sort of materials is contaminated?
  3. How simple is it to get to the mold?

Mold remediation undertakings can extend from two or three thousand dollars over ten thousand dollars.  The mold remediation undertaking will run from $1,700 to $9,000 while most business ventures are typically more. On the off chance that asbestos containing materials are found to be present the cost will  rise. You shouldn’t simply run with the least expensive quote, enlist the firm that will do the best mold removal and guarantee that the activity is done well and remain behind their work!

Best Tips for Mold Inspection Lakeway

Hot air furnaces heat and distribute air through a ducting system. These ducts are typically made out of metal and you can see them when you are in your basement, as they tend to hang from the floor joists. Over time, these ducts collect dust and debris inside of them and as time goes on, the dust gets blown back into the air that you are breathing and living in. Why do you want to know this you might ask? Well, ducts, much like chimneys, need to be cleaned once in a while in order to keep them from pushing the debris back into the air.

Duct cleaning will provide a better indoor air quality, reduce the presence of things like house molds and allergens which makes it easier for asthmatics to breathe and helps to prevent non-asthmatics from developing allergies. People with asthma are extremely sensitive to dust and allergens which means that many of them suffer greatly if there is too much of these things in the air. It also gets rid of house dust which makes it easier to keep the house clean. Ever wonder why everything looks dusty right after you dust it? Well, it's because your ducts are dirty. Duct cleaning on a regular basis will also reduce energy costs and result in more airflow in the furnace system which means that you will get a better delivery of warm air. This means that you will be able to turn on the furnace for less time and save some money as well as energy!

So how do you know when it is time to clean your ducts? How are you supposed to figure out how often to clean them without hiring an expert to take a look for you? There are a few tell tale signs that your ducts need cleaning. One of the main ones is if you can see that dust and debris are blowing out of your furnace vents. If this is happening, your ducts are long overdue for a cleaning and you should get it done right away. Another sign that they need cleaning is if the airflow is not as good as it normally is. You can tell this by putting your hand over the vent when the furnace is turned on and seeing if you can feel a lot of air coming out. If you can't or it's faint, it's time to clean your ducts.

One really good sign that it is in desperate need of a cleaning, is if you begin sneezing for no apparent reason or if you become stuffed up when ever you are in the house. One of the best times to get your ducts cleaned is in the late summer or early fall. This means that you will have clean ducts all season long and not have to worry about what is being blown into the air that you breathe. Dust in the air can cause allergies even if you don't previously have any. Duct cleaning is a great way to make sure that you and your loved ones have the best air quality possible. So how often should you clean your ducts? Many experts advise that you should clean them annually, at the beginning of every cooler season although some people do it every two or three months to ensure that there is very little dust in their homes. The choice is really up to you and how you feel about allergens, dust and debris in your air.

Is Air Duct Cleaning Necessary

Interesting Facts About Mold Inspection Lakeway

Mold remediation is the process of removing mold from a home or building. Mold remediation should only be conducted by trained professionals, as mold can cause health problems in individuals. If you suspect mold growth in your home in places such as in between walls on in areas that are inaccessible, call a professional to give you a mold assessment.

Everyone has seen mold, usually in the bathroom when tiles haven't been cleaned in a long time, but mold can grow in many different places, for example wet or damp clothes that have been left where they can't dry for several days or in homes where a water pipe has been leaking or pipes have burst. Flooding is another cause of mold growth. Even something as simple as building over damp concrete can cause mold to thrive.

Mold grows when spores attach to a suitable surface such as a damp one. Here mold is able to proliferate and if unchecked, can cause problems similar to allergy reactions in humans and pets. Minor symptoms include things like itchy throat and eyes, sneezing and coughing. Respiratory problems are also a concern. Mycotoxins are types of mold that produce toxins. While the CDC says there is currently no conclusive evidence of harmful human effects, some people believe that neurological problems can occur or even death.

If you see a small amount of mold, often it can be cleaned with a bleach solution, but if you see extensive mold, call in a professional. Mold remediation requires wearing a full face respirator, protective clothing and gloves. HVAC systems should be thoroughly inspected and if needed, removed. Those removing mold will properly dispose of items contaminated with mold like carpets, wallpaper and upholstery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, dampness can also cause dust mites and microorganisms such as bacteria to proliferate. Roaches and rodents tend to thrive in damp areas as well as mosquitoes.

Be sure to call a professional if you find mold before there are any health repercussions. Mold remediation should only be undertaken by a trained and licensed professional.

Mold In Air Ducts

How do I hire a Mold Inspection Lakeway Company?

