Molds are naturally occurring micro-organisms that are essential to life on earth. We are surrounded by molds indoors and out. Most molds are not dangerous in small amounts though they can be irritants to persons with respiratory issues, compromised immunity, and to the very young and the elderly.
Media reports and unscrupulous individuals make much of ‘toxic black mold.’ This is a baseless fear. Molds come in a variety of colors depending on their nutrition source and location. Few are toxic. Most are allergenic in large amounts.
Mold can grown within 48 hours and reproduce in 72 hours with a moisture source such as a roof or plumbing leak. High humidity in vacant homes can also promote mold growth. Mold can grow in air handlers if they are not properly maintained due to a ready moisture source. Molds prefer a cellulose based food source such as the paper backing on gypsum board, but can grow on a variety of materials. The State of Florida recommends that areas of mold growth of more than ten square feet be professionally cleaned by a licensed mold remediator. Smaller areas can be cleaned by homeowners using a fungicide.
The only accurate way to determine if the molds in your home are harmless and/or in normal amounts is to do sampling and have it analyzed in a laboratory by a qualified industrial hygienist who will identify the species and level of infestation. This is typically done by air sampling, though a variety of other sampling methods are also available to us, such as swabbing, tape lifting, and wall cavity sampling.
Samples are shipped overnight to an accredited laboratory and results are typically available within 48 hours. The reports are comprehensive and easy to understand and explain if results are normal or elevated. We are available to answer any follow-up concerns or questions you may have.
There are many mold remediation companies that offer mold sampling. It is illegal in the State of Florida to perform both mold assessments and mold remediation for obvious conflict of interest reasons. Protect yourself. We only perform assessments and have no financial interest in the outcome.
Did You Know
High humidity in vacant homes can promote mold growth!