Molds belong to the kingdom Fungi along with yeasts and mushrooms. They are a type of microorganism that grows by multicellular filaments known as hyphae. It is the growth of the hyphae that causes the familiar fuzzy appearance along with discoloration on aging foods such as bread, fruits, and vegetables. In nature, molds are useful in that they break down organic matter such as dead trees and fallen leaves. However, when molds start to grow indoors on surfaces like ceilings, walls, and floors, both humans and animals are susceptible to certain diseases. A mold inspection can determine the extent to which mold has taken a foothold.
Reproduction of molds is by way of microscopic spores that can float through the air. Some folks have an allergic sensitivity to mold spores resulting in red eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and skin rash. More severe reactions may occur such as shortness of breath. Breathing in spores has been known to cause asthma attacks, respiratory infections, chronic rhinosinusitis, and other conditions. Mycotoxins are poisonous substances produced by molds. Exposure to mycotoxins may lead to severe health conditions such as urinary tract tumors, liver cancer, and even death. All molds need moisture to multiply to dangerous levels. If mold is seen in your home or in your workplace, you should have a mold inspection.
If a mold spore lands on a moist surface in a building, it may take hold and reproduce to unhealthy levels. Usual building materials such as wood, insulation, carpeting, and other organic materials are subject to mold growth. Mold actually digests the material it grows on. This means that structural damage to the building may occur. The crawlspace under your home is one of the most common locations to find rot caused by mold on plywood, floor joists, drywall, sill plates, girders, and other components of the floor framing system. This happens when mold growth is left unchecked, so a mold inspection is needed to determine the extent of the damage.
If you suspect you have a mold problem, you should call for a mold inspection. Visible mold growth is an obvious sign, but several clues of mold growth are not that obvious. You may be able to detect a moldy smell in certain parts of your home. You may also notice that your allergic reactions become worse when you are at home but improve when you go out. If you have ever had a leaky roof or pipes or had a flood event, then you may have a mold problem.
The first objective of a mold inspection is to find where the mold is growing. The second objective is to determine the water problem that caused the mold growth in the first place. A professional mold inspector has the knowledge and experience to find where mold may be hiding. The inspector’s equipment includes thermal imaging cameras, fiber optics and moisture meters. The inspector may also wear personal protective equipment such as an N-95 respirator, protective gloves, and goggles.
If the mold inspection reveals a dangerous mold problem, you ought to hire a professional mold remediation and restoration company. The company can replace, repair, and restore the damaged portions of your home or business. The restoration company can clean or remove contaminated materials while preventing contaminated dust from entering a non-contaminated area. Water sources are also eliminated to prevent the return of mold.