Mold spores. They almost sound like alien invaders from a 1950's sci-fi movie --"Attack of the Killer Mold Spores!" But that description may not be too far off the mark. Mold is dangerous. It can be more prevalent and can cause more health problems than termites, carbon monoxide, asbestos, or radon. In fact, mold is everywhere and impossible to get rid of in nature. According to the EPA website, "There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture." From one third to one half of all buildings in the United States have the damp conditions necessary to facilitate the growth of mold, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Mold and mold spores can cause serious health problems and, in the case of someone with mold sensitivities, even death. Many people are vaguely aware of the health concerns when it comes to mold but most do not know that mold can also cause serious damage to a house or building (similar to a termite infestation.) When it comes to protecting your family and your home, fighting and preventing mold should be at the top of every homeowner's list.

WHAT IS MOLD?

The simple answer: molds are part of the fungi kingdom, similar to yeasts or mushrooms (the antibiotic Penicillin is actually a mold.)Mold is a living organism, a part of nature, and even has a beneficial function - it breaks down all of our dead organic matter. Mold reproduces by releasing tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, into the air. These spores land in moist areas and begin to grow and spread. While there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of mold, none would exist without the presence of moisture, air, and something to feed on. Since mold will always exist outdoors, it is important to control the one ingredient a homeowner doesn't need inside the house - moisture.

Mold can grow on rotting wood, grass, weeds, and compost piles. The problem is that it can also grow where you don't want it to - indoors. It can be found on food or clothing, in bathrooms and attics and damp basements, on carpeting, and even inside the walls of a house. Mold can feed on the wood in the wall, breaking down the materials as it spreads unseen throughout a house. As the mold digests organic material, it continues to spread to find new food sources.

Spotting mold can be easy, if the mold colony is visible. Mold comes in a variety of colors (including white, black, green, gray, brown, and more), bunching as spots or discolorations. If the mold is not visible, someone may not recognize mold is present until it is late in the process. People discover mold when there is physical damage to a structure or an increase in musty smells. Sometimes mold won't be found until the occupants experience health problems. By then, it may be too late. Whenever a house or building has an overexposure to moisture, it is important to inspect for mold. Moisture overexposure can come from many sources, including:

o Floods

o Roofs or basements that leak

o Irrigation or fire sprinklers

o Shower or bath water

o Sink or sewer overflow

o Humidifiers

o Plumbing leaks

WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT MOLD?

There are two main reasons to worry about the spread of mold in a building. The most important consideration - mold can cause health problems. The second consideration - property damage. Frank Foreman, President & CEO of NO ODOR, Inc, a mold remediation company, believes mold is coming to the forefront because everyone is learning that mold damage can affect property value.

Let's start with the health issues. Molds produce allergens that can cause reactions such as sneezing, runny noses, even asthma attacks in those allergic to it. It can even cause irritation to the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes to those who are not allergic. Certain molds can also release toxins (mycotoxins) that cause more serious problems. According to the Mold Help Organization, exposure to these mycotoxins could cause people "to suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more" (http://www.mold-help.org/content/view/478/).

Because many people are not as aware or concerned about the health threats of mold, it is also important to consider the damage it can cause to property. Everyone tends to pay more attention to a problem when it affects the wallet. A home or business is the largest investment most people have. A colony or colonies of mold can cause severe devastation. According to the EPA website, "If you already have a mold problem - act quickly. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause" (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup.html).

Mold can cause structural damage to a building, because it feeds on and breaks down the organic matter (wood, mostly) within the structure. When mold grows in the walls, on insulation, or under carpeting, these items must be removed from the building. In addition to the damage caused to the building, mold may destroy personal items in the home. It can attach to personal property which may be very difficult or impossible to clean. Often the item will have to be destroyed because the mold cannot be completely removed.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE MOLD?

For the most part, since mold is everywhere, it is impossible to completely avoid all indoor molds. The key to preventing mold is to control the moisture levels indoors. The EPA website states, "If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back" (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html).

For small areas, usually a moldy section of 9 to 10 square feet, the home or business owner can usually clean up the mold themselves. For larger areas, it is important to hire a professional mold removal contractor to make sure the problem is taken care of safely.

If you have a small patch of black, green or gray colored spots, Frank Foreman, of NO ODOR, Inc., has a smart tip to determine whether or not it is mold: put some hydrogen peroxide on the growth and watch the reaction. Almost everyone has one of those brown bottles of the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in their medicine cabinet, so he suggests putting it in a clean spray bottle and spraying the colored spots. If the solution runs down the wall and there is no reaction, then the spots are not growths of mold (it could possibly just be dirt.) Since mold is a living organism, when sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide, there will be an oxidation process. If you hit it and the growth starts to foam up with white foam, then you know you are dealing with mold.

