Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Who To Contact For Mold Inspection

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Mold Testing During a Home Inspection

Mold is a fungus type that springs from tiny spores floating in the air. It may exist anywhere in your home or office but grows in particular places that provide an ideal environment for it to thrive.

For instance, mold loves moisture and a temperature between 40-100F. If your house offers a favorable atmosphere, mold will inevitably grow.

A common misconception among homeowners is that mold is black. However, research tells us that mold can be orange, green, purple, and white.

Indoor molds can cause health issues and destroy home aesthetics. On the other hand, outdoor mold breaks down plants, dead leaves, and trees.

Therefore, mold indoors or outdoors must be treated to ensure a safe environment and better family health.

Shelby County Health Departments Responsibilities

  • Shelby County Health Department CAN provide general mold information.
  • Shelby County Health Department CAN provide contact numbers / referrals to other agencies that may help in resolving a mold problem.
  • Shelby County Health Department CANNOT provide physician examinations relating to mold exposure.
  • Shelby County Health Department CANNOT conduct inspections, clean-up / removals for mold problems, or help with any legal issues in public or private residences.

Does Ultraviolet Radiation From Uv Lamps Kill Mold

If properly designed, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation cleaners that use ultraviolet radiation from UV lamps may destroy indoor biological pollutants such as viruses, bacteria, and some molds that are growing on the moist interiors of HVAC surfaces . But typical UVGI cleaners used in homes have limited effectiveness in killing bacteria and molds. Effective destruction of some viruses and most mold and bacterial spores usually requires much higher UV exposure than is provided in a typical home unit. Furthermore, dead mold spores can still produce allergic reactions, so UVGI cleaners may not be effective in reducing allergy and asthma symptoms.

Read more about mold at

Also Check: What Are The Symptoms Of Mold In Your House

How Do Molds Affect People

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens , irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances . Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash . Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. For more detailed information consult a health professional.

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Are There Situations Where Mold Sampling May Be Considered

Mold Testing In Rancho Mirage California, Mold Remediation 92270. Call ...

Mold testing may be appropriate if:

  • Occupants continue to have symptoms associated with mold after water sources are repaired and moldy building materials and items in the building have been removed or cleaned. Mold testing can sometimes be helpful to identify which materials may be an ongoing source of mold to assist in completing the remediation or
  • An individual has a diagnosed respiratory fungal infection, and the treating medical provider requests mold testing to help direct medical treatment.
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    What About Black Mold Or Stachybotrys

    Recently, there has been heightened concern regarding exposure to a specific type of mold commonly referred to as black or toxic mold. Currently there is no conclusive scientific evidence linking the inhalation of black mold spores or any type of mold in the indoor environment to any illness other than the previously described allergy symptoms. The term toxic is an inaccurate description of this mold. There are many common molds that are black in color.

    If you see mold growing in your home, the most important thing to remember is not to panic. You do not have to leave your home or belongings behind or destroy everything in the house. Instead, seek the help of someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with mold. Contact your local public health agency or state health department for more information on mold.

    How Does Mold Testing Work

    Mold detection is a broad term that encompasses a physical mold test and the entire process of inspecting for mold. Often this includes a visual inspection of the area or a thermal imaging scan. The mold inspector will look for potential sources of moisture in your homes, such as damaged plumbing and leaking roofs. Basements and crawlspaces are also equally susceptible to moisture buildup and standing water.

    During this process, the mold inspector may take a mold test if the situation calls for it. For example:

  • If there is an odour present in the room but no visible mold growth
  • If the inspector finds a discolored material and wants to confirm its mold
  • If water damage is uncovered and the indoor air quality needs to be checked
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    Is Sampling / Testing For Mold Necessary

    In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association , the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists , or other professional organizations.

    Read more about mold at

    Poor Reason For Testing #4 To Find The Cause Of Health Complaints

    Part 2: Protect Yourself During A Mold Inspection

    It can be very difficult to conclude if and how occupants may be impacted by a specific mold problem. For one thing, the full range of health effects caused by molds is poorly understood at this time. Whether health effects will occur depends, for each person, on how much mold gets into their body, the amount and potency of various substances that the mold mixture can contain, and the unique susceptibility of each person to the effects of these substances. Unfortunately, mold tests alone will not determine if a specific problem environment is causing a persons complaints.

