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A mold assessment is a detailed inspection for mold growth or mold spores in an indoor environment. Mold is commonly found in indoor environments. Mold can form for many reasons and in many situations. An assessment will discover why mold is forming, how much mold is present, what kind of molds are present and how to deal with the mold found during the assessment. Only a Licensed mold assessor can provide you with a mold remediation protocol. A protocol is what a mold remediation company uses as a guide to remove mold from an indoor environment. New York State law requires a protocol be created before any mold remediation is performed.
Not all mold assessors are created equal. Different styles of reporting and different inspection procedures make each mold assessment different. Some are great and some are not so great. Our company has a big advantage over other mold assessment companies and that advantage is that Safe Harbor Inspections has been performing general building inspections for over twenty years which gives our mold assessors a unique advantage and perspective over other assessors.
The process includes:
A visual inspection of a property along with sample collection.
Each mold assessment is slightly different depending on the building and the specific situation in that building.
Typically, air samples and physical swab or tape lift samples are used to identify what the affected areas are in a building. Often times, the mold situation can appear to be very minor but our sampling methods can identify a bigger issue than what can be seen with the naked eye.
What we want to discover is what people are breathing in when they are in the indoor environment. in other words, what is the air quality?
Many people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mold. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies, but more research is needed in this regard.
Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year-round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.
Individuals who have allergies to mold should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Damp basements and crawlspaces as well as any areas where moisture has intruded into a home should be avoided. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas to the exterior. If there is mold growth in your home, you should properly clean up the mold and alleviate the conditions that are leading to water intrusion problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard, non porous surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water. Mold on porous or absorbent surfaces must be dealt with differently. Methods for removing mold from porous materials varies depending on the material or item.
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