Why Inspections?

Why Are Inspections Important?


corneal eye infectionsMOLD INSPECTIONS AND LAB TESTS, INC.

Serving San Diego County

MOLD AND MOLD SPORES

Mold spores are the problem. Mold spores are tiny microscopic organisms that waft through the outdoor and indoor air continuously. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing a mold colony and eat and spread. As long as mold has a source of moisture and food, it will continue to grow. As mold grows and spreads, it produces fruiting bodies that produce more mold spores that may spread or be released into the air. As they spread through the air, they may land on other areas that have moisture and food to grow or they might land on skin, inhaled through the mouth or nose, or enter your body through the eyes and ears. This is generally how mold may affect certain individual's health. Over 250,000 mold spores can fit on the head of a pin.

LIVING MOLD

For mold to grow and become a health hazard to your family and pets and do damage to your home or apartment, it needs:

A.  A source of moisture.
B.  A food source such as drywall (made of paper), carpets (natural fibers), all wood and construction material (even dead and living plant life), leather, bricks, and concrete. Mold virtually grows everywhere outside and inside on leaves, dirt and plant life outside.
C.  Temperatures: Mold will thrive and spread from 60-90° Fahrenheit. In cooler temperatures, mold will not die. It just lays dormant and is just as dangerous.
D.  Humidity: Generally above 50° Fahrenheit.

HOW MOLD SPREADS

When mold spores enter your house and apartment, they land everywhere and on anything. Simply sitting on furniture or just walking on a carpet may stir up millions of mold spores, sending them through the air to be inhaled by us or start new colonies of mold. Remember what mold needs to survive and spread is a source of moisture, food and the right temperature and humidity. These tiny mold spores will enter wall cavities through tiny cracks or holes, or just air intake (HV/AC). When inside these wall cavities they already have a source of food, like wood, paper in drywall or any construction material. All it needs now is a source of moisture, such as leaks in roofs, leaks in shower fans, leaks in plumbing, or just water that may be splashed against the interior drywall. There are many ways for moisture to enter your wall cavities. When these two things meet, all that's left is the right temperature and humidity to start a new mold colony.

brain aspergillus infectionHEALTH AND MOLD

THREE MOLD GROUPS WHEN RELATED TO HEALTH:

1. PATHOGENIC: Can cause serious health effects in immune system of individuals, disease oriented.
2. ALLERGENIC: Can cause allergic or asthmatic symptoms, such as wheezing, runny noses, eye infections, or headaches usually not life-threatening.
3. TOXIC: Mycotoxins can cause serious health effects in anyone. Cancer, immune problems, skin disease, headaches, memory loss, chronic fatigue, nose and throat irritation, persistent cold-like symptoms, burning, itching or watery eyes, dizziness, nausea. Women who are pregnant could experience problems, even miscarriages. Toxic mold may even cause systemic rashes all over the body.

Be concerned about possible mold problems if one or more occupants are suffering from unexplained health problems.

Airborne mold spores may enter your body through inhaling from mouth and nose or through eyes and ears.

Non-airborne mold may enter you or your children's bodies by simply touching it. Some people may not be at risk with mold. However, some individuals may be at a higher risk, such as elderly, infants, children, asthmatic persons, pregnant women, and people with respiratory conditions.

RESPIRATORY CONDITIONS:

Not all molds produce mycotoxins all the time and mold does not have to be alive to be dangerous. Dead and dormant mold can be just as toxic. Even just smelling dead or dormant mold can make some people sick.

HOME DAMAGE

Mold eats whatever it grows on. It could eat you out of house and home. Do not ignore home maintenance and mold clues. Your home may become a mold victim when you ignore roof leaks, plumbing leaks, sewer line leaks, water stains on ceilings, the indoor smell of mold, visual mold growth, high humidity in your home (above 50 Degree Fahrenheit), or a wet and damp attic, basement or crawl spaces. Even when these problems are corrected does not mean that mold colonies have not already been started and are spreading. Do not assume there is no mold problem because of no visible mold growth. The worst infestation problems are often the ones you cannot see, like inside floors, ceilings, walls, basements, attics, crawl spaces, heating and cooling ducts.

