- WHEN SHOULD MOLD TESTING BE DONE?
Mold testing is necessary when there are visible signs of mold. Most people want a specimen sent to the lab to ensure IT IS mold, and to identify what species/genus of mold it is. It is universally agreed upon (in our industry) that if mold is visible it should be safely removed. It is not irrelevant to test the type of mold, but insurance companies, and most individuals want to identify that it is indeed mold. The spore count is not important when visible evidence of mold is discovered; after all, it should be removed through remediation. We recommend mold testing in situations where there is visible, as well as no visible evidence of mold. Some occupants may experience reoccurring health issues or symptoms. We are not here to provide any medical or healthcare advice. We are present to advise of the presence or lack thereof of a contamination of mold in the home or other dwelling. We are also useful post completion of remediation to ensure all mold has been properly removed with no elevated level of spores being airborne. While we feel pre-testing for mold is sometimes not needed, post testing is very important to us. We feel that the knowledge of the air testing after remediation services have been performed is very important and helpful to ensure the best results possible. We verify that mold counts are within a safe range before we leave your property. This matters to us as it confirms the quality of our work.
- MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I HAVE A MOLD ALLERGY. CAN YOU DETERMINE WHETHER THE TYPES OF MOLD THAT AFFECT ME ARE IN MY HOME?
We will specify the quantity of samples required based on the size of the building, and if a specific room or rooms is affected, then the size of the room will enable us to determine how many samples or specimens is needed for testing. Give us a call and provide us with more information to get an estimate of the number of samples required for your home or building. The most effective way to determine if a mold specimen is needed is by performing a thorough mold inspection first!
- SHOULDN'T I JUST HAVE A MOLD REMOVAL SERVICE GIVE ME A FREE INSPECTION?
To start the process of mold remediation (if it is even necessary), is to begin with a mold assessment. We will arm you with the factual information for a mold remediator to be able to provide you with an estimate (excluding a mold protocol which is a separate charge), and to provide you with information to determine IF mold remediation is necessary. We provide you with an unbiased professional inspection and professional opinion of necessary work to be done, but the State of Florida makes sure to properly divide the responsibility of a Mold Assessor and a Mold Remediator to protect you, the customer. Mold Assessors do not provide mold removal. We will provide a report of your moisture/mold issue and methods by which to solve it. In cases requiring professional remediation, we can provide a Remediation Plan, or Protocol, (separate charge) and a Mold Protocol can be used as an outline for the Moldl Remediator for removal. After their work is complete, Allergy & Asthma Consultants, Inc. can test, or if already tested, at the beginning of the project, then re-test your home or office, to ensure the problem is fully resolved.
- CAN I USE BLEACH TO GET RID OF MY MOLD?
Bleach is not enough to adequately take care of mold problems and will not solve the latent cause of the mold infestation. Bleach does not kill mold on porous surfaces and can actually contribute to mold growth! This means that chlorine bleach can only kill surface mold on a non-porous material. Because mold can grow deep roots within porous surfaces, such as wood, cabinetry, drywall, baseboards, bleach will not assist you in eradicating mold. It can also cause chemical odors and leave residue. Those whom are hypersensitive to certain particulates or VOC's (volatile organic compounds) can end up with a double whammy from bleach and the presence of mold.
- THERE IS BAD BLACK MOLD IN MY HOME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
First of all, just because mold that you can see is black does not mean it is toxic black mold. Mold of the time, toxic mold is green or brown, and sometimes black. There is no such thing as good mold. We inspect for and find all mold problems, and can determine whether a handyman will be able to remove the problem or if a professional service is required. Do not allow myths you have heard from friends, family, or the internet to frighten you. Mold should be tested if it is visible to determine if it is mold, allergens, dust, dirt, etc.
- WHO CAN REMOVE MY MOLD?
Allergy & Asthma Consultants, Inc. assesses whether you can take care of your situation yourself or with the help of a licensed trade professional/contractor, or if a licensed and insured professional remediator is necessary. Professionals utilize stringent procedures to ensure that the mold is completely removed, and that no spores make their way into other areas of your home.
- WHAT ARE THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF DIRECT EXPOSURE TO MOLD?
