Mold InspectionsA quality inspection is one of the best investments you can make when buying a new home.
T C Mold Man offers a free visual and verbal inspection:
An inspection consists of checking the home from foundation to attic area. We look for any signs of visible mold growth, water stains, possible water intrusion areas. We check possible moisture problem areas with meters and check humidity levels.
We can look inside walls with borascopes to see if there can be any hidden mold growth. We look for possible exterior drainage issues. We check for proper air flow in attic areas and lower levels. After inspection if needed we conclude are findings with a detailed report of what we found along with an estimate to correct any issues.
Where Is Mold Found?
Molds thrive in warm and humid conditions, but you can find them year-round in virtually every type of environment, both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors you will find them in shady, damp areas and places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors you will find them in basements, showers and in other areas where humidity levels are high. It’s worth noting that you can use the terms “mold” and “mildew” interchangeably, although mildew is often applied to growth of fungi on fabrics, window sills or bathroom tiles.
Goals To Improve Your Crawlspace
Additional Storage Space
THE MOLD MAN will work with your structure and give you a detailed estimate with a professional plan that tackles your concerns, conditions your crawl space and ultimately improves the health and energy efficiency of your home.
More About Mold
Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions. Here are some guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems including measures designed to protect the health of occupants and remediators.
Mold can be found almost anywhere; it can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There is mold that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems have been linked to changes in construction practices during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building, and unvented combustion appliances. Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems.
In some cases, indoor mold growth may not be obvious. It is possible that mold may be growing on hidden surfaces, such as the backside of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Possible locations of hidden mold can include pipe chases and utility tunnels (with leaking or condensing pipes), walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), condensate drain pans inside air handling units, porous thermal or acoustic liners inside ductwork, or roof materials above ceiling (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation). – Call THE MOLD MAN!
Some building materials, such as dry wall with vinyl wallpaper over it or wood paneling, may act as vapor barriers, trapping moisture underneath their surfaces and thereby providing a moist environment where mold can grow. You may suspect hidden mold if an area smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage in the past. Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth—make sure to use PPE. – Call THE MOLD MAN!
For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores from mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you discover hidden mold, you should revise your remediation plan to account for the total area affected by mold growth. –Call THE MOLD MAN!
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
Sampling of mold! Is it necessary!
We do not always sample for mold, in many cases where there is a visible mold issue, and the cause of the mold is determined and rectified, there may not be a need to sample. A visual inspection in this case can be sufficient.
Indoor Air Samples
In cases where we cannot see visible mold or any signs of water damage and can smell musty odors, we will run some air samples and compare them to the exterior samples. After reviewing the samples from the lab it can give us an indication to a possible mold colonization problem that can lead to a more invasive inspection.
Running air samples after a certain project can also let us know whether the indoor air quality is at typical levels. Typical levels would mean that the outdoor and indoor samples are similar in spore type and count.
Illness can result from both high levels, short term exposures and lower level, long term exposures. The most common symptoms reported from exposures in indoor environments are runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, aggravation of asthma, headache and fatigue.
In order for humans to be exposed outdoors, fungal spores, fragments or metabolites must be released into the air and inhaled, physically contacted (dirmal exposure) or ingested. Whether symptoms in people exposed to fungi depends on the nature of the fungal material (e.g. allergenic, toxic or infectious), the amount of exposure and the susceptibilty of exposed persons. Susceptibilty varies with the genetic predisposition (e.g. allergenic do not always occur in all individuals), age, state of health and concurrent exposures. For these reasons and because measurements of exposure are not standardized and biological makers of exposure to fungi are largely unknown, it is not possible to determine (safe) or (unsafe) levels of exposure for people in general.