Is it Black Mold?
This is one of them most common questions that we receive from customers during a mold project. The press coined the term "black mold" to refer to a certain species of mold that is properly known as Stachybotrys (Stacky for short). While Stacky is not the most common mold that we find during most inspections, it is not rare to find it indoors, especially after water damage.
Mold is everywhere. Molds represent one of the largest biomasses on the planet. They are found outdoors, indoors and even in Antarctica. The number one thing to realize about mold is that mold needs moisture to grow. In the case of Stachybotrys, it needs a lot of moisture to grow. Stacky also generally grows slower than most other forms of mold and does not become airborne as easily. Therefore, finding stachybotrys in the home can indicate that the problem involves larger amounts of water and may have been hidden for a long time.
However, just because the discoloration on the wall appears black or greenish-black in color, it does not mean that you have stachybotrys. There are many molds that grown black in color, and in some instances the item that the mold is growing on can determine the color of the mold.
RTC provides mold sampling and inspection services to help you identify the extent of the problem in your home or building. Give us a call at 225-262-7942 for more information.
Is it Dangerous?
First and foremost, RTC does not give health information. It would be irresponsible of us to do so, that is a job for your doctor, and they are the only ones capable of answering the question - is mold making you sick.
As previously stated, mold is one of the most common organisms on the planet. High enough concentrations of mold indoors were linked in a 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine to several upper respiratory symptoms. The course of action with any mold is avoid contact as much as possible. There is no way to know how mold will affect the people in the building. The area should be restricted from the rest of the building until the problem has been assessed and handled by a qualified professional.
If you suspect that you have mold problem in your home or building, we would love to give you more information to help. Give us a call at 225-262-7942.
How do I Kill it?
There are countless products and services on the market that claim to kill mold, and many of them do a great job of it. However, in most cases killing the mold is not the goal.
Agencies such as the EPA, OSHA, CDC and IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) all agree that the best of course of action with mold is removal not just killing it.
From a health perspective, all current studies state that the body can not differentiate between a living and a dead mold spore. Which means that a person who is have a reaction to mold could continue to have the reaction even if the mold spores were dead.
While Biocides (products that kill living organisms such as mold) can be a useful tool in a mold project, they should never be the first step or the only weapon in the arsenal. Step one in any mold claim is to eliminate the source of water. All mold need moisture to grow. In some cases such as flood or pipes bursting the source of water is obvious. However, there are many cases where the cause can not be found readily. Too many times, people are talked into just treating such problems with a chemical, and because the moisture source is never shut off the mold continues to grow back.
Mold can be a complicated issue and it can help to have a qualified professional on your side. Give us a call today at 225-262-7942 and see if we can answer more of your questions.
Found Mold in Your Home or Building?
Or Give us a call at 225-262-7942