All About Mold
JUMP TO: What is mold? Do I have mold? Why is mold a concern? What can I do to prevent mold, or get rid of mold?
What is mold?(Back to Top)
Simply put, mold is a fungus. As mold grows, it produces spores and in some cases chemicals. Mold and mold spores are found everywhere in our environment. All, buildings and outside areas have background levels of mold spores. Mold will not grow unless it has moisture and a food source. Unfortunately, inside a home there are many food sources including dry wall, insulation, wood framing, etc. The only thing missing for indoor mold growth is moisture. Excess humidity, lack of ventilation, leaking pipes, flooding and a wide variety of other sources could provide a moisture source inside. If a moisture source goes for more than 24-48 hours unchecked, mold can start to grow.
Do I have mold?(Back to Top)
Often times, mold is an obvious visible problem. In this case, it doesn't take a professional to figure out you have mold growing indoors. Other times, it isn't so obvious. Mold that is growing in living spaces is usually caught early and treated. Mold growth in spaces such as an attic, crawl space, basement, HVAC system, or inside the walls may not be easily detected and could be affecting your indoor air. Sometimes the only indication of mold growth is a musty smell, or known moisture intrusion that wasn't dried out within 48 hours. In these cases the best way to determine if mold is growing indoors is to take air samples and have them analyzed by microbiologists in a lab.
Additional help for determining if you have mold growing inside is available at the Air Quality Association or the US Environmental Protection Agnecy.
Why is mold a concern?(Back to Top)
According to studies published by Harvard University, approximately 40 to 50% of homes in North America have moisture and mold problems serious enough to impact respiratory symptoms in occupants . Those particularly at risk are pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions.
In 1999, the Mayo Clinic concluded that 96% of chronic sinusitis - sinus infections- were caused by fungi. Symptoms can include headaches, nose, eye and throat irritation and respiratory infections
Mold is an asthma trigger. Indoor mold has proven to increase the risk of children's asthma by 2.5 times.
With North Americans spending 90% of their time indoors, it is obvious why ensuring that you have the healthiest indoor air possible is critical to the health and welfare of you and your family.
Mold and fungal growth eats away at building materials and personal possessions. It can discolor walls, floors and ceilings. In severe cases, it can compromise the structural integrity of a building.
Remediating costs to remove and repair mold problems can be prohibitive and are growing. Insurance has paid out $3 billion in mold related claims in 2002 and have paid out exponentially more in recent years. In most cases, insurance will only cover a certain amount for mold remediation and sometimes do not cover mold damage at all. This leaves property owners at risk when a mold problem arises.
What can I do to prevent mold, or get rid of mold?(Back to Top)
The best solution for mold is prevention. Prevent the moisture source and repair and dry moisture intrusion within 48 hours. If mold already exists, Mountain Air Indoors, Inc. has a state of the art process called bio-remediation that will decontaminate the entire structure while salvaging viable building materials and personal possessions.
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