The majority of people are not impacted by direct exposure to low concentrations of mold, unless they are exposed to a great deal of mold. Everyone is different; exactly what totals up to a "great deal of direct exposure" for some individuals is "not a lot" for others. Keep in mind, mold is everywhere; we are all exposed to mold every day. Direct exposure to mold can trigger and annoy allergies in vulnerable individuals, however we have no idea just how much direct exposure is required to begin the development of allergy.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN A MOLD TEST AND A MOLD INSPECTION?
In selecting your mold professional take precautions to choose and experienced professional company that will inspect the entire property. Many times price-driven promotions offer a quick 2 sample test with a basic lab report. However, they do not offer a thorough mold inspection of your property nor provide you with extensive information about mold in all areas of your home.
POSTED BY KRISTINE ALLCROFT, PHD
· SEPTEMBER 3, 2016
So, you want to kill mold? Don’t use bleach!
Usually, when most homeowners notice mold, they get out the bottle of bleach thinking a few sprays will solve the problem.
It’s no wonder.
One of the most popular blogs, The Huffington Post, continues to perpetuate the myth that spraying bleach will take care of your mold problem.
Even information on The Center For Disease Control (CDC) website still suggests using bleach to kill mold.
The truth is, using chlorine bleach to kill mold is probably one of the worst things you can do.
As a matter of fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), stopped recommending the use of bleach for dealing with mold problems. And, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated their guide as well, removing the suggestion to use bleach to kill mold.
The problem is, it’s true that bleach can kill some mold in some places some of the time. But, bleach only works to remove mold on hard, impermeable surfaces like bathtub and shower surrounds or tiles. However, on porous surfaces like drywall or hardwood floors, it won’t work to kill mold or keep it from coming back.
Because mold spreads its roots (called mycelia and hyphae) deep into porous surfaces.
Simply spraying a bleach solution on the surface won’t kill mold spores at their roots.
So, here are 9 Reasons Why you should NOT to Use Bleach to Kill Mold
1. First, bleach encourages toxic mold growth on porous surfaces because it provides excess moisture.
Bleach contains about 90% water. When you apply bleach to a surface, the chlorine quickly evaporates leaving behind a lot of water. Then, when the water soaks into porous surfaces like wood, it encourages mold growth. So, bleach can actually make your mold problem worse.
2. Bleach only removes the color from mold.
After you spray bleach, only the surface appears clean. But the problem is, the mold’s roots, or hyphae, continue to grow.
3. The EPA and OSHA specifically advise against using bleach for mold remediation.
4. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to surfaces.
For example, when you use bleach is on wood, it starts to weaken it by breaking the fibers. When you spray bleach on metal, it starts to corrode it almost immediately. Thus, using bleach to kill mold creates problems with the structural integrity of a home.
5. Bleach is extremely corrosive.
When you spray bleach and it evaporates, it releases chlorine gas. It irritates and eventually causes damage to the skin, lungs, and eyes.
6. The corrosive nature of bleach is even worse when it’s mixed.
Bleach should never be mixed with acids, because it causes dangerous fumes.
Remember: Mixing cleaning compounds containing ammonia with bleach and ammonia produces deadly gasses that can kill with just a few breaths.
As Michael Pinto, on the website Mold Sensitized reminds professional restoration companies:
“Depending on the ratio of bleach to ammonia, chlorine gas, nitrogen trichloride and/or hydrazine will be produced when these two are mixed. In addition to being toxic, the last two listed by-products from this bleach mixture are also explosive. Other reactive by-products that can come from bleach mixtures are toxic chloramines and dioxins.”
7. Bleach doesn’t work as a sanitizing agent when it’s mixed with organic material.
To be a successful sanitizer, bleach has to be used on clean materials and surfaces. That’s why bleach products get used in the laundry after the wash cycle. Light and heat compromise the sanitizing properties of bleach. Despite the fact that the chlorine odor lingers for a while after you use it, bleach loses strength so quickly it doesn’t have a residual effect. That is, it doesn’t prevent future bacterial or fungal growth.
8. Most bleach products are not registered with the EPA to be used as antimicrobial agents.
9. And last, but not least, you don’t want to use bleach to kill mold because there are many antimicrobial alternatives readily available.
These antimicrobial agents are registered with the EPA specifically for killing mold. Some are formulated to be friendly to the environment, your family and your pets. In addition, they are cost effective, easy to use, and, they have a true residual effect. That means they actually prevent bacteria and mold from regrowing.