Mold (fungi) is a natural part of our environment and are present everywhere indoors and outdoors but when found at elevated levels indoors, they indicate larger issues. Mold may pose significant health risks to building occupants and greatly accelerate deterioration of building materials. Visible mold growth is not the only cause of concern. Indoor mold growth can result in elevated airborne spore concentrations and exposure occurs when spores are inhaled. People who have asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, other allergies, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to react to mold. The most common symptoms are runny nose, red itchy eyes, throat irritation, skin rash, cough, congestion, aggravation of asthma and tiredness or fatigue,.
Molds reproduce via tiny spores, which are invisible to the naked eye. Even if you do not see visible mold growth, your home or business may still be affected by airborne mold. When mouldy material becomes damaged or disturbed, many mould spores can be released into the air.
If there has been a leak or a flood, or there is a “musty smell” emanating from one part of a building, it is worth finding out if it is mold, especially if it is the notorious toxic black mold, Stachybotrys. The presence of mold can cause health problems through production of allergens, irritants, and toxic substances known as mycotoxins. Exposure to mold mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold), can lead to health problems.
Cheapest Is Rarely The Best : Be aware of FREE or cheap inspection services! There is likely to be an alternative motive. These companies want to get their foot in the door and may over-exaggerate a problem which can pressure and frighten you into signing a costly proposal to remove and remediate. They may also try to "up sell" products and services such as fungal coatings, air cleaners, UV lamps and filtration systems.
Avoid Conflict of Interest: Seek companies to inspect or evaluate the problem that have no financial interest in the cleanup work. We have no affiliation with remediation contractors.
Protect yourself during a mold inspection - ABC News
A mold air test can quantify the levels of airborne mold and potentially uncover hidden mold behind walls or duct chases. It can also be used to estimate occupant exposure to airborne spores and fungal fragments. With the help of new technologies, testing has become faster and more efficient.
Many people ask for mold testing. In fact, some experts do not always recommend spending money and time on mold testing. However there is a time and a place for strategic sampling plans. We provide customized mold testing methodologies specific to your situation, environment and symptoms.
Mold testing Ottawa. We are certified in Mycometer technology, rapid microbiology allowing reliable quantification of microbes in almost all environments. The Mycometer-air methodology quantifies fungal particles in the air by measuring the level of the enzyme, β-N-acetylhexosaminidase (NAHA), from airborne fungal particles captured on a 0,8 µm pore size filter. The technology is verified by US-EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
Put simply, mold does not belong inside your home or business. It is important to consult with professionals who can not only test for mold growth, but provide you with information for remediation and solutions for eliminating the root cause of the problem.
A borescope is an optical tool used to view areas that would otherwise not be visible. The camera can be used to verify the cleanliness of ventilation ducts, search for mold growth in inaccessible areas such as behind a wall cavity, and to inspect plumbing drains or vents for blockages.
Thermal imaging cameras take measuring temperature to the next level. With the ability to detect sources of moisture behind walls, faulty insulation, piping, HVAC components, doors, windows and can improve the efficiencies of cooling or heating.
Controlling moisture is vital as water vapor above certain levels can lead to condensation and corrosion. Uncontrolled moisture within the building envelope can rapidly degrade building materials and insulation or lead to mold and mildew issues that can be dangerous to occupants.
Regardless of the potential effects on health, mold damages building materials. Unchecked mold growth can also damage interior finishes and furnishings and, in time, cause serious damage to the structural elements of a building. A moisture assessment concentrates on learning where the mold is originating which can be far more useful than air sampling.
A mold inspection focuses on finding and correcting mold growth in buildings, therefore, becomes an exercise in finding and eliminating areas of moisture collection. We begin with a visual walk through, along with thermal imaging (FLIR imaging infrared IR camera) and non-penetrating moisture meter inspection to detect damp or wet building materials. We may use a borescope to look inside a wall or inside ductwork. We have a range of advanced equipment, enabling us to see and diagnose moisture sources others might miss.
Any qualified mold inspector will confirm that a mold inspection is top priority. Surface, air and bulk testing can also be part of an inspection. Air samples can be useful, but they do not tell you where and why the mold is growing. Sampling in the absence of a thorough moisture and mold inspection is not recommended, and the data collected from such sampling is missing context.
Moisture problems (flooding, leaks, water intrusion, condensation, etc.) in buildings are the primary reason for mould growth. These moisture problems should be the focus of assessment and control efforts, followed by clean-up, remediation of contaminated materials. Water damage is not the only cause of mold growth, poor humidity control, gaps in wall or ceiling cavities, malfunctioning HVAC systems, and innumerable other issues, both large and small, can cause mold growth. Unless you correct the water and humidity problems, you’re never going to get rid of the mold. We have the knowledge and equipment necessary to locate moisture hidden within building materials.
Companies offering free mold tests and inspections are big red flags! Beware of companies offering both testing and mold remediation services. Research and be willing to pay for a separate inspection and removal services. Someone selling a service may fabricate or exaggerate a problem and find something that scares you into signing up for a very costly cleanup.
Cheapest is rarely the best. Beware of companies offering to sell you just one or two mold air tests. Remember, the number of samples taken directly influences the statistical confidence of the data. It's very difficult to interpret results from just one or two samples. If a company does not have a high quality moisture meter and thermal imaging (Infrared IR camera), start looking elsewhere!
Biocidal chemical compounds, fungal coatings and other mold killing measures can be more toxic than the mold itself; and they do not address the root cause of the problem. Mold and water damaged materials has to be completely removed, and the moisture problem fixed. If you can see visible mold growth, then there’s no need for a mold test. The money is better spent on remediation and cleanup.