Listed below are some answers to FAQs by Healthy Air USA:
Mold needs two things to survive: food and moisture. We recommend maintaining a proper amount of humidity in the home in order to prevent fungal growth. You cannot eliminate the food supply for mold in your home (drywall, carpeting, wood, etc.), but you can control the humidity. By keeping your home’s relative humidity between 40% – 50%, you can inhibit growth and create a healthier breathing environment.
Generally, where there are active spore colonies, there is a musty odor from the mycotoxins that are produced by the growing spores. It’s important to remember that you may not be able to see the fungus, and that sometimes people do not recognize it when they can see it. While some varieties are black, many are not. If you notice brownish “tea stains” on you walls or ceilings, there is likely spores growing behind the drywall. If you see suspicious spots or growth, notice a musty smell, or if people in your home are beginning to feel sick, you should have your home inspected.
We use the Air-O-Cell method, which draws air samples through a chamber for a proscribed period of time. We feel that this is a very accurate way to test the air. Some people prefer to use the tape-lift method, and others use settling plates, which collect sample spores that drop out of the air. The samples are then sent off to a lab for analysis. Or the best results, the labs always recommend doing a baseline test outdoors for comparison.
That depends on the scope of the work involved. Most jobs can be completed within a week, but it simply depends on how much work needs to be done. If other contractors (roofers, insulation companies, etc.) are required, the work will take longer. We try to schedule all of the remediation steps within the same time frame, though, so that the inconvenience to the homeowner can be minimized.
A second opinion is always a good idea. There are many different approaches to remediation and the costs can vary from one method to another. If you hare having work done in your home, it is important that you feel comfortable with the people you are working with. In general, if you do your homework at the front end, you will be happier with the results when the project is complete.
The EPA guidelines state that if the affected area is less than ten square feet, you can do the remediation yourself. However, it is important to follow their guidelines if you are going to do the work on your own. For more information, visit: www.epa.gov
We carefully oversee all remediation work done. If necessary, tests are conducted after job completion. Testing shows that the work was performed properly and the building was restored to normal fungal ecology. The prevention of future growth, however, is dependent on the correction of the environment itself. Every remediation job will include a list of recommended steps that need to be taken to prevent future growth.