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Mold Testing

Mold should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and building materials, goods and furnishings may be damaged.

Why Mold Testing Matters

On average, people spend between 80 to 90 percent of their time indoors. With that statistic in mind, it’s not hard to understand how important to your health it is that the air in your home is free of contaminants, especially mold spores. Intrusion of mold into the indoor environment can cause serious health problems if left unchecked. The information you will find in the Mold and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) section of this website is dedicated to informing home and business owners of the potential health problems that are possible from exposure to toxic types of mold, both what you can see, and what you can’t see.

Courtesy Care is certified by the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) in Mold Testing and Remediation.

Remediation means removal. And here at Courtesy Care Cleaning and Restoration that’s exactly what we do.
Our trained mold remediation technicians can perform testing of your home for mold contamination, giving you valuable information that will help you insure that your home and family remain healthy and free from the effects of mold contamination. If our Certified Mold Inspector finds mold contamination in your home, we at Courtesy Care offer our mold remediation services and will return your home to a healthy state.

What is mold?

Molds are fungi. Molds grow throughout the natural and constructed (indoor) environment. Tiny particles of mold are present in indoor and outdoor air. In nature, molds help break down dead materials and can be found growing on soil, foods, plant matter, and other items. Molds produce microscopic cells called “spores” which are very tiny and spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Mold Removal Standards

Top 10 Reasons to do Mold Testing and Removal

1. Possible mold-related health symptoms

Be concerned about possible mold problems if one or more occupants is suffering from unexplained health problems such as ongoing itchy eyes, bloody nose, coughing, breathing difficulties, difficulty in remembering things and in thinking clearly, feeling disconnected from the world around you, and/or chronic fatigue. Please remember that some occupants may experience mold-related health symptoms, while others may have none, with all living or working in the same mold-infested area. People differ significantly in their sensitivity to mold.

2. Home-maintenance problems and mold clues

You contribute big-time to becoming a mold victim when you ignore roof leaks; plumbing leaks; sewer line leaks; water stains on ceilings; the indoor smell of mold; visible mold growth; high humidity (60 percent humidity alone is enough to promote mold growth); a wet or damp basement; and a wet or damp crawl space.

3. Odd smells even though you see no visible growth

The worst mold infestation problems are often the ones you cannot see inside floors, ceilings, walls, basement, attic, crawl space and heating/cooling equipment and ducts.

 

Airborne mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, very light and are easily carried in air current movements or in the air flows of your heating/cooling system to mold cross-contaminate your entire house from just one hidden mold problem.

4. If you bought a new home

Today’s new homes often come with built-in mold infestation problems because:

 

Moldy building materials are received from the builder’s supplier-today’s timbers are not kiln-dried as in earlier times, and thus contain a high internal moisture content that makes mold growth possible in the timbers.

 

The builder, its supervisors and employees fail to do quality control to inspect for, and thus, prevent, moldy building materials from being used in the home’s construction.

 

The builder stores the inventory of building materials on the outside ground with no plastic sheeting to protect the building materials from rain (which supplies the necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the materials).

 

The construction crew fails to cover the entire home under construction with plastic sheeting at the end of each construction day to protect the building materials from rain (therefore supplying the necessary water to enable mold growth in and on the materials). The roof and side walls need to be protected against rain until the entire roof, siding, windows and doors are totally installed to seal out rain.

 

The builder fails to inspect and test the home for mold growth while it is being constructed and at the home’s completion. Use of modern building materials like chip wafer boards, drywall (plasterboard) and plywood — all of which molds love to eat.

5. If an area gets wet and is dried, that it is now safe from mold

Mold needs moisture to grow and multiply as it eats your home building materials and personal possessions. The moisture can come from high indoor humidity (above 60 percent all or some of the year), roof leaks, siding leaks, and plumbing leaks. If mold spores and mold colony growth run out of moisture, they do not die. Instead, they become dormant, and can wait millions of years for access to high humidity or a future water intrusion. Dormant mold can make a mold-sensitive person sick. Even the smell of dormant mold can make some people very sick.

 

In fact, many scientists believe that the archeologists who died mysteriously while excavating Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen King Tut’s tomb died, not by a mummy’s curse, but from an allergic shock reaction caused by mold spores that had been dormant and trapped inside the tomb for thousands of years.

6. If you think you should use chlorine bleach to clean up

Do not use chlorine bleach to try to kill mold growth and mold spores because that method is completely ineffective. Bleach is too weak even when freshly manufactured to kill mold. Bleach that sits on store shelves and in your home continually gets ever weaker over the passage of time. In addition, read the manufacturer’s usage directions on the bleach container. The manufacturer does not recommend its use to kill mold. Bleach is not an EPA-registered fungicide.

7. If you’ve used other ineffective products to clean mold

Products such as Kilz, paint containing a mildicide element, any paint, Lysol, ammonia, or other household cleaners and disinfectants are largely ineffective if the mold is not otherwise abated. Painting over a mold problem does not solve it. It only hides the problem temporarily and gives the mold something delicious to eat-the paint itself!

8. The necessity of spraying “something” on the mold

Only EPA-registered fungicides can kill mold, but just spraying visible mold does not solve mold problems. You need to kill all visible mold encountered in mold remediation, but it needs also to be removed from the home or building. All of the water and mold damaged building materials then need to be disposed of and replaced with mold-free building materials. In addition, the cleaned-out area needs to be treated with an EPA-registered fungicide and wood protectant.

9. Trusting that mold-remediation contractors know what they are doing

Many mold remediation companies cause and leave more mold problems after the alleged remediation than before their work because of:

 

  • Failure to find and fix all of the mold infestation locations in a home or building due to incomplete mold inspection and mold testing.
  • Poor or inadequate training.
  • Failure to utilize proper mold containment procedures and effective mold remediation techniques.
  • Taking shortcuts that undermine the remediation effort.
  • Sometimes fraud and dishonesty on the part of the contractor.
  • Insist on hiring only Certified Mold Remediation Technicians who have been trained and certified by the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).
10. Trusting that industrial hygienists and government agencies are experts in mold prevention, inspection, testing and remediation

Although there are many experienced industrial hygienists who are knowledgeable about mold, most are not. Hiring an industrial hygienist (trained in industrial safety and health) to find and fix mold problems is often like hiring a dentist to treat your heart problems.

 

Hire a Certified Mold Inspector if you value your family’s health and home investment. Some government websites promote ineffective and outdated mold remediation ideas like using bleach to kill mold.

 

Government employees do not have the personal experience of having to work in the real world to find and kill real mold that is often hidden in home walls, ceilings, floors, heating/cooling systems, attics, basements and crawl spaces.

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