ACADEMY HOME INSPECTION will assist you during your Home Inspection regarding your decision to take action concerning potential Mold in the Home.
ALL ACADEMY HOME INSPECTION AFFILIATES ARE: LICENSED, INSURED AND CERTIFIED.
ACADEMY HOME INSPECTION ENDORSES THE FOLLOWING COMPANY FOR MOLD TESTING:
FRONT GATE SERVICES
WHAT IS MOLD?
Mold is a sub-group of the fungi kingdom. There are thousands of types of molds. The purpose of molds on earth is to aid in the decomposition of dead plant matter. Mold can exist extremely hot and cold climates.
HOW DOES MOLD GROW?
Mold needs three things to grow:
Moisture is the key to mold growth and enters our dwellings in a variety of ways. Leaky roofs, high humidity, wet basements, plumbing leaks, and improperly sealed windows or doors are just some of the ways water infiltrates a structure and allows mold to grow.
Mold spores can thrive in cool and warm climates, but most prefer temperatures ranging from approximately 50° Fahrenheit to 80° Fahrenheit, making indoor environments excellent breeding grounds.
· Food Source
Mold eats only organic material, as they primarily dine on cellulose. Plenty of organic materials used in home and office construction contain cellulose, such as drywall, wood, and even carpet with organic fibers. Mold will not eat synthetic material, but it will dine on the organic debris that land on synthetics, such as dead skin, dust, or oils. This is called ghosting.
WHAT ARE SPORES?
Mold reproduces by way of spores, which are microscopic in size and are measured in units called microns. To put it into perspective, a raindrop is approximately 600 microns. Most mold spores, by comparison, range in size from 5–30 microns, making them impossible to see with the naked eye and allowing them to move easily through the air with even the slightest disturbance.
Wind, water, insects, and human or animal movements can all move spores around a dwelling. Mold spores can easily pass through small cracks, window screens, and doorways and can stay in the air for prolonged periods of time, often doing so until they find appropriate conditions for reproduction.
Mold spores can be viable or non–viable. A viable spore can actively reproduce, while a non-viable spore will not actively reproduce. Not all non–viable spores are dead, some may simply be dormant until favorable conditions for growth arise.
MOLD & YOUR HEALTH
Mold spores, both living and dead, have been associated with effects on human health. Generally, the tree categories of mold as they pertain to your health are:
The health effects associated with mold spores are not negated when a spore is rendered non-viable (non-living). In fact, a dead spore, which still contains mycotoxins, may be more detrimental, because it is lighter and can become airborne more readily.
Due to their incredibly small size, mold spores are easily inhaled or ingested. Spores can also enter a human or animal body by way of the ears, eyes, and even pores. The health effects associated with mold include, but are not limited to, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, fatigue, short-term memory loss, diarrhea, asthma, aspergillosis, pnuemonitis, hair loss, and even death.
Mold spores are generally classified into three different categories when pertaining to health:
A toxic mold is one that produces a mycotoxin that has been associated with adverse affects in almost anyone if present in elevations. Some examples of mycotoxins include: tricothecene (produced by the highly publicized Stachybotrys genus), petulin (generally produced by some species of Aspergillus), and sterigmatocystin (also produced by some Aspergillus species).
A pathogenic mold will affect those who are already immune-compromised. Many mold types fall into this category. Immune-compromised individuals include, but are not limited to, cancer patients, elderly, pregnant women, small children with undeveloped immune systems, people with heart disease, others who suffer from illness, and some animals.
An allergenic mold is one that may affect some but not others. This effect is very similar to an animal or pollen allergy. An allergenic mold can sometimes divide a family because only one person may complain of symptoms while others do not have concern for the problem and ultimately do not address it. Some individuals may build a tolerance to an allergen, while others become more susceptible after chronic exposure.
Reference Guides on Mold
* " A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home," Environmental Protection Agency
* " Repairing Your Flooded Home," FEMA
* " Controlling Mold Growth in the Home,"Kansas State University
*Sources: California Department of Health Services Indoor Air Quality Info Sheet, "Mold in My Home: What Do I Do?" revised July 2001; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Questions and Answers on Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds" last reviewed November 30, 2002.