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Guarding Agains Molds, Mildews and Other Fungi

Molds and mildews (recently so often referred to as “toxic molds”) can grow anywhere in and around our buildings where the conditions are right. Molds need darkness, relative humidity above 50%, and organic food sources.

Sunlight will kill mold rather quickly. One way to kill mold or stop it from getting a “foothold” is to periodically let as much sunlight as possible into the areas where it might otherwise thrive.

Dry environments will not allow mold to grow. Even though mold spores may be present in almost any air, the spores must land on surfaces that can provide enough food and moisture for them to live. Otherwise they become dormant and eventually die. Surfaces that are being continually wetted or which never dry out can support mold colonies even when the surrounding air is relatively dry. However, if the air, itself, is continually above 50% relative humidity, the mold can thrive on otherwise dry surfaces.

Mold Inspector, identify mold

Food sources can include even fine dust or lint that collects on otherwise indigestible materials.

 (This is how mold colonies are sometimes found on windows.) Wood, paper, or any other material containing cellulose can be a food source to molds. The significance of this is that most building materials contain these nutrients.

All these molds, mildews, and fungi produce spores that have been floating around in our daily environment for all our lives without causing much trouble for anyone. It’s the unique confinement of living spaces that lends itself to possibly harmful concentrations of these micro-organisms. That’s why we are learning to become more educated and more responsible with respect to mold.

Mold In Window

Many types of molds typically found in today’s living environments may contain allergens that cause a wide variety of symptoms in individuals.

These symptoms are most often related to the respiratory system, but may also involve rashes or dizziness. Not all people are allergic to these types of molds. Typically, people with compromised immune systems will be more likely to have allergic reactions. People suffering from asthma are particularly sensitive.

Some types of black molds have been identified as neurotoxins. These can cause severe, long-term damage to the nervous system. People can be hurt by these molds without ever developing outward allergenic symptoms. Although this type of injury is rather rare, it should make us more cautious with respect to threats from molds, in general.

Mold Respiratory symptoms

Allergy doctors can usually identify which of the known molds may cause allergic reactions in any individual, but the doctors are not equipped to tell that individual whether he or she may be exposed to those molds in their daily environment.

 Fortunately, Southern California now has mold specialists who can survey a building and identify any molds or mildews that may be present (along with other possible airborne contaminants). Slide samples of molds or other fungi can be sent off to microbiologists for analysis. Air samples can be taken.

Southern California also has several mold mitigation contractors trained in removing or treating mold and reducing the conditions that may be conducive to their proliferation. However, the EPA currently recommends involving certified remediation contractors only if the affected area of mold exceeds 10 square feet. (For areas less than that, building owners can usually feel confident in their ability to scrub away any mold with a 10% bleach solution.)

Regardless of the type or extent of mold remediation that might be required, the most important strategy is to remove the source of invasive moisture and to take steps to ensure that moisture does not return.

Mold cleaning, Mold inspector, air quality test

Not Every Home Needs Mold Testing

Mold isn't a bad word. Every home has mold and without it the world wouldn't be habitable for humans or animals.

Mold Only becomes a problem when there is too much of it, when it causes problems for your health, or when it is unsightly and causing damage to property. This is where mold testing comes in. Take a look at our guide for mold testing options with GUARANTEED RESULTS. 

MOLD INSPECTION AND AIR QUALITY TESTING