For small amounts of mold, many sources recommend using a combination of water and detergent to clean the moldy surfaces. However, Frank Foreman recommends using only products that are approved by the EPA to kill mold. He further states that care and precaution need to be taken when doing the cleanup by an individual. "Mold is a living organism and it can travel easily when disturbed. Someone may wash away half of the mold and the other half might release mold spores that can escape to another source of moisture in the home. Or worse, into the A/C or heating system which can spread mold spores to every room in the house," claims Foreman.

Foreman also suggests that someone with a mold problem should really educate themselves before hiring a professional to remove toxic mold. "The mold removal industry is completely unregulated. There are no federal, state, or local regulations that govern mold removal professionals." This means, according to Foreman, with no standards, there is no way to prove the job was done or that it is done right. "Only seventy to eighty percent of all mold removal jobs are done right, which means the property owner is going to have residual problems."

He says that it is important to shop around, to get references, and to scan the Internet to learn as much as possible about toxic mold and mold removal. "Education is the key. Learn the basics so you can talk to the remediation expert and you'll have a good idea if he or she really knows what they're doing."

Mold removal methods vary from company to company. But the process can be complicated and expensive. For example, if a 10' x 10' bedroom has two walls infested with mold, it may be necessary to seal off that portion of the house, remove all wall boards until there are no more visible signs of mold growth. Next, the remediation pro will have to hand sand away the mold. Then, a mold killing detergent will be washed over the surface. The exposed area will then be HEPA vacuumed to remove remnant spores. After the area is tested to make sure there is no more mold, new walls will have to be built back up and painted. As you can see, the process can be time consuming and very expensive. However, to save on excessive destruction, some professionals have been employing fiber optic technology to view within the walls or ceilings, looking for mold growth, before tearing down all the drywall.

If you have had a flooding problem or a major water leak, it is also important to contact your insurance company. Many do not know that insurance may cover the mold removal as well. However, most insurance companies are starting to put limits on mold removal coverage (sometimes keeping caps at $5000 to $10,000.) While it may sound like a lot of money, the insurance company will be giving you money to fix the damage and remove the mold. The mold removal process may cost more than repairing the damage caused by the water. For example, if the roof of a house comes off during a storm and causes water damage to the house, the insurance company may give a lump sum to cover the repairs to the roof, the damage inside, and the mold problem. By accepting their lump sum, you have to pay to replace the roof and damage from water but the money also has to cover the costs to remove the mold that may come days, weeks, or months later.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MOLD FROM COMING BACK?

Once you have removed the entire mold infestation from your property, it is still important to control moisture levels in the structure.

- If there is any kind of flooding, it is imperative you remove the water within 24 to 48 hours.

- Whenever possible, move wet items to a dry, well-ventilated place or outside to speed up the drying process. Remove drywall up to the height of the water level. Remove carpeting as soon as possible.

- Keep the indoor humidity low. If possible, keep below 60 percent relative humidity.

- If condensation or moisture collects on windows, walls or water pipes, dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

- Keep gutters clean and make sure water drains away from the building to prevent it from collecting around the foundation.

- Run or install venting fans in high moisture areas, like the bathroom.

- Run a dehumidifier in moist areas, such as a basement or bathroom.

- Ventilating areas can help reduce moisture, as well as keeping the temperature up or the air conditioner on. However, aim the air conditioning vents away from the condensing surfaces to prevent cold spots where moisture condensation can occur.

- Adding thermal insulation to walls, ceilings, and pipes can help, too (in fact, rust spots on any water pipes could be an indication there is too much moisture in a room. Adding insulation to the pipes is a good idea.)

Mold can be a very serious problem in homes and businesses and it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. The consequences to health and property can be severe. While remediation of mold can be expensive, the damage mold can cause could be even worse. Frank Foreman has seen many cases where it is actually cheaper for the homeowner to knock down and rebuild an entire house rather than remove the existing mold infestation.

Keep in mind some of the potential signs that mold may be growing within a property:

o Unexplained discoloration on a surface

o Musty or earthy odor

o Dark spots on or around vents

o Water stains anywhere

o Peeling or curling of floors or wallpaper

Do your homework and hire a professional to handle even moderate mold problems as soon as possible. If one is not sure where to look for a mold removal and remediation specialist, there are services that can help everyone find a local professional.

Whenever a home or business owner believes there are signs of mold growth within their property, he or she should contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid future problems or costs. Attack those "Killer Mold Spores" before your own personal home invasion gets any worse.

