Mold Testing in Houston
Mold Needs Moisture!
What is mold?
Mold is a natural substance that evolved on earth long before man. Mold is part of the fungus family; there are over 100,000 known types of mold. Mold releases enzymatic decay of organic material. It plays an essential role in decomposing dead plant matter and has given us valuable medicines against bacteria like penicillin. The trouble arises from the fact that mold can also break down the organic matter like our houses and cause health issues in our bodies.
What enhances mold to grow?
Mold requires three things to grow – food, water, and the correct temperature. Mold breeds in the same temperature range that humans generally prefer (48°F to 70°F) and mold devours on components of wallboard, carpets, and other typical household items and building materials. Therefore, the only right way to control mold is to take away its water source.
How can you tell if it’s mold?
Usually, the musty odor, because sometimes you can’t see mold. It comes in many colors other than the commonly known dark green, black or brown. You should not use a home testing kit. Call an expert for a home inspection.
Besides a musty odor, or the staining, crumbling, or swelling of plaster and the separation of baseboards, the following are problem signs of mold:
- Mold and Mildew – Fungus that grows in damp, dark areas causes discoloration, musty smells, and odors.
- Musty Odors – This results from the decay process from mold, mildew, and dry rot.
- Dry Rot – Dark brown/black fungus. Grows on walls.
What are the possible health issues of mold?
The cause between mold and serious health effects is studied, but there is no longer any debate that mold causes respiratory symptoms (asthma) and allergic reactions (sneezing, coughing, watery eyes). A Mayo Clinic study has shown that close to 100% of acute sinus infections are caused by mold. Other bad health symptoms that can be caused by mold can be:
- Runny nose
- Sore Throat
- Chronic Coughing
- Eye Irritation
- Watery Eyes
- Loss of Balance
- Skin rash
- Memory Loss
Mold is coming up as a health and safety issue in many areas of the USA. Reports have shown that close to 50% of U.S. homes contain the right amount of mold to cause respiratory problems.
Who is most at risk of harmful health effects from mold exposure?
- The elderly
- Young children & infants
- Pregnant women
- People with asthma
- People with allergies
Mold Testing Methods
Mold Testing, and Analysis
The Zefon Air-O-Cell Cassettes Z5 is capable of both personal and conventional air sampling. The Air-O-Cell is proven to have an exceptionally uniform collection trace and is virtually 100% accurate
for the entire fungal spore range. (d50 is less than 1 micron!) Z 5 truly represents the next generation. Test performed at 5 liters per minute.
This cassette collects a complete range of:
- Airborne Aerosols
- Mold Spores
- Insect Fragments
- Skin Fragments
Bio-Tape provides a simple, standardized method to sample for common bioaerosols such as mold and fungi. It contains a flexible plastic microscope slide with a pre- defined 1″ x 1″ adhesive area. Each slide provides a unique serial number for tracking. Air Monitoring. A licensed inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology, performs air monitoring. Various ways gather air samples.
Anderson Style Bioaerosol Sampler conveys viable spores on Petri dishes placed in the equipment at a rate of 28.3 cubic liters of air per minute. Results provided in colony-forming units per cubic meter of air.
Laser Particle Counter
operates to assess indoor air quality and cleanliness of rooms. The handheld device monitors environments to test for airborne particles. This device will help track down particle source problems. Its intelligent design and overall utility is invaluable in mold detection and making workplace environments safer and healthier. The reasoning behind such air monitoring is to assess the extent of contamination throughout the building. Sampling conducted while ventilation systems are operating. Air monitoring requirement if mold suspected in a particular area of the structure (e.g., a volatile microbial odor is detected) identification through a visual inspection. The reason for such air monitoring is to determine the location and extent of mold contamination. Air monitoring is necessary if the building inhabitants suffer from health problems, which may be associated with fungal exposure. If air monitoring requires comparative purposes, outdoor air samples gathered simultaneously at an air intake, if attainable, and at a location representative of outdoor air. The outdoor control air test is beneficial in evaluating whether there is an internally generated mold problem.
Such a situation may exist if indoor mold testing reports mold levels that are either :
(a) higher than the outdoor control air test
(b) present indoors but absent from the outdoor control air test
A licensed inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology performs bulk or surface sampling. A sampling of items to identify the presence or absence of mold if a visual
inspection is equivocal (e.g., discoloration and staining). Bulk samples of collected from visibly moldy surfaces by scraping or cutting materials with a clean tool into
a clean plastic bag. Surface samples administered by wiping a measured area with a sterile swab or by stripping the suspect surface with “Bio Tape lift.”
Carpet cassettes are for the gathering of fibers and particulate from carpets and other dusty areas. Carpet testing gives historical data of
previous mold contamination Cassettes use a 1″ piece of tubing with a 45-degree bevel fitted to the inlet port and came preloaded with a .45µ & 5.0µ MCE filter and support pad. Cassettes use a 3-piece styrene housing and help avoid overloading.
Houston provides the ideal environment for mold growth. The high humidity, and heat can wreak havoc on a poor climate controlled home.
Notoriously high mold spore count outdoors. Eventually high humidity indoors will cause mold to grow.
We Inspect for mold at it’s source:
- Hidden Pipe Leaks
- Wind Driven Moisture
- Building Envelope
- Landscaping Build Up
- Behind Shower Walls
- Behind Tub Surrounds
- Behind Wallpaper
- Underneath Sinks
- Air Condition Issues
- Flooring Issues
- Slab Moisture
- Roofing Leaks
- Behind Drywall
- Faulty Window Seals
- Missing Insulation
Mold Testing Methods
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