A 1994 Harvard University School of Public Health examination of 10,000 random residences in the United States and Canada discovered that half had “conditions of water damage and mold associated with a 50 to 100% increase in respiratory symptoms.”
Don’s Power Vac offers the following mold treatment services:
Step 1: Testing
The first step in mold remediation is to test to see if mold is present. If mold is discovered, Don’s will identify the type of mold and the amount present (expressed as CFU (colony forming units).
Step 2: Remediation Plan
If large amounts of toxic mold are discovered, Don’s will develop a treatment plan and provide a quote for mold removal services.
Step 3: Prevention
Once the mold is removed, follow-through options, like UV light placement, can be implemented to prevent re-contamination.
WHAT IS MOLD, AND HOW CAN IT HARM YOU?
Mold is a microorganism. There are many strains of mold, from the less harmful Cladosporium, Penicillium and Alternaria, to highly dangerous molds like Stachybotrys atra, Memnoniella, and Aspergillus versicolor.
Stachybotrys (pronounced Stack-ee-bot-ris) and the other hazardous molds produce airborne toxins, called mycotoxins, that have been linked to serious breathing difficulties, memory loss, hearing impairment, dizziness, cold and flu-like symptoms, and hemorrhaging in the lungs. Research proves that people with prolonged exposure to low-levels of mycotoxins from molds and fungi can experience chronic fatigue, irritability, memory loss, loss of balance and problems speaking.
The less dangerous, more common molds like Cladosporium can also cause illnesses such as chronic sinus infections, respiratory infections and asthma. A 1999 Mayo Clinic study linked almost all of the chronic sinus infections afflicting 37 million Americans to mold exposure. Recent studies have also linked mold to the increased asthma rate over the past two years.
HOW MOLD CONTAMINATION OCCURS
Mold grows best in a dark, humid, and warm environment. Over the last two decades, as modern home designs have focused on energy efficiency, our buildings have become more airtight. In this kind of a sealed environment, moisture can easily build up in warm, dark places. Once this happens, mold will likely grow.
Some modern building materials can actually lead to mold growth. Fake stucco is a great mold food when it becomes moist. Insulation can store and hide moisture behind your walls. Once mold starts to grow in a sealed building, the air conditioning and heating units will begin to spread the contaminated air throughout the building.
Newly built structures are more prone to mold issues than compared to older buildings, but a bad water leak anywhere in any building may result in a mold problem if it is not properly taken care of. Buildings that have a leak in the roof or that have been flooded are highly prone to mold growth. Any time an environment is dark, moisture, and warmth, molds can grow.
High-risk locations for mold growth are: behind walls, under floors, above ceiling tiles, and behind shower walls – places where there are wet cellulose materials like wood, ceiling tiles, plasterboard, or accumulations of organic material that molds can feed on.
A buildup of pet dander, dust mites, and other organic material inside air conditioning and heating systems is a very common area for mold to grow.
Water is the key to mold growth. Without it, molds can’t get started. If you can keep crucial areas dry, you can avoid mold spore growth.
But if water is left to sit for as little as 24 hours, benign molds can take hold. If water continues to sit and areas become completely saturated, that’s when a potentially lethal mold, such as Stachybotrys, can start to grow.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD CONTAMINATION
In August, 2002, a Stony Plain, Alberta family burned down its once family home, complete with contents. The home was so saturated with a lethal mold, identified by the University of Alberta as stachybotrys chartarum, that every person in the family was constantly sick. When the family located to a temporary residence all their symptoms vanished. Unable to properly clean the home, insure it, or even sell it, they had no other choice but to destroy the entire structure.
Fortunately, most mold contamination problems have a less drastic cure. If you believe that your building has a mold infestation, look for the following indicators:
- Water – drips, leaks, or damp areas
- Discoloration of ceiling, walls, or anything made of paper or wood. Mold growth can be many different colors: white, black, green, or fluorescent. Look around and behind cabinets or behind pictures placed against outside walls, where condensation may occur.
- Stagnant water around air conditioners and furnace systems
- Odors. Mildew has been described as pungent, or “aromatic”.
- Mold-related sickness. Symptoms of mold sensitivity can range from chronic sinus infections and asthma to nosebleeds, chronic fatigue, intense headaches, rashes, dizziness and central nervous system problems. If symptoms improve when you go on vacation, but are worse when you come back, it’s an indication that your home is the true culprit.
If you think your structure has a mold issue do what you can to start drying dry out the area, and call Don’s Power Vac today. 1-866-445-6734
Dons Power Vac – for mold testing and advice on your decontamination options.