Do you think a new home is mold-free? Forget it! In today's home construction, it is almost guaranteed.

HOPING THAT A NEW HOME IS MOLD FREE. Today's new homes often come with built-in mold infestation problems because:

(a) moldy building materials are received from the builder's supplier - today's timbers are not kiln-dried as in earlier times, and thus contain a high internal moisture content that makes mold growth possible in the timbers;
(b) the builder and its supervisors and employees fail to do quality control to inspect for, and, thus prevent moldy building materials from being used in the home's construction;
(c) the builder stores the inventory of building materials on the outside ground with no plastic sheeting to protect the building materials from rain (which thus supplies the necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the materials);
(d) the construction crew fails to cover the entire home under construction with plastic sheeting at the end of each construction day to protect the building materials from rain (which thus supplies the necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the materials). The roof and side walls need to be protected against rain until the entire roof, siding, windows, and doors are totally installed to seal out rain;
(e) the builder fails to inspect and test the home for mold growth while it is being construction and at the home's completion;
(f) use of modern building materials like chip wafer boards, drywall (plasterboard) and plywood, all of which molds love to eat; and
(g) failure to spray all wood-based construction materials on all surfaces with at least one spraying of the EPA-registered fungicide Coverage Plus and at least one spraying of the EPA-registered Tim-bor wood protectant.  Visit: http://www.moldmart.net for more on these.

CALIFORNIA MOLD DISCLOSURE LAW

Mold is not a new problem that just sprung up. It has always been with us. It is coming to light now because of health problems, structural damage to homes and lawsuits against real estate brokers, agents, sellers and homebuilders by families that just purchased their homes. Like asbestos laws and lead paint poison laws, the government acts slowly.

The California State Government acted back in January 2002. It passed a Mold Disclosure Law. The change in the law should go into effect sometime in the year 2004.

This new law will regulate builders, real estate brokers, real estate sellers and agents to include Mold Disclosure Statements when property is transferred. This Mold Disclosure Statement will allow the homebuyer to know exactly what the mold condition of their home is on the day of purchase.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Absolutely, positively, do not even think about hiring a Certified Mold Inspector that also does remediation work or even recommends one! Let's face it, mold remediators make their living on a property owner's misfortune. Mold remediation is a big and expensive business. There are a number of reasons not to use a mold remediation company to do the initial first home inspection. Here are a few.

1. Fraudulent Mold Testing
Some unscrupulous contractors will bring back to you mold test results showing extremely serious mold problems in your home or on your property. Unfortunately, the mold samples are not actually from your home but are in fact samples that had been intentionally infected (inoculated) with large amounts of mold spores from other locations or from mold collections maintained by these same contractors. The purpose of fraudulent mold testing is to frighten homeowners into authorizing more remediation work than what is actually necessary.

2. House Cooking
"House cooking" is an old scam designed to get the worst possible test results. The inspector shuts all the windows and turns on the furnace in order to elevate the number of mold spores in the air before taking samples. Some will even turn on ceiling fans and humidifiers full blast. The purpose is to cause high levels of detectable mold to justify expensive mold remediation work. This scam can also be avoided by not hiring a mold inspector who also profits from remediation work.

3. Mold Sniffing Dogs
No, we're not making this stuff up. If you haven't seen them yet, you probably will before long. Their owners are banking on you being as gullible as they are.

As you can see, there is room in the mold remediation business for deception and abuse. Don't get us wrong. Most Certified Mold Remediators are honest businessmen. Their job is to remove mold if their services are needed. Note that Certified Mold Remediators are the only qualified contractors to remove this dangerous mold. In most cases, a homeowner can handle their own remediation as long as the mold problem is found in the beginning stages.

Told You Need Expensive Mold Remediation? Perhaps Not!
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Contact Information

Mold Inspections & Lab Tests, Inc.

6353 Lake Como Ave.
San Diego, CA 92119

Phone: 619-741-7757