What is mold and mildew?
Mold is a fuzzy, sometimes spongy, growth produced by several types of fungi. A common name for mold is mildew. Fungi includes organisms such as slime molds, mushrooms, smuts, rusts, mildews, moulds, stinkhorns, puffballs, truffles and yeasts.
All molds absorb food in solution (water) directly through their cell walls and reproduce through spores. None conduct photosynthesis. This means mold can grow and reproduce nearly anywhere that moisture is present – for example, inside the wall from leaking pipes, underneath floor tile from toilet overflows or leaking showers, or inside the floor structure from sewer losses.
Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. This means that a mold-free home today may have a mold problem tomorrow given the right conditions.Molds can produce several toxic chemicals called mycrotoxins that can damage your health. These chemicals are present on the spores and small mold fragments that are released into the air.
If I suspect a problem, will it hurt to wait?
A mold problem can grow quickly into a serious problem, so it is important to know how to identify a problem and to have qualified specialist conduct mold remediation and mold removal. Additionally, most insurance policies in effect in Southern California contain exclusions that deny coverage for damages caused by mold. In other words, homeowners and building owners are responsible for damages to their buildings caused by mold.
What are the health effects of exposure to mold?
Health is a concern to us all and that is why mold detection and mold testing are so important if you suspect a mold problem.
There are four kinds of health problems that come from exposure to mold
Mold can trigger an allergic reaction and asthma in certain individuals. In fact about 15 million Americans are allergic to mold. The most common reactions are flu-like symptoms and asthma. Those with chronic lung or immune problems, are at risk for more serious reactions like fever, lung infections and a pneumonia-like illness. Mold-producing mycotoxins are capable of inducing serious health effects.
How do I know if I have a mold problem?
You may notice growths similar to those in the pictures on this page. But many mold problems are not visually detectable, and will require professional testing to locate them. Often you will notice a musty or earthy odor if mold is present but this is not always the case.
You should be concerned that you may have a mold problem if you or anyone other household members experience any of the following allergic reactions:
What should I do if I suspect a mold problem?
Christian Brothers will arrange a convenient time to conduct the inspection.
When Christian Brothers arrives they will inspect your facility for excessive humidity in wall cavities using special equipment, and inspect for areas where water may have seeped into wall cavities, basements and crawl spaces.
If mold remediation is indicated, the technician will gather enough information to determine the most effective remedial method and prepare an accurate estimate for you should you decide to have Christian Brothers perform the mold repair.
What precautions does Christian Brothers take when performing mold detection and mold remediation?
As mold can be hazardous to the health of our technicians, we require them to wear protective gear to prevent exposure to the harmful airborne mold spores. Christian Brothers also requires our technicians to use exhaust fans (Negative-Air machines) to vent the contaminated air from the affected areas in your home or business to the outdoors.