We can assess your home or office for hidden mould growth, airborne mould spores and overall moisture damage. Need to get a better handle on your potential mould growth issue. Book a Mould Inspection today.
Mold is ever present and is part of our natural environment. It is impossible to have a mold free environment! However, in nature we have a wide variety of mold species (types) at relatively low concentration. Mold is mother nature's way of rotting away or breaking down cellulose materials in order to make sure the life-cycle starts all over again...and that the planet is not overrun by dead trees, leaves, animals...etc.
Not all mold species or mold growth is harmful to your health. Mold can have toxins called mycotoxins which are basically chemicals it uses to battle other mold species. Some molds have very minor or non-existent mycotoxins and other species have very toxic mycotoxins. The more toxigenic mold species can have serious and sometimes long term health implications. Important is to find out if you in fact have a mold issue, what type, where and how serious.
Mold growth can produce thousands of microscopic mold spores, that could be inhaled. This is where the risk for allergies or more serious diseases can occur. a detailed mold inspection and mold testing for black mold can show you if you have a hidden mold issue.
Everywhere! Mold growth is not always visible. In most cases, mold growth can be behind walls, above ceiling and under floors. A professional and competent mold inspection along with mold testing that is sent to a qualified mold laboratory can show you if you have a mold growth problem.
The most important thing is not to panic! More harm can be done without a plan and without the right information. Mold can be spread to other areas making the mold issue more difficult, more costly to remove and put occupants at higher risk. A detailed mold inspection should be considered.
Don't touch it! Mold growth can release tens of thousands of mold spores into the air if disturbed.
Have a professional look at it.
Wet building materials and contaminated air conditioning systems can become breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi (mould). There are an estimated 250,000 species of fungi with approximately 1,000 species categorized as indoor moulds.
Roof leaks, foundations cracks, plumbing leaks, appliance overflows, condensation as well as high relative humidity can introduce unwanted excessive moisture into a building. Cellulose building materials such as insulation, wood building products, carpeting, drywall, wallpaper, fabrics, dust, etc. will support mould growth if the conditions are right. “If you water it…it will grow”. Any water event must be properly cleaned up within 24-48 hours to avoid mould growth.
There are indoor mould species that are allergenic and there are mould species that can be extremely toxic. Some moulds cause allergic reactions including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitus, asthma, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, and fever. Certain moulds produce toxins (mycotoxins) as a by-product of living. These so called ‘toxigenic’ moulds can cause digestive problems, joint problems, lung damage, ocular disease, ear infections, and some species are considered carcinogenic. Mould spores that have become non-viable (dead) due to the fact that they have dried out or have been killed by bleach or a biocide retain their mycotoxins. Dead mould spores when inhaled can cause the same health issues and allergic reactions as living mould spores.
Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to these contaminants. Exposure to mould can occur through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion of mould spores and fragments.
Buildings that do not have a source for mould growth will typically show similar or lesser counts and types (genus/species) of mould spores indoors compared to outdoor levels.
Buildings that do have a source of indoor mould growth typically show higher counts of spores as well as mould spore types (genus and/or species) that are not represented in the outdoor sample. (In this case levels are considered to be amplified over outdoor levels). Amplification for viable mould spores in many cases should be a few hundred colony forming units (CFU) higher than outside levels for there to be any significant growth. CFU counts below 200 CFU/cubic meter usually do not elicit health effects in healthy individuals.
Spore traps, such as Air-O-Cell or Allergenco cassettes, that measure total counts of spores per cubic meter for viable and non-viable mould spores should also be lower indoors compared to outdoors. Total spore counts indoors can be in the range of 2000 counts or lower as long as outdoor levels are within this range. Spore trap results are considered ‘Amplified’ when indoor results are 3 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels for individual genus. Overall concentration or severity of outdoor levels should also be considered.