The strange smell in your house can be mold. How to check | MarketingwithAnoy

As climate change leads to increased flooding and more severe freezingadded moisture and moisture means that more homes and businesses are susceptible to mold growth. Mold can lead to a wide range of diseases, ranging from asthma and upper respiratory symptoms to organ damage and cognitive difficulties. Michael Berg, technical director with Eurofins Environment Testing Americaa company that performs environmental tests for mold and other potential hazards, cited a research study that found that economic costs to society of disease due to exposure to moisture and mold is over $ 22 billion.

With the Atlantic hurricane season beginning in June, consumers need to know how to deal with water intrusion and mold in their homes. Since Mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours, you should respond quickly to water intrusion by immediately remove wet materials (drywall, carpet, upholstery, etc.), by using fans and dehumidifiers to dry your home out and open areas of trapped moisture to the air flow. Some lucky residents do not want mold, but those who smell it, see it or develop diseases need to know what steps to consider and it starts with a mold assessment.

The importance of proper assessment

Because there are no national standards regarding mold assessment and remediation, the standards vary from state to state. Only a handful of states have indoor air quality (IAQ) laws that focus on mold, which leaves uneducated consumers worse off when faced with water intrusion. Doug Hoffman, CEO of The national organization of sanitizers and mold inspectors (NORMI), says that NORMI has helped write casting legislation in several states. Hoffman said consumers should think of the “mold assessor as the architect” who is responsible for designing the scope and steps of the remediation project, while “the remediator is the contractor performing the work.” Hoffman says consumers should not try to save money on testing because testing dictates repair, and incomplete testing can lead to incomplete repair.

Mike Marshall, operations manager for Mold Inspection Sciences Texas and chairman of Texas Mold Assessors and Remediators Association, agreed and said that “inadequate assessments and tests may result in inadequate remediation”: You can not correct what has not been identified. I can vouch for the need for a thorough, professional mold assessment. Cleaning and remediation dragged on for 20 months after my home exploded with poisonous mold two decades ago. Part of the extended timeline was due to inadequate testing leading to piecemeal remediation.

However, discarding unpolluted materials can also create an unnecessary expense. Marshall estimates that remediation can cost 15 to 20 times the cost of testing, so accurate testing can save customers a lot of money through targeted remediation. Berg said mold testing is not necessary in cases where there is a clear path to solve the problem (such as after a flood or burst pipe), but is very useful when there is hidden mold or when there are insurance claims or disputes. In our extreme mold experience, the logic did not dictate an accurate remediation plan, so thorough testing was necessary. While the mold explosion began in our shower, tape samples revealed toxic mold throughout the house – all three bathrooms, the kitchen, the laundry room and more.

What happens during a mold assessment

Marshall says the best way to prepare is for consumers to understand what happens during a mold assessment. He says consumers often request mold tests because they smell or see something that looks funny, or because someone is sick and they do not know why. In many cases, this happens after a recent water intrusion.

This is how an assessment works in Texas, where I live. After a telephone screening, a mold inspector licensed by the state of Texas arrives for an in-depth conversation with the homeowner. The inspector then performs an exterior inspection of the home to determine possible water entry points: a defective roof, problems with the foundation, problems with landscaping or bark chips, sealing windows, and so on. The inspector then walks through each room with an infrared camera to see recent moisture events hidden behind walls or ceilings. If the infrared detects pool areas with lower temperatures, a moisture meter is used to see if water is collected there. They also test areas that are common to moisture penetration, such as around windows, doors, and areas that contain plumbing wiring.

Depending on the size of the room, the inspector will collect one or more air samples if they detect conditions that promote mold growth. According to Marshall, the industry standard is to draw 75 liters of air for five minutes through a biopump with an air sample cassette attached. The air sample cassette captures cells (mold, skin, blankets, etc.) on a sticky surface on a slide. The cartridge is removed from the pump, sealed, and sent to an independent laboratory unaffiliated with the testing company during a rigorous Chain of Custody (COC) testing procedure. A Chain of Custody documents the transfer of sample from collection point to delivery in the laboratory, including date, time and signatures for each time the sample changes hands.

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