Learn More: Austin Mold Removal Company Services
There may be many times when indoor mold growth may be difficult to find. It can be hidden behind walls, under surfaces, and inside unreachable areas where the visibility is almost impossible. Just because it’s invisible doesn’t mean it’s undefeatable, however. Here’s how to spot hidden mold dangers and make your home a little more livable in this toxin filled world.
One of the most common indications that you may have invisible mold growing in your home is a water leak. If you’ve had any recent flooding, roof damage or a plumbing leak, you may have a mold problem. Look around the areas where the leak occurred for moisture.
If you still can’t find the source of the problem, you may want to call on a Austin professional to help you find any hidden mold dangers in your home. This may seem like an expensive alternative, but remember that mold can turn into a serious problem if they are not resolved quickly. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Learn More: Austin Mold Remediation Company Services
Water damage can come from many different sources in your home or business. From a simple roof leak to serious weather conditions such as hurricanes can give you flood damage to your house. When flood damage happens, rug materials absorb large amount of water and high amount of bacteria will reside inside the pile and construction of the rug. Water damage can provide the necessary conditions for mold growth in Austin TX. Water damage cause several damages within hours or even minutes. Water damage will give you an unhealthy environment.
When you face theses type of situations in Austin Texas the first thing that you should take care of is that you shouldn’t panic. The latest technologies can help you if flood damage occurs from flooding, broken water pipes, or any other source. Emergency water extraction from carpets, floor covering and remediation of mold can be easily done as technology had changed a lot and lot different from the conventional carpet cleaning mechanisms.
Austin Mold Inspection company
Fungi such as the Stachybotrys mold produce secondary metabolites such as antibiotics (e.g., penicillin), mycotoxins, and those that produce the acrid, musty smell characteristic of mold growth.
It's important to test for mold in your home because most symptoms of black mold illnesses are closely similar to sinusitis symptoms and may therefore be pooh-poohed by some physicians. They'll prescribe decongestants to relieve your stuffy nose or perhaps recommend syrups to alleviate the coughing, but if these are due to the Stachybotrys mold, then you're barely scratching the surface.
Apart from the symptoms that the non-toxic mold can cause in a person, the Stachybotrys mold effects severe, often long-term effects on the victim. Nausea and vomiting have been reported by patients, and this is because the mold can work its way to the digestive system.
Of course, the cleanup doesn't come with the inspection. If the results are positive, you would have to hire the services of a separate cleanup team. The work all this entails could easily chalk up several hundred dollars, but if you care about your health, then you shouldn't be worrying about the cost. Besides, tackling the problem would early on would nip the problem in the bud, so to speak.
You may alternatively want to purchase a mold inspection kit to check for the presence of the Stachybotrys mold yourself. These kits include high-tech mold testing films to check for contamination in the air or on surfaces. Apart from the films, kits normally have mold detection and cleaning guides, test kit instructions, and a screening kit.
DIY - Do it Yourself Ductwork
Before a person ever decides to search for the best mold inspection company in their area, they should first know a few facts:
1. In the author's opinion, every house on the planet has mold in it. Mold is a member of the Fungi family and exists naturally in our environment. It is airborne and enters our houses whenever a door or window is open and in numerous other ways.
2. Inside of a house, mold will not be a problem unless it has been exposed to water for more than 48-72 hours. So, if you have seen, or know of evidence of water inside your house and you suspect that it has been there for at least 48 hours, you are most certain to have harmful (toxic) mold.
3. Even if you can't see any water, it still may be lurking behind your walls, sinks, or tubs; perhaps under windows or other locations. If you can smell a musty or unpleasant odor (some in the family may detect it while others can't), you have a harmful mold problem.
4. If you or other members of your house have asthma, other respiratory problems, coughing, runny nose or eyes, headaches, or tend to feel much better when you are away from the house and worse when you are in it, you almost certainly have a mold problem.
Knowing that you likely have a mold problem but not knowing what to do next, speaks volumes in favor of hiring a professional. But which one? You could likely have several mold inspection companies to chose from on sites like Yahoo or Google; but how does a homeowner find the best one for their needs?
My advice is: First I recommend that the company specializes in mold. Not mold and/or radon, lead, air ducts, etc. Next, I recommend that they have both education and experience at least equal to or better than their competitors. While most every state requires that home inspectors be licensed, only two states require so of mold inspectors.Are they certified? This would tell you that they cared enough about their profession to acquire knowledge and training to meet standards. Experience counts. How long has the inspector been certified? How many jobs have they performed? Not just the company, but the individual inspector? Can they get references? Have they been cited by the Better Business Bureau for any deceptive, misleading, or dishonest practices?
The next criteria is critical: Are they also in the business of mold remediation or removal? If they are it could be a blatant conflict of interest. Wouldn't it be to there interest to overstate the level of mold problems and/or the amount of remediation needed if they were in line to pick up a job worth several thousands of dollars? Therefore, I recommend that you find a professional who only inspects for mold.
OK, so now how should your inspector look for and find your problem? When they are finished will they be able to tell you for certain where your mold is and why you have the problem? Isn't that how you would like to spend your money?
Testing for mold is most often done by the old fashioned method called air testing. This procedure sucks air into a machine that then traps it into a laboratory testing dish, which in turn gets sent to a laboratory for culturing. This process can take a week or more for the results. When air testing is performed, the inspector should always take one test outside of the house in order to determine a benchmark as to what mold(s) are prevalent in your area. They then will try to take as many tests inside of the house as the customer can afford. In most areas of the country, these tests cost about $100 each. Some of the problems with air testing are:
1. The more tests that are performed, the more costly the job.
2. Air testing is highly inaccurate. All it can do is to tell you what was in the air at that location at that moment in time. Results can vary widely over time and method used. Airborne fungal spore concentrations vary greatly over the course of hours, days, weeks, and seasons.
