So you think you need a mold inspection?
We recently had some torrential downpours of rain in our area causing flooding, roof damage and now possible mold growth. If this has happened to you, here are a few things to know:
- If you address the water damage quickly (within 48 hours) by mopping up the water, using a wet shop vacuum, and shutting off the water source to make repairs, you will have prevented mold from growing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists specific ways to handle drying and cleaning of many household items at Water Damage-Cleanup and Mold Prevention
- Mold is everywhere. You breathe in mold spores with every breath you take. You eat mushrooms and blue cheese don’t you? If you have mold allergies or other types of respiratory or immune conditions, then you may need to avoid contact with molds, mildew and fungi (mushrooms). The anti-biotic Penicillin is produced from a species of mold called Penicillium. Millions of lives have been saved through the use of this mold.
- Anyone or any website using the words “toxic black mold” are just trying to scare you. Molds come in all different shades from blue to green to brown and black. The black dots in the photo above turned out to be mostly Penicillium species. When the mold is just on the surface of the drywall and is a small area (a few square inches) it can often be removed by wet wiping with a disinfectant such as bleach or detergent.
- In my home state of California, anyone can call themselves a “mold inspector.” There is no license issued by the state like they do for realtors or people performing asbestos and lead-based paint evaluations. There is no exam, experience or education requirements. If you hire a “mold inspector”, please ask lots of questions first. For help with that check out EMLab P&K’s website How Do I Find a Qualified Mold Inspector
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