Mold is a type of fungus that is found in our natural environment. Mold spores can be found virtually everywhere, including in homes. These spores can grow on building materials and furnishings if conditions are correct. Excess moisture is the most important factor in any indoor mold problem. Whenever mold growth is found to be present in a home, it should not be ignored. Eventually, the moisture and mold will damage what it is growing on, including both building materials and personal belongings. The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent moisture problems.
The health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount of mold in their home. The typical symptoms that may occur from unhealthy levels of mold include coughing, wheezing, nasal and throat conditions. People with asthma or allergies who are sensitive to mold may notice their asthma or allergy symptoms worsen. Individuals with severely weakened immune system who are exposed to moldy environments are at risk of developing serious fungal respiratory infections. SPY recommends that people consult a medical professional if they are concerned about the effects of a moldy environment on their health. There is wide variability in how people are affected by mold exposures. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone.
The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others:
- infants and children
- elderly people
- individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies or asthma
- persons having severely weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients)
SPY can perform a mold and moisture survey of the home to determine if visible mold growth or moisture concerns that could allow for mold growth are present. We use the findings of the visual inspection to develop a testing strategy to type and enumerate the mold conditions in the home. We then collect air and/or swab samples, which are sent to an independent accredited lab where the samples will be analyzed. These laboratory results and the visual inspection findings are then presented in a detailed report that will identify the type of mold, its toxicity and quantity in the home. The detailed report will also include recommendations for cleaning or effectively removing the mold conditions found to be present.