3. In colder climates when there is snow on the ground, the results of the outside test will be useless in that spore count is greatly or totally reduced. I have yet to hear that a customer was told this fact.
4. There are no numerical standards to which tests can be prepared, making interpretation difficult.
5. Even the best tests can not determine how much exposure people in the house have had in the past.
6. Fungal air tests are expensive.
7. Results are slow to receive.
8. Knowing the type of mold does not change the way that you would respond. All mold that is active, or was active, is bad mold.
Then what does represent a professional, accurate, and helpful mold inspection? The most intelligent inspections should: Find all mold. Determine the cause; i.e. Where is the water problem(s). Explain how to fix the problem(s).
This inspection requires work, experience, and knowledge. It is also labor intensive; lasting about 2 hours or more on average. It begins with an intensive investigation of the property outside of the house. It finds flaws in roofs, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, foundations, and/or landscaping. In short, anywhere and any way that water could get into the house and cause a problem. Then, moving inside the inspection closely is conducted looking throughout the house, basement, and attic for issues under windows, sinks, tubs, showers, washer and dryers. Tools such as moisture meters, hygrometers, and boroscopes should be utilized as appropriate.
Following that, in my inspections, I work with a Certified Mold Dog. Together we systematically cover every inch of the house. Dogs such as mine have the ability to detect the scent of mold in one part per trillion. Humans are limited to one part per hundred. Two university studies are known that matched dogs scenting ability versus that of machines. Dogs won easily both times. Dogs have the ability to detect the scent of mold from behind walls, floors, or ceilings where it often is found. No machine can do that. With their ability to pinpoint the location of the mold, remediation costs are reduced to a fraction of what they may have been, or eliminated entirely.
Lastly, the customer should ask for, and receive a professionally written report that captures all that was seen, found, and measured during the inspection and remediation recommendations. This is how my company, Mold Rover, Inc. operates. It is what I think the customer needs and deserves for their money.
HVAC - Complete Service
As a new homeowner, you are probably trying to learn as much as possible about your house and its inner workings. Unfortunately, most people overlook the complexities of their ductwork. With air conditioning and heating units becoming a necessity for modern life, it is important to be aware of the importance of maintaining your air passages for optimal living conditions. Take a look at the following five facts concerning these important structures:
1. Ducts are enclosed passages that channel air throughout your home.
The first step to learning about your ductwork is being able to understand what a duct is. All homes with HVAC hold ducts within their walls. These are enclosed passages that move air. When your unit blows cold (or hot) air into the home, it needs to be able to remove the old air to ensure not only energy efficiency but also maintain the quality of air. Therefore, a duct system is able to supply air, remove air, and ventilate the atmosphere. The ductwork simply refers to the entire system, including the planning, sizing and layout of the channels.
2. Dirty ductwork can be responsible for sinus problems.
Since these tubes transport air, there is always a risk of mold, dirt and dust building up within the system. If you do not properly maintain the channels, you run the risk of creating an environment perfect for allergens. This may not affect some people, but others who are prone to allergies may suffer issues with their sinuses. Small children and the elderly may be particularly vulnerable to poor air circulation and dirty ducts. If you find yourself suffering from allergies more than usual, you may want to consider having your ductwork professionally inspected and cleaned.
3. Sheet metal is the best material for a duct.
These insular tubes can be comprised from different materials. Some are made of galvanized steel, while other structures utilize aluminum. Fiberglass is another option, as well. However, sheet metal is probably the best option for constructing the airflow. With this material, leaks seem to be less common and mold growth is limited. As a bonus, sheet metal lasts longer and is easier to maintain.
4. Poor ductwork can cause significant problems with AC units.
Just like moldy ducts can irritate sinuses and exacerbate allergies, poorly maintained ductwork can interfere with your HVAC unit. Mold and other dust and allergens can back up into your system, causing malfunctions. Broken tubes will also cause systems to run for longer times, causing the potential for an early blowout and overheated units. To mitigate the problems of your ductwork, have someone inspect the channels regularly. Paying to prevent a problem may be less expensive than dealing with an actual issue.
5. Cleaning the ducts in your home can improve airflow and save you money.
Again, the most important thing for a homeowner to realize about their home air supply is that regular maintenance can save money and time. Not only does cleaning your ductwork regularly help your AC unit to run more efficiently, but it also improves the air quality in your home, thereby improving the health of all who live in your house.
The Dangers of the Stachybotrys Mold
Humans and mold have lived together since the very beginning, but mold has become a big health issue only recently. So many cases of toxic mold poisoning have come to light recently that people can't help but be concerned.
Because this concern is so new, we have only just begun studying the effects of black mold and pregnancy. There isn't much real evidence, but doctors are very concerned about how exposure to black mold during pregnancy can affect babies.
Black Mold and Birth Defects
There are countless stories of women being exposed to mold during pregnancy and suffering miscarriage or birth defects. However, there is not yet any solid hard scientific evidence that exposure to mold directly causes birth defects. Studies with animals have shown that there is a definite link between black mold and pregnancy, but animals are different than humans, so the results are somewhat inconclusive.
For your baby's health, it is also important to keep your house mold-free after birth. There are no studies showing that mold has an effect on breast feeding, but mold is definitely unhealthy for your baby's general health.
One more thing to think about is your workplace. Many women work in the early or middle stages of pregnancy and it is often more difficult to find mold in a building where you work than in your home. Ask your boss about mold inspections, especially if you work in an old building. If you can see or smell mold in your workplace, you are definitely in danger.
If your boss or supervisor will not do anything about the mold problem, you can seek a legal solution. There are laws to protect you and your unborn baby's health.
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