Are you concerned about the potential for mold growth in your home?
Bob Schultz, owner of Home Scan Inspections, is a Certified Mold Assessor Technician and was trained by the Environmental Consultants and Affiliates Network (ECAN). He understands the science behind mold and knows what to look for during a home inspection.
Mold has been around for a long time; and the need and method to deal with it has not changed much over 3,500 years. Some have theorized that the Ten Plagues of Egypt may have been one series of connected events, some of which may have been related to molds. The Irish Potato Famine of the 1800’s was caused by Phytophthora infestans, a fungus like water mold that devastated the potato plants. Even the bible contains verses that provide direction to priests on handling mold outbreaks in homes (Leviticus 13 and 14).
Molds are part of the larger group of organisms known as Fungi. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and play a fundamental role in nutrient cycling and exchange. Their main role is to break down dead materials. Without fungi, the world would be filled with dead objects such as leaves, trees, insects, and animals.
While mold is common in the environment, it can produce mycotoxins that cause disease and potentially death in both humans and animals. Where the conditions are right, fungi can proliferate, and mycotoxin levels can become high.
Toxigenic molds are rare, and it is unlikely for such molds to be present. Molds can be irritating to most anyone if the levels get high enough and those with health conditions, such as asthma, may have significant health effects from even low levels of mold exposure. Bottom line, everyone has some level of mold spores in their home and most likely have some mold growth, but it is not a significant health issue for the majority of people.
Home Scan Inspections does not do traditional mold testing. We have chosen to use a technology that surveys the air to find particulate matter, VOC's and carbon dioxide. Mold spores are a type of particulate matter that exists in the 2.5 to 10 micrometers range and will be detected by the device we use. The advantage to this system is speed and cost. We can detect high levels of particulate matter in a specific room and then determine if a condition exists that may contribute to the existence of mold. This test can be done in minutes and a report sent same day. Traditional mold testing can take days since samples need to be taken and then sent to a lab for evaluation. The disadvantage to our system is that you will not know for sure if it is mold that exists in the home or what type of mold it may be. Take a look at our indoor air quality page for more information.