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  GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MOLD
What Is Mold?
Molds are microscopic organisms found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Most people think that mold is slimy, blackish-green discolorations that gradually increases in size, but found only in dirty, unkempt homes or apartments. The truth is, mold and spores can flourish in sparkling clean environments as well.
Molds are microscopic organisms (miniscule life forms) found virtually everywhere outdoors. No one really knows how many species of mold exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Spore production is characteristic of molds in general to reproduce. A spore is a small reproductive body that is capable of growing into a new organism, producing bacteria, fungi, and algae. Most spores are filamentous (thread-like) organisms so small that 250,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin. They stay airborne indefinitely, drifting from one room to the next, landing on food, clothing, appliances, table tops, carpeting and furniture, walls and woodwork. Any wet, damp or humid surface becomes a breeding ground for mold colonies and more spores.

Where mold can be found.
We’ve all seen mold; ugly stains of white, orange, green, brown and black spreading on walls, floors and other surfaces. But the most dangerous mold is the mold we don’t see. Mold and mildew is inside your sink and dishwasher cabinets and probably in your bathrooms and laundry areas. There is an 86% chance of mold growing somewhere in or on your refrigerator. Its nestled into the microscopic crevices of clothing, furniture fabric and in your carpeting. There is little doubt that mold spores exist in your heating and air conditioner system ductwork from where mold is continually dispersed throughout a home or building looking for a place to “plant” its self and grow. It can be found in your window sills, basement, crawl space and attic, office desk, indoor plants, kitchen counter space, on the TV, in your fireplace and countless other places.

Mold exposure risks vary.
The above incidences could be everyday, ordinary “low-risk” and “acceptable level” occurrences of mold—or not. Each person has their own level of tolerance to the mycotoxins (poisons) emitted by mold. And those with higher levels of tolerance to mycotoxins can eventually become sensitized to these poisons from prolonged exposures.

Signs of increased health risks to mold exposure.
“Higher risk” mold conditions are more easily recognized by the sudden visual appearance of emerging mold. Another and unmistaken evidence of this kind of mold problem is the presence of a pungent mildew or musty odor, even when mold is not visually evident. The faintest whiff of this odor should immediately prompt one’s concern about mold exposure and to take quick action to identify and correct its cause and clean up the mold and mildew damage! Our mold consultants are prepared to assist you in necessary planning and cost-effective corrective actions to take.
Some molds have been more closely associated with specific health problems. One example is Stachybotrys atra, a greenish–black mold often referred to as “toxic mold.” It grows on material with high cellulose content (e.g. drywall, wood, paper, dust). Stachybotrys becomes a problem when it emits mycotoxins capable of producing toxic effects in humans and animals. Many Aspergillus species of molds also produce mycotoxins.

Some molds release volatile compounds into the air, producing an unpleasant odor. Scientists label these compounds “microbial volatile organic compounds” or “mVOCs” (Moisture Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, Environmental Protection Agency, March 2001). Exposure to mVOCs has been associated with headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED ABOUT MOLD IN YOUR HOME OR OFFICE?
Absolutely! Eventually, mold destroys whatever it grows on. It can ruin furnishings, destroy cabinets and cause serious damage to the structural elements in your property. Mold is extremely durable and adaptable. It can survive in the harshest conditions and is resistant to even the strongest disinfectants and bleaches. Eliminating leaks and moisture can slow the spread of mold, but testing to determine the type of mold is the first responsible step in creating an effective action plan. 

Answers to your mold problems.
Do you have a concern about indoor mold exposure or are in question about a possible mold colonization problem? AMI certified mold and mildew inspectors are equipped and available to evaluate and assess your individual conditions. Our certified toxic mold inspectors can conduct mold sampling and test to give you comparative baseline analysis for an accurate snapshot of what is in the air you breathe. Call for an appointment today at (800) 369-8532 or (760) 757-3606
 

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