    Even when mold contamination is found in an area where health problems are occurring, it is often difficult to conclude that the mold is the actual cause of an individuals specific complaints since other contaminants commonly present in damp or water-damaged settings can also cause or contribute to the complaints associated with moldy environments. Indeed, focusing too heavily on mold alone can be a poor strategy if other potential causes of complaints are not also addressed. Nevertheless, such an association of complaints to evidence of mold contamination is reason enough to remove the mold and correct the underlying causes of excess moisture.

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    Mold Prevention And Removal

    The best way to prevent mold is to remove water and moisture sources. Fix leaks, dry damp areas and remove humidity from the air to help stop mold growth and keep it from coming back.

    To remove mold:

  • Seal off moldy areas using a plastic sheet and duct tape until cleaned. Keep children and pets away.
  • Use water and soap to clean small areas of mold on walls or other hard surfaces when you see it. Wear waterproof gloves while cleaning.
  • Dry the cleaned area completely.
  • Clean any visible dust from work areas. Use wet mops or HEPA vacuums.
  • Throw away all cleaning-related waste in heavy-duty plastic bags and seal securely.
  • If the mold returns quickly or spreads, there may be an underlying problem, such as a water leak. Report repeated mold problems to your landlord.

    If large areas of mold are present, you may need outside help such as a professional mold abatement company. Be sure your contractor is licensed and follows NYS Labor Law requirements.

    To report a large amount of mold in an apartment if you are a tenant, or if the mold is in a non-residential location, submit a complaint online or call 311.

    Facts Information And Resources

    Molds are fungi that can be found in virtually every environment, indoors and outdoors, year round. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

    Research has found that damp building conditions can lead to respiratory illnesses in occupants. Dampness in buildings can occur for a variety of reasons such as high indoor humidity, condensation, and roof leaks.

    People who are sensitive to mold may experience stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin irritation. People allergic to mold may have difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. People with weakened immune systems and with chronic lung diseases, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. If you or your family members have health problems after exposure to mold, contact your doctor or other health care provider.

    How do I prevent or get rid of mold

    The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    The resources below and links within those sites provide most of the information available regarding mold as it impacts humans.

    I see mold in my house. Can I or should I test for mold?

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    Are There Federal Regulations Or Standards Regarding Mold

    Standards or Threshold Limit Values for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.

    Read more about mold at

    Take Steps To Protect Yourself

    A Look At The Importance And Benefits Of Testing For Mold In The Home

    The amount of mold particles in air can increase greatly when mold is disturbed. Consider using protective equipment when handling or working around mold contaminated materials. The following equipment can help minimize exposure to mold:

    • Rubber gloves
    • Eye goggles
    • Outer clothing that can be easily removed in the work area and laundered or discarded
    • Medium-efficiency or high-efficiency filter dust mask — at a minimum, use an N-95 or equivalent dust mask

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    Guidance Regarding Testing For Mold In Water

    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health , Bureau of Environmental Healths Indoor Air Quality Program conducts indoor air quality inspections of schools and public buildings. Although inspections include an assessment for mold, DPH does not test for mold and does not recommend mold testing as part of routine water damage remediation. This document clarifies the reasons for this recommendation and provides guidance on mold remediation and prevention in public buildings. For further information, please contact the DPH Indoor Air Quality Program at .

    What Are Some Common Asthma Triggers

    Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode or attack or make asthma worse. People with asthma may have just one trigger, or they may find that several things act as triggers.

    Common asthma triggers are:

    Be sure to work with your doctor to identify your — or your child’s triggers.

    Then take steps to control these triggers.

    Learn more about these triggers and others at the EPA Asthma Home Page.

    Read more about mold at

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    Poor Reason For Testing #1 To Find Out If There Is Mold

    A complex mixture of mold particles normally exists in all occupied indoor environments. If appropriate testing is done, it is expected that molds will be found. There is, however, an important distinction between the normal presence of mold particles, versus mold growth and accumulation indoors. Unfortunately, even when it is done well, testing may not be able to distinguish between normal and problem conditions and it may even give misleading results.

    When mold grows indoors, it poses a potential health risk and damages what it grows on. When mold growth is visible or mold odors can be smelled, it is common sense that there is a problem that should not be tolerated.

