Mold is everywhere! It is in the air and on most surfaces, and generally doesn't cause more than a sneeze here and there. It becomes a problem inside a home or business when there is excessive moisture or humidity. It finds these wet surfaces and begins to grow. Mold can release toxic gasses and may cause allergies and other health issues.
The moisture problem can originate from sudden water releases, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. If you can see mold on the outside of a surface, you should be concerned about what is growing on the other side. It's always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified and licensed professional. License # MRSR2280
The topic of mold contamination is still relatively new. While Florida is known for high humidity, lots of rain, and just being wet in general, we are only now learning how prevalent of an issue mold really is.
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. Mold can be especially dangerous to the elderly and the very young.
Proper removal of mold is important to prevent further issues, and should only be performed by a certified and licensed company. Florida requires mold remediators to hold a special license to perform the task. In order to obtain a state license, the remediator must also have extensive training and experience, industry certifications, and a special insurance policy.
The EPA and CDC's websites contais lots of information about mold, mold removal, and hazards of mold exposure. A few links are below.
Principles of Mold Remediation
Mold contamination can lead to a number of health problems, both for those residing in the structure and for anyone working to remove the problem. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process should protect themselves using Tyvek suits, respirators, goggles, gloves, and other personal protection equipment any time they are in the affected areas.
Testing for mold contamination on surfaces and in the air should be performed both before and after remediation. This helps determine the type of mold containment, the severity of the problem, and how successful remediation has been once complete. Our firm can put you in contact with several Mold Assessors in the area to help you with this process.
Common Fungi Species
Mold is very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture. While there are many types of mold, the most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Stachybotrys chartarum is also found in buildings and homes. While it is less common than other mold species, it is not rare. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.
Finding a Licensed Professional
In the state of Florida, all mold remediators and assessors must have a valid license with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Logan York, owner of Seminole FireWater Restoration, holds a license for Mold Remediation in Leon County. License # MRSR2280.
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Stachybotrys chartarum (SC) is known as black mold and can cause serious health problems.
Aspergillus is a common fungal type that may cause headaches, fatigue and other neurological issues as well as respiratory problems. It can grow in human tissue, which mainly poses a threat to those with weakened immune systems.
Alternaria is most commonly associated with allergies and asthma.
Cladosporium rarely causes health issues, but may cause allergies and asthma problems in sensitive individuals.
Penicillium causes symptoms similar to aspergillus. One strand is known to cause infectious disease in humans.
It is important to contain the work area to prevent the mold spores from spreading to other areas of the structure. We use temporary wall systems, block HVAC vents, and create negative air pressure to achieve this. Air scrubbers are placed inside the containment area and vented outside to remove contaminated air.
Bleach alone does not kill mold and attempts to isolate mold or remove visble signs from the surface are not adequate. Porous contaminated materials including drywall, furnishings, cabinets, and other items must be physically removed from the structure to remove mold.
To limit future contamination or recontamination, moisture problems such as leaks or high humidity problems must be identified, located, and corrected or controlled as soon as possible. Mold growth is inevitable if moisture is not controlled.
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