NEW YORK MOLD ASSESSORS INC

 

 

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

Mold needs water to grow; without water mold cannot grow. Mold also needs food, oxygen and a temperature between 40 degrees and 100 degrees F. Since mold decomposes dead organic (once living) material it can grow on wood, the paper facing on gypsum board (drywall) and other materials made from wood. Molds secrete digestive fluids that decompose the substrate, making nutrients available. Mold can also digest some synthetic materials such as adhesives, pastes and paints. While mold cannot get nutrients from inorganic material such as concrete, glass and metal, it can grow on the dirt present on these surfaces. Molds prefer damp or wet material. Some molds can get moisture from the air when the air is very damp, that is when the relative humidity is above 80%. The high humidity makes surfaces damp enough for mold to grow.

How Does Mold Spread?

Mold can grow by extension of hyphae that are like tiny root hairs. In this way, a small colony of mold can expand to cover many square feet of material. Mold can also make spores that are like very small seeds. Spores can survive conditions that are too sunny, hot, cold, dry or wet for mold to grow. When spores are released they can be carried by air or water to new locations. Some spores are so small that they are more affected by air currents than by gravity. When spores land on a damp surface that has food and oxygen available, and if the temperature suits them, they will start to grow. It is important to realize that mold spores are present everywhere, in outside air as well as indoor air – unless very special precautions are taken to remove or kill them.

Wherever there is decaying organic material (leaves, mulch, wood) mold and mold spores are also present. Everyday we are exposed to airborne mold spores from outdoor sources, sometimes at high concentrations. It is almost impossible to create a mold free space or to keep a space mold free. What we can do – and should do – is control the amount of mold in our indoor environments.

How Can I Prevent Mold From Growing in My Home?

The answer is simple: keep your home dry. If mold does not have moisture it cannot grow. Remember mold spores are everywhere so you cannot completely keep them out of your house. Since our houses are built with wood products and paper faced drywall, food for mold is always present. Mold can also thrive on dust, cockroach and dust mite feces, skin flakes and food particles. Oxygen is available in the air so we cannot prevent mold growth by eliminating oxygen. Therefore, controlling moisture is the only effective strategy for preventing mold growth in our homes.

How Do I Keep My House Dry?

First, prevent excessive moisture levels in the air in the house by using the exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where moisture is often generated. Make sure the air from your clothes dryer exhausts from the house. Avoid using a humidifier. If you think that you need a humidifier, first measure the relative humidity inside your home. A device called a hygrometer can measure the relative humidity. Try to keep the relative humidity (RH) below 60%. There is rarely a reason to use a humidifier if the RH is above 25%. If you feel you must use a humidifier, measure the relative humidity in the area receiving the humidified air. Never let the humidifier raise the relative humidity above 35%.

Second, look for areas of dampness or wet spots. Roofs, windows, basement walls and plumbing pipes sometimes leak. If a leak happens suddenly, dry the wet materials as quickly as possible. Mold spores begin to grow 24-48 hours after a water leak. Dry the house quickly and mold will not be a problem.

Small recurring or continuous leaks that are hidden in walls, ceilings or floors present a different challenge sincemold growth could be extensive before it is detected. Be alert for dampness in areas such as under sinks, in bathrooms and in ceilings below bathrooms or other plumbing. If you notice dampness in one of these areas or if you notice a strong musty smell in one of these areas, contact your builder.

What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have Mold in My House?

First and foremost, do not panic. Remember mold is everywhere. Even if you do have more than “normal” amounts of mold in your house, you have not necessarily been exposed to it. Exposure means that the mold or mold spores or toxins have gotten inside your body by inhalation (breathing), ingestion (eating) or absorptionthrough your skin. If mold is inside a wall in your home but it does not get into the air, you have not been exposed. The mold has to get from the wall cavity into the air in the house before you can be exposed to it. However, that does not mean that it’s good to ignore the mold if you know you have it somewhere in your house. The mold will continue to grow (as long as it has water), eventually damage the building and increase the chances that you will be exposed.

How Do I Get Rid of Mold In My House?

That depends on how much mold is present and where it is located. If there is only a small amount of mold, such as in a bathroom or kitchen, scrub the moldy area with soapy water, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. If you have asthma or severe allergies or a weakened immune system, get someone else to do the clean-up.