Mold Specialist

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Mold spores. They almost sound like alien invaders from a 1950's sci-fi movie --"Attack of the Killer Mold Spores!" But that description may not be too far off the mark. Mold is dangerous. It can be more prevalent and can cause more health problems than termites, carbon monoxide, asbestos, or radon. In fact, mold is everywhere and impossible to get rid of in nature. According to the EPA website, "There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture." From one third to one half of all buildings in the United States have the damp conditions necessary to facilitate the growth of mold, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Mold and mold spores can cause serious health problems and, in the case of someone with mold sensitivities, even death. Many people are vaguely aware of the health concerns when it comes to mold but most do not know that mold can also cause serious damage to a house or building (similar to a termite infestation.) When it comes to protecting your family and your home, fighting and preventing mold should be at the top of every homeowner's list.

WHAT IS MOLD?

The simple answer: molds are part of the fungi kingdom, similar to yeasts or mushrooms (the antibiotic Penicillin is actually a mold.)Mold is a living organism, a part of nature, and even has a beneficial function - it breaks down all of our dead organic matter. Mold reproduces by releasing tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, into the air. These spores land in moist areas and begin to grow and spread. While there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of mold, none would exist without the presence of moisture, air, and something to feed on. Since mold will always exist outdoors, it is important to control the one ingredient a homeowner doesn't need inside the house - moisture.

Mold can grow on rotting wood, grass, weeds, and compost piles. The problem is that it can also grow where you don't want it to - indoors. It can be found on food or clothing, in bathrooms and attics and damp basements, on carpeting, and even inside the walls of a house. Mold can feed on the wood in the wall, breaking down the materials as it spreads unseen throughout a house. As the mold digests organic material, it continues to spread to find new food sources.

Spotting mold can be easy, if the mold colony is visible. Mold comes in a variety of colors (including white, black, green, gray, brown, and more), bunching as spots or discolorations. If the mold is not visible, someone may not recognize mold is present until it is late in the process. People discover mold when there is physical damage to a structure or an increase in musty smells. Sometimes mold won't be found until the occupants experience health problems. By then, it may be too late. Whenever a house or building has an overexposure to moisture, it is important to inspect for mold. Moisture overexposure can come from many sources, including:

o Floods

o Roofs or basements that leak

o Irrigation or fire sprinklers

o Shower or bath water

o Sink or sewer overflow

o Humidifiers

o Plumbing leaks

WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT MOLD?

There are two main reasons to worry about the spread of mold in a building. The most important consideration - mold can cause health problems. The second consideration - property damage. Frank Foreman, President & CEO of NO ODOR, Inc, a mold remediation company, believes mold is coming to the forefront because everyone is learning that mold damage can affect property value.

Let's start with the health issues. Molds produce allergens that can cause reactions such as sneezing, runny noses, even asthma attacks in those allergic to it. It can even cause irritation to the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes to those who are not allergic. Certain molds can also release toxins (mycotoxins) that cause more serious problems. According to the Mold Help Organization, exposure to these mycotoxins could cause people "to suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more" (http://www.mold-help.org/content/view/478/).

Because many people are not as aware or concerned about the health threats of mold, it is also important to consider the damage it can cause to property. Everyone tends to pay more attention to a problem when it affects the wallet. A home or business is the largest investment most people have. A colony or colonies of mold can cause severe devastation. According to the EPA website, "If you already have a mold problem - act quickly. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause" (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup.html).

Mold can cause structural damage to a building, because it feeds on and breaks down the organic matter (wood, mostly) within the structure. When mold grows in the walls, on insulation, or under carpeting, these items must be removed from the building. In addition to the damage caused to the building, mold may destroy personal items in the home. It can attach to personal property which may be very difficult or impossible to clean. Often the item will have to be destroyed because the mold cannot be completely removed.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE MOLD?

For the most part, since mold is everywhere, it is impossible to completely avoid all indoor molds. The key to preventing mold is to control the moisture levels indoors. The EPA website states, "If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back" (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html).

For small areas, usually a moldy section of 9 to 10 square feet, the home or business owner can usually clean up the mold themselves. For larger areas, it is important to hire a professional mold removal contractor to make sure the problem is taken care of safely.

If you have a small patch of black, green or gray colored spots, Frank Foreman, of NO ODOR, Inc., has a smart tip to determine whether or not it is mold: put some hydrogen peroxide on the growth and watch the reaction. Almost everyone has one of those brown bottles of the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in their medicine cabinet, so he suggests putting it in a clean spray bottle and spraying the colored spots. If the solution runs down the wall and there is no reaction, then the spots are not growths of mold (it could possibly just be dirt.) Since mold is a living organism, when sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide, there will be an oxidation process. If you hit it and the growth starts to foam up with white foam, then you know you are dealing with mold.