    Tips And Techniques For Mold Cleanup

    Free Mold Inspection App

    While much has been written about mold cleanup, the simplest advice is still the best Control the Moisture, Control the Mold. Without moisture, mold will not grow. With sufficient moisture, mold will keep coming back no matter how many times it is cleaned up.

    Take the following steps when mold is spotted or suspected:

    • Stop the mold growth by finding and repairing the source of the excess moisture. Fix the plumbing leaks, roof leak, flooding, a large spill or high relative humidity.
    • Dry all items within 24-48 hours.
    • Porous items such as drywall, ceiling tiles, carpeting, padding, books, clothing and other paper or cloth materials soak up moisture. Items that are not dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage.
    • Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, then dry.
    • If the water was from a sewage backup or flood, the items should probably be discarded. If you clean the items, use a diluted household bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Avoid breathing the fumes, getting on skin, or in eyes. Note: Do not mix bleach with other cleaners!
    • For more information, see
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
  • Placing discarded items in plastic trash bags before moving them will help prevent spreading mold spores throughout the house.
  • Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold Off Wood

    Contact Us About Mold

    Report possible violations of environmental laws and regulations.

    EPAs website provides information on mold, its effects on indoor air quality and health, and guidance for addressing mold issues in homes. Please read the following resources before submitting a question.

    Please note:EPA does not inspect homes for mold or other general indoor air issues and cannot intervene in landlord/tenant issues. For information on state laws and policies to improve indoor air quality, please see the Environmental Law Institutes Database of State IAQ Laws. You can also find contact information for health and environmental agencies in your state on our Health and Environmental Agencies of U.S. States and Territories webpage.

    If you are experiencing health effects that you think are attributable to mold or other indoor air issues in your home, please consult a medical professional. EPA cannot diagnose illnesses or their causes.

    Search our Frequently Asked Questions:

    • Visit our websitefor the full portfolio of Indoor Air Quality information.

    If you still can’t find your answer, send us your questions or comments:

    • Via postal mail or courier at the address below:


    Courier Service or Delivery address:
    U.S. EPA/Office of Radiation and Indoor AirIndoor Environments Division U.S. EPA/Office of Radiation and Indoor AirIndoor Environments DivisionWashington, DC 20004

    Submit a Question or Comment

    Toronto Basements And Mold

    Lets face it, 90% percent of houses in Toronto are 50 plus years old. Older foundations and narrow spaces when faced with deficiencies in water-shedding will lead to cracks in the foundation and subsequent mold growth.

    Most often these small cracks in foundations will go unnoticed for years causing the mold growth in drywall, framing, and baseboards. Window leaks are also a consistent source of not only foundation cracks appearing but also a mold.

    While constant high humidity is a cause for concern and a potential mold problem, often the cause of the high humidity is not easily discovered and the cause is never addressed leading ultimately to mold growth and mold smells like in cold cellars.

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    Poor Reason For Testing #6 To Decide How To Correct A Mold Problem

    Knowing the specific types of mold does not change what ought to be done to clean up the mold or fix the moisture problem. All mold problems should be handled in the same general way, with safety precautions based mainly on the extent of the contamination and how likely the mold will be disturbed by removal activities. All visible mold growth, should be captured and physically removed to the greatest extent practical. In all cases, fixing the moisture problem is critical.

    Who Can Test My Home Or Clean Fix And Remediate My Home For Mold

    Mold Testing Pasadena, CA

    EPA does not have a certification program for mold inspectors or mold remediation firms. EPA does not maintain a list of mold inspectors or mold remediation firms, though some states might.

    Some states and organizations may require certification, trainings, or examinations for practitioners in the indoor air quality industry. Sometimes companies that provide radon, lead or asbestos inspection services provide mold assessment services as another part of their business. Ask about qualifications, training and experience and check references for professionals you are considering. See our list of state contacts.

    The key to mold growth is moisture so part of assessing mold problems is looking for existing or potential moisture problems. Companies that provide water damage inspection services may help look for moisture and some may be familiar with mold problems as well.

    There are no established safe levels or regulatory standards for mold, so, although testing can be done, it may be of limited use in helping to understand the problem. Mold assessment is mainly done through visual inspection of areas where there have been moisture problems or water damage

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