If you have mold on a wall, floor or ceiling, the first question is “where did the water come from?” Remember, mold has to have water to grow. There is no point trying to remove the mold if you do not also correct the moisture problem that led to the mold. If the moisture problem remains, mold will quickly grow back after the initial cleanup. If mold is present in just one corner of a closet scrub it with soapy water, rinse and thoroughly dry. Don’t store boxes right up against that corner. Do something to keep that corner warmer such as leaving a light on in the closet.

If you have mold growing under a window that leaked or somewhere else that probably is due to a leak, you should have someone with experience dealing with mold in buildings evaluate the building. Why? Again, you need to fix the underlying moisture problem. And more importantly you can release a lot of mold from inside a wall cavity if you don’t do the work properly. You can turn a “little bit” of exposure into a “lot of” exposure very quickly.

 

MOLD COST INFORMATION

The average cost for mold remediation is $2,232. Typical budgets range between $1,120 and $3,347. Removal projects under 10 square feet can be done by homeowners, and cost as little as $50. Larger jobs may cost upwards of $6,000 and require the help of experts.

Mold Removal Cost

The average cost for mold remediation is $2,233. Typical budgets range between $1,120 and $3,348. Removal projects under 10 square feet can be done by homeowners, and cost as little as $50. Larger jobs may cost upwards of $6,000 and require the help of experts.

Several factors impact the budget for removal. The amount of growth and level of corrosion may require replacement of structural materials. Many remediation projects also require specialized protective and disposal equipment.

Fungi in the home can cause extensive property damage. They also pose a wide range of health risks. The problem only grows over time. Remediation can be expensive but is best handled sooner rather than later. 

Mold Removal Cost

The average cost for mold remediation is $2,233. Typical budgets range between $1,120 and $3,348. Removal projects under 10 square feet can be done by homeowners, and cost as little as $50. Larger jobs may cost upwards of $6,000 and require the help of experts.

Several factors impact the budget for removal. The amount of growth and level of corrosion may require replacement of structural materials. Many remediation projects also require specialized protective and disposal equipment.

Fungi in the home can cause extensive property damage. They also pose a wide range of health risks. The problem only grows over time. Remediation can be expensive but is best handled sooner rather than later. Working with a licensed and experienced pro is the best choice for a comprehensive fix.

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus. It grows best in warm, moist environments and survives by digesting decaying organic materials. Because they do not use chlorophyll to produce food, these fungi don't need sunlight to survive.

This fungus is an important part of the environment. Without it, dead plant matter would overrun the entire world.

Why Does Mold Grow in Homes?

Mold grows in environments with high moisture levels that also contain any kind of food source. Common food sources in the structure of the home include:

  • drywall
  • window frames
  • carpeted or uncarpeted flooring
  • bathroom tile
  • interior insulation

 

Furniture.

Growth developing in the structural materials of a basement or crawlspace may require special attention.

Moisture sources that can lead to indoor growth include condensation from high humidity or large temperature differences. Roof leaks, flooding, plumbing leaks, or excessive dampness can also be causes.

What Health Problems are Caused by Mold Mildew?

Exposure to environmental fungi like this one can lead to skin irritation, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions and headaches. The spores can be an irritant, causing a burning sensation to the skin, lungs, nose, throat or eyes.

Some fungi can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic. Even non-allergic asthma sufferers may experience worsened symptoms due to exposure. Symptoms of allergic reaction include sneezing, red eyes, runny nose or the appearance of skin rash.

The EPA reports that repeated exposure to this issue can bring about increased sensitivity to allergies and health problems. That's why it is important to put an end to the issue as soon as you find it.

Molds can also produce mycotoxins, which are toxic substances found either within or on the surface of spores. They can enter a person's system via ingestion, inhalation or skin contact. Aflatoxin B1 is the best-known mycotoxin. It is a potent carcinogen and inhaling it can cause lung cancer. The fungi Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus produce this carcinogen.

 

MOLD SOURCES & CAUSES 

NEW YORK MOLD ASSESSORS INC

MOLD SOURCES AND CAUSES & COST INFORMATION

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