What is Mold and Where Is It Found?
Mold are microscopic organisms that produce spores and are found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic material. Also susceptible to mold growth are cellulose materials, such as, cardboard, paper, ceiling tiles, and sheet rock. Mold spores are easily detached and made airborne by vacuuming, walking on a carpet or sitting on a couch. In indoor environments, mold can grow in air conditioning ducts, carpets, pots of houseplants, etc.
How Can Mold Affect Your Health?
Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone but the following individuals are at a higher risk for adverse health effects: infants, children, elderly, immune compromised patients, pregnant women, and individuals with existing respiratory conditions. When inhaled, even in small amounts, mold can cause a wide range of health problems including respiratory problems (wheezing), nasal and sinus congestion, watery and red eyes, nose and throat irritation, skin irritation, aches and pains, fevers, asthma, emphysema and in some cases even death.
How Can You Be Exposed To Mold?
When moldy materials become damaged or disturbed, spores (reproductive bodies similar to seeds) can be released into the air. The following are sources of indoor moisture that may cause mold problems in your home or office: flooding, leaky roofs, humidifiers, damp basements or crawl spaces, constant plumbing leaks, house plants, steam from cooking, shower/bath steam and leaks, wet clothes, and clothes dryers vented indoors. Protection…Mold Testing Is Your First Line of Defense.
Why do we take two outdoor air samples?
Beware of any consultant that only takes one outdoor air sample. No one spore sample is characteristic of any environment unless it includes a representative sample of the air in that environment. This is because the spores are never randomly distributed in the space. Because of the nature of the sources, distributions of spores are never random, and change dramatically in space and time. Sampling and analysis are relatively inexpensive compared to your health, and good sampling protocols will allow better interpretation of the results. Two Outside samples — one from the windward side and one from the leeward side of the house — provide a more complete picture of what is in the air. Always consult a certified indoor air specialist with a defined Standards of Practice.
Bringing Clean Air to Life®
IAC2 is the non-profit certifying body for home and building inspectors who have fulfilled certain educational and testing requirements, including those in the area of indoor air quality.
Please visit www.IAC2.org for more information about mold inspections.
The purpose of the Standards of Practice is to establish a minimum and uniform standard for performing a mold inspection. The Standards set minimum requirements for describing and reporting conditions observed. The Standards define and clarify terms, procedures, scope, conditions, and limitations as they relate to a mold Inspection and Report.
Complete mold inspection is a visual examination of the entire building, its systems and components; moisture, temperature, and humidity measurements; and taking mold samples. A complete mold inspection includes a non-invasive, visual examination of the readily accessible, visible, and installed systems and components of the building, as outlined in the IAC2 Mold Inspection Standards of Practice; moisture, temperature and humidity measurements; at least three air samples (one indoor and two outdoor); and possibly one or more surface sampling at an area or areas of concern. The inspector will report moisture intrusion; musty odors; apparent mold growth; conditions conducive to mold growth; the results of a laboratory analysis of all mold samplings taken at the building; and any system or components listed in the Standards of Practice that were not visually examined, and the reasons they were not inspected.
Limited mold inspection does not include a visual examination of the entire building, but is limited to a specific area of the building identified and defined by the inspector. Prior to the inspection, the inspector and client shall agree to the limitations of the visual examination. As a result, potential sources of mold growth in other areas of the building may not be inspected. A limited mold inspection includes a non-invasive, visual examination of the readily accessible, visible, and installed systems and components of only the specific room or area defined by the inspector; at least three air samples (one indoor and two outdoor); and possibly one or more surface sampling at an area or areas of concern. The inspector will report (for the defined area) moisture intrusion; water damage; musty odors; apparent mold growth; conditions conducive to mold growth; and the results of a laboratory analysis of all mold samplings taken at the building.
Note: This is not a home inspection and should not be construed as a home inspection. This inspection will not contain the condition of any component even if the component or components are deteriorated, non-operational, dangerous, damaged or defective. It is NOT intended to be, or to be construed as, a guarantee, warranty, or any form of insurance.