How Can I Tell if I Have a Mold Problem?
- Susie in Prescott Valley
Susie, Molds can be found almost anywhere and they can grow in virtually any organic material including wood, paper, carpet, wallboard, and as well all know too well, our stored food. The addition of moisture provides an opportunity for mold spores, readily floating in the air to settle and become established. If you have knowledge of roof leaks, plumbing leaks, heavy condensation or drainage water intrusion, and the water damage is not mitigated with 24 to 48 hours, the potential for mold growth can be a concern. If you consistently smell a musty order when you are in your home, there is more than likely a mold issue somewhere. Many mold issues are first discovered when a family member is not feeling well and these issues are observed with other family members. The EPA Indoor Air Quality web site identifies potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure which includes allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints. The EPA web site is www.epa.gov/iaq
If visible mold growth is not readily evident, sampling and testing by an experienced professional is the best way to tell if a mold problem is present. While it is tempting to remove the carpet, peal away the wallpaper or break open the suspicious wall, this can lead to a massive release of spores, if done improperly, without engineering controls. Any sampling should follow specific methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists by using calibrated sampling pumps and equipment. Accurate sampling protocols are the key to getting reliable information. In addition to potential health risks, property damage and repairs to structures have a major economic impact. While we always enjoy the “yeast breads”, aged cheeses and beers derived from our microscopic buddies and we gain numerous medical benefits from the fungus derivatives employed in many antibiotics, it can be a double-edged sword. The key to minimizing the establishment of mold is to control moisture and quickly dry out and replace impacted materials or move to Antarctica, the only continent where fungi mold spores have not been discovered...yet. 60 inches above the nose of the tread. Frank, as you can see there are several locations in a building that require safety glass. There are also exceptions to some of these items.