Mold Testing FAQs
Mold is, without a doubt, very dangerous.
It can cause serious health problems, not to mention the negative impact that it can have on your Florida home or business.
In this FAQ, we’ll answer 9 frequently asked questions about mold testing.
1 . What is mold?
We hear and read a lot about the dangers of mold exposure, but what is mold exactly anyway?
Mold is a common type of fungus that thrives in moist, warm conditions.
It’s an important part of our ecosystem, but can also be a serious nuisance.
Like most fungi, mold breaks down plant and animal matter in the environment. They reproduce by releasing spores into the air.
In significant quantities, these spores can present a health hazard to humans; causing respiratory problems and allergic reactions.
2. What causes mold to develop?
To grow, mold requires oxygen, water, nutrients and favorable temperatures.
Nutrients for mold are present in dead organic material such as wood, as well as some synthetic products such as paints.
Mold thrives well in presence of moisture, although some species of mold can get moisture from moist air.
Common sources of moisture include:
- Poor or improper ventilation of heating and cooking appliances
- Wet clothes drying inside the home
- Condensation on cool surfaces
- Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
- Damp basements and crawl spaces
- Outdoor drainage problems
- Indoor plumbing leaks
- Roof leaks
Most types of molds flourish at normal indoor temperatures of between 40F and 100F.
Beyond these limits, most molds may remain dormant or inactive.
3. How can mold affect our health?
Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people.
Mold spores are everywhere, including your home, and they can grow on any surface that has sufficient moisture.
Exposure to significant levels of mold is linked to increased risk of various respiratory health problems.
These health problems include respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, and a variety of upper and lower respiratory symptoms.
The greater the exposure to mold, the greater the risk of health effects.
4. All molds are toxic, right?
Not all molds are toxic, in fact, most aren’t. It takes an expert to determine which is.
“Toxic mold” is a term that is used to describe types of mold that are considered deadly to humans.
Below is a list of the most common and dangerous molds encountered in either homes, schools, or workplaces:
These mold types can be hazardous to your health.
5. How do I know if I have a mold or moisture problem?
Examples of hidden problem areas include inside walls, floors, ceilings, or behind baseboards, behind furniture or beneath wallpaper.
Visible areas include surfaces in the building itself and items in the building.
Signs of mold or moisture problem in your home are:
- An earthy, musty, or moldy smell
- Damp surfaces, including condensation on walls or windows
- Water damage, such as rotting wood, bubbled or peeling paint, or warped floors
- Water-stained, discolored, or moldy surfaces
6. When should I test for mold?
The only way to accurately assess the amount of mold in your home is to test for it.
It’s recommended to test your home for mold if you:
- Suspect there is hidden mold in your home that you can’t find
- Discover mold in one area of the home
- Smell a musty odor in the home
- Your home has recently been flooded
- If you or a member of your household has a health condition that can be made worse by exposure to mold, such as immune system disorder, respiratory disorders, or severe environmental allergies.
7. What should I look for when selecting a mold testing company?
As a homeowner in Florida, you are likely to come across a plethora of well-meaning mold inspection and testing contractors.
Against such backdrop, selecting the right mold inspection and testing company can be difficult.
The absence of legal framework for these companies hasn’t made things better for homeowners.
There are, however, a couple of things you should consider when choosing the right contractor to inspect and test mold in your house.
- Are they insured?
The mold testing company you choose should be adequately insured. In addition, they must be ready to issue you a contract and proof of insurance.
- Are they well equipped?
The contractor you choose should have an adequate mold inspection process and mold testing equipment.
- Are they up-to-date?
Several industry procedures and standards guide the “mold industry.” These help ensure that you remain safe even after the mold removal and remediation process. Examples of these protocols include the Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Disease Epidemiology, and the Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments.
- Are they experienced?
Mold inspection and testing doesn’t come cheap. You want to hire somebody who is experienced in the business. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start.
- Are they legitimate?
Check whether they are licensed and certified to do the job.
8. What about mold testing kits?
Save your money.
The truth is that off-the-shelf home mold testing kits don’t have what it takes to accurately test for mold.
A mold testing kit usually only tells whether or not mold spores are present.
The problem is mold spores are always present. They feed on just about anything organic that can rot.
A test kit will only cause confusion.
Not even the Environmental Protection Agency recommends them.
9. Why choose Markham Services?
- Our inspections are personally conducted by a trained Certified Mold Inspector committed to providing the utmost integrity and maintaining the highest standards of skill and practice in the environmental inspection profession.
- Every inspection is conducted by a Licensed Insurance Adjuster.
- Our services are deliberately limited to inspections, testing, and reporting. It’s our strong conviction that environmental inspectors shouldn’t profit from problems they discover in the course of their investigations. For that reason, we don’t do mold remediation.
Concerned that your Florida home or business has a mold problem?
We’re here to help! We specialize in mold inspections, mold testing, indoor air quality testing, and post-remediation-testing throughout Central Florida.