What is Mold

Mold is a naturally occurring fungus but when under the right moisture and temperature conditions can grow and have effects on human health and building structures.  This naturally occurring fungus, or mold is around us, inside our homes and offices and outside in the air we breathe.   We are exposed to “good” types of mold as well as “bad” types of mold.

EOC Environmental is primarily concerned with the “bad” mold in your home or business.  Mold can cause health problems within your home or offie and identifying the moisture source is where we start.  Mold grows and spreads when it has a moisture source and an organic material to feed on.

Exposure

Individuals can be exposed to mold in a variety of ways but the most common is inhalation, or breathing in airborne mold.  Inhalation is the root of many mold issues including congestion and coughing.

Mold can affect individuals who also come in contact with mold through skin contact.  It can cause a rash or skin infection if left untreated.

Symptoms 

Mold affects everyone differently.  Listed below are some of the symptoms caused by exposure to mold:

  • Irritation of the nose, eyes, skin, and or throat
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Upper and lower respiratory infections
  • Sinus infections or congestion
  • Headaches and vomiting
  • Fatigue or feeling lethargic
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Skin rashes

Common Places to Find Mold

Mold can grow just about anywhere given the ideal conditions, some common areas examples include:

  • Basements and crawl spaces
  • Attics
  • Underneath flooring (carpet, subfloors)
  • Bathroom
  • HVAC Systems

Mold can also be found on these common surfaces

  • Top or bottom of the refrigerator
  • Drywall and framing
  • Floor and ceiling joists

Identifying Mold 

Mold can be visible to the naked eye, and the most common form is “black mold”  This mold grows under the right circumstances and is usually an indicator of a significant moisture problem within the building.  Often the presence of mold in your home or business is accompanied by a musty odor, but not always.   The way to test to see if your building has mold is to have an indoor air quality assessment or mold inspection done.  This includes the following:

  • Visual inspection of the affected and adjacent rooms and areas
  • Visual inspection of exterior of building
  • Visual inspection of flat roof
  • Visual inspection of HVAC system
  • Measurement of temperature indoors and outdoors.
  • Measurement of relative humidity indoors, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide indoors and outdoors. indoors and outdoors.
  • Sampling of surfaces via tape-lift or swabs
  • Sampling of airborne mold

Indoor air samples are compared to outdoor air samples, in an ideal world, mold found outside should match the mold found inside.  However there are often times mold spores found indoors that are not found outdoors, these are likely indicators of a moisture source within the house.

What’s Next? 

EOC first works to address the issue of moisture in the building.  Some sources of moisture in the house include:

  • Improper venting in the attic
  • Groundwater or stormwater in the basement
  • Leaking refrigerator
  • Leaking sink
  • and more.

After the moisture problem is address and fixed, it may be necessary to remediate the problem.  EOC works the client and with certified remedial contractors to come up with a time and cost effective way to remediate the mold within the building.  Upon completion of the remediation, additional post remediation samples are often collected to confirm mold levels are within acceptable amounts and the mold in your building now matches the mold outside your building.

More Questions? Please reach out to us at (603) 343-0195

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