For small amounts of mold, many sources recommend using a combination of water and detergent to clean the moldy surfaces. However, Frank Foreman recommends using only products that are approved by the EPA to kill mold. He further states that care and precaution need to be taken when doing the cleanup by an individual. "Mold is a living organism and it can travel easily when disturbed. Someone may wash away half of the mold and the other half might release mold spores that can escape to another source of moisture in the home. Or worse, into the A/C or heating system which can spread mold spores to every room in the house," claims Foreman.

Foreman also suggests that someone with a mold problem should really educate themselves before hiring a professional to remove toxic mold. "The mold removal industry is completely unregulated. There are no federal, state, or local regulations that govern mold removal professionals." This means, according to Foreman, with no standards, there is no way to prove the job was done or that it is done right. "Only seventy to eighty percent of all mold removal jobs are done right, which means the property owner is going to have residual problems."

He says that it is important to shop around, to get references, and to scan the Internet to learn as much as possible about toxic mold and mold removal. "Education is the key. Learn the basics so you can talk to the remediation expert and you'll have a good idea if he or she really knows what they're doing."

Mold removal methods vary from company to company. But the process can be complicated and expensive. For example, if a 10' x 10' bedroom has two walls infested with mold, it may be necessary to seal off that portion of the house, remove all wall boards until there are no more visible signs of mold growth. Next, the remediation pro will have to hand sand away the mold. Then, a mold killing detergent will be washed over the surface. The exposed area will then be HEPA vacuumed to remove remnant spores. After the area is tested to make sure there is no more mold, new walls will have to be built back up and painted. As you can see, the process can be time consuming and very expensive. However, to save on excessive destruction, some professionals have been employing fiber optic technology to view within the walls or ceilings, looking for mold growth, before tearing down all the drywall.

If you have had a flooding problem or a major water leak, it is also important to contact your insurance company. Many do not know that insurance may cover the mold removal as well. However, most insurance companies are starting to put limits on mold removal coverage (sometimes keeping caps at $5000 to $10,000.) While it may sound like a lot of money, the insurance company will be giving you money to fix the damage and remove the mold. The mold removal process may cost more than repairing the damage caused by the water. For example, if the roof of a house comes off during a storm and causes water damage to the house, the insurance company may give a lump sum to cover the repairs to the roof, the damage inside, and the mold problem. By accepting their lump sum, you have to pay to replace the roof and damage from water but the money also has to cover the costs to remove the mold that may come days, weeks, or months later.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MOLD FROM COMING BACK?

Once you have removed the entire mold infestation from your property, it is still important to control moisture levels in the structure.

- If there is any kind of flooding, it is imperative you remove the water within 24 to 48 hours.

- Whenever possible, move wet items to a dry, well-ventilated place or outside to speed up the drying process. Remove drywall up to the height of the water level. Remove carpeting as soon as possible.

- Keep the indoor humidity low. If possible, keep below 60 percent relative humidity.

- If condensation or moisture collects on windows, walls or water pipes, dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

- Keep gutters clean and make sure water drains away from the building to prevent it from collecting around the foundation.

- Run or install venting fans in high moisture areas, like the bathroom.

- Run a dehumidifier in moist areas, such as a basement or bathroom.

- Ventilating areas can help reduce moisture, as well as keeping the temperature up or the air conditioner on. However, aim the air conditioning vents away from the condensing surfaces to prevent cold spots where moisture condensation can occur.

- Adding thermal insulation to walls, ceilings, and pipes can help, too (in fact, rust spots on any water pipes could be an indication there is too much moisture in a room. Adding insulation to the pipes is a good idea.)

Mold can be a very serious problem in homes and businesses and it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. The consequences to health and property can be severe. While remediation of mold can be expensive, the damage mold can cause could be even worse. Frank Foreman has seen many cases where it is actually cheaper for the homeowner to knock down and rebuild an entire house rather than remove the existing mold infestation.

Keep in mind some of the potential signs that mold may be growing within a property:

o Unexplained discoloration on a surface

o Musty or earthy odor

o Dark spots on or around vents

o Water stains anywhere

o Peeling or curling of floors or wallpaper

Do your homework and hire a professional to handle even moderate mold problems as soon as possible. If one is not sure where to look for a mold removal and remediation specialist, there are services that can help everyone find a local professional.

Whenever a home or business owner believes there are signs of mold growth within their property, he or she should contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid future problems or costs. Attack those "Killer Mold Spores" before your own personal home invasion gets any worse.

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