“People get so excited about their drinking water and we only drink two liters per day. Yet we breathe 20,000 liters of air a day and these poisons are directly absorbed by the lungs.”
Toxicologist Roger C. Inmann, Director of Toxicology and Hazard assessment for the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
What Is Mold?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play an important part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, MOLD GROWTH SHOULD BE AVOIDED. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.
There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without moisture. Mold growth on surfaces may have many colors including commonly black, gray, green, or olive; but, it may also be white, yellow, pink and other colors.
Why Does Mold Matter?
If indoor mold contamination is extensive, it can cause very high and persistent airborne spore exposures. Persons exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized and develop allergies to the mold or other health problems.
Mold growth can damage your furnishings, such as carpets, sofas and cabinets. Clothes and shoes in damp closets can become soiled. In time, unchecked mold growth can cause serious damage to the structural elements in your home.
What Is A Mold Inspection?
A good mold inspection begins with a thorough visual inspection of the home. This visual inspection should include the attic, crawl space, HVAC system, any stains, discolorations, or signs of moisture intrusion, as well as around items such as dishwashers and other appliances that may be sources of moisture.
Taking samples of the air and / or surfaces are sometimes helpful to provide a better assessment. For example, surface samples of discolorations can identify if there is mold growth or just stains.
Air samples can help identify whether there are hidden reservoirs within walls that are leading to human exposure in the home.