Mold Testing Question: What Does “Mold” Encompass?

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Your home needs protection from mold growth to maintain a high level of indoor air quality. Experts can remediate mold through techniques such as fogging and targeting affected material with cleaning, encapsulation, or removal.

However, for proper mold remediation, your home needs to have mold testing (environmental inspection) to determine the cause of the mold growth and the particular types of mold that must be addressed.

What exactly does “mold” encompass? Although you are familiar with the mold that appears on old bread, you probably don’t know much more about what the inspectors will look for. In this post, we’ll go into detail about what mold testing covers and how some mold threatens human health.

Cool Air Mechanical offers mold remediation and mold testing in Atlanta, GA that will keep your home safe and comfortable. Call us today to schedule an environmental inspection.

Mold Inside Homes

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in multicellular filaments. (By contrast, yeast is a fungus that can grow as a single cell.) Not all mold growth poses dangers to humans, but a few common species do: mold testing targets these, although it will seek to eliminate all mold as a precaution.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common molds inside homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. The molds that will affect indoor air quality are the ones that produce mycotoxins, which are responsible for the breathing troubles, irritations, allergic symptoms, and unique health problems that molds can trigger inside a home. These are referred to as “toxic molds,” even though the mold itself isn’t toxic; the spores it produces are.

The most problematic mold when it comes to health concerns is Stachybotrys chartarum, which can grow on fiberboard, paper, and within dust and lint. However, the danger level of Stachybotrys chartarum is irrelevant when it comes to mold testing, since, according to the CDC, “[i]t is not necessary… to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”

When you schedule mold testing, you target all the molds that might have developed in your house, regardless of their toxicity level. Expert mold testers will find where mold is growing and identify the methods needed to remediate it. Be assured that with professionals on the job, you will have all dangerous molds eliminated, along with the benign ones as well.

Cool Air Mechanical offers many services to improve your indoor air quality, from installing air filters to conducting mold testing, in Atlanta, GA. Call us today to learn how we can make your home a healthier place for your family.

Continue Reading

How Indoor Air Quality Assessment Works with Mold Testing

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Nobody wants to hear that they have mold or other forms of biological growth developing in their home’s ductwork. However, it’s important that you find out about any mold growth in your house so you can have professionals remediate it. Mold can cause a sharp decline in a home’s indoor air quality, and exposure to mold can lead to breathing trouble, skin irritation, numerous cold- and flu-like symptoms, and dangerous respiratory problems. Studies by the EPA have shown that mold can have a large negative impact on a family’s health.

Because mold usually develops in moist, dark places out of your sight—such as your ventilation system—it’s difficult to locate. This is why you need to call Cool Air Mechanical to schedule mold testing in Atlanta, GA to discover if and where you have mold problems. Through an environmental inspection and an indoor air quality assessment, our experts will pinpoint biological growths and identify the best methods to eliminate them.

Indoor Air Quality Assessment

This is a crucial step in mold testing: the assessment looks for mold growth and volatile organic compounds (VOCs, chemicals that come from household products like paint, cleaning supplies, and pesticides).

The skilled technicians who perform indoor air quality assessment take samples of the air from various parts of a home to analyze it. Approximately 80% of the time, this turns up air quality issues that can have an unhealthy impact on the home’s residents—even pets! The air quality assessment will also find the spots where the contamination is the worst, such as inside ducts and crawl spaces.

The positive side of the assessment is that it provides the technicians with ideas for how to remediate the mold growth. This may involve installing a dehumidifier to lower the levels of moisture that encourage the development of the contaminants. Sometimes the ideal solution is placing UV germicidal lights along the ducts to destroy the cellular structure of mold and other bacteria. The testers can recommend the best way to tackle your specific troubles.

Contact Cool Air Mechanical Today

You may not know you have a mold problem, but if you’ve noticed a recent increase in illness in your household, or headaches, nausea, and trouble sleeping that you can’t account for, you may have indoor air quality issues. Contact Cool Air Mechanical to arrange for mold testing that begins with an indoor air quality assessment. Don’t worry about the final results of the test: no matter what our mold testing in Atlanta, GA reveals about your home, we can find a solution to eliminate the problems.

Continue Reading

Mold Testing: What You Need to Know about Mold

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Among the many threats to indoor air quality—dust, pollen, dander, chemicals—is one that people in general don’t like to think about… mold. Nobody wants to consider the possibility of mold growing inside the ducts of their home. However, mold presents one of the major threats to indoor air quality if you live in a climate with high humidity, like Georgia.

Cool Air Mechanical provides both mold remediation and mold testing in Atlanta, GA to help you alleviate problems from biological contaminants. If you opt for mold testing, experts will determine specific health concerns in your home, find the source of the contamination, and then devise a plan for remediating the contamination. Often this will involve using UV germicidal lights, which use high frequency wavelengths to destroy the cellular structure of mold without using chemicals.

Problems Caused By Mold

Why is mold an issue inside a home, specifically ducts, and why should you have mold testing done? We can turn to a trustworthy source on this issue, The U.S. EPA.

Mold is a fungus that survives by digesting plant material, and serves the important biological function of cleaning up excess dead plant matter. However, you don’t want it growing inside your house. Unfortunately, mold can grow anywhere where moisture and oxygen are present, and it usually develops where there is excess moisture that remains stagnant. (For example, moisture that gathers inside ductwork.)

According the EPA, the health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions such as hay fever-like symptoms, sneezing, and runny nose; asthma; irritant effects on the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs; and infections in people with weakened immune systems.

In addition, mold damages the material on which it grows. Even if the mold in your ductwork isn’t having an impact on your indoor air quality, it will cause corrosion to your ducts and eventual breaks and leaks.

Schedule Mold Testing

All the above may sound a bit scary, but there are basic steps you can take to reduce the mold in your house to safe levels. First, arrange for mold testing in Atlanta, GA that will identify the specific problems you may have with mold. Then contact a company that performs mold remediation to take care of the major contamination areas.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we can handle both tasks. If you have reason to believe you have mold growing in hidden parts of your home, such as the ducts, call us to arrange for mold testing, followed by the necessary remediation to give you a healthy home again.

Continue Reading

Under What Circumstances Is Mold Testing Advisable?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

In the humid Georgia climate, the growth of mold and other biological contaminants inside homes is often a major concern. Mold can start to grow in the walls, roof, or basement of your home. You need to take particular care about the growth of mold inside your ductwork, since it can cause the rapid spread of contamination throughout your home and have a serious negative impact on your indoor air quality.

However, because mold often starts to grow in places hidden from sight, you may not immediately know of its presence. How can you tell if you should have professional mold testing done so you can find a way to eliminate the problem?

Here are a few circumstances that call for professional mold testing. Cool Air Mechanical has a staff of indoor air quality specialists who can perform mold testing in Atlanta, GA that will identify your home’s specific problems and then find the best way to protect you and your family from the dangers of mold growth.

Circumstances that call for mold testing:

  • Recent water leaks: If your home has recently had to deal with plumbing leaks—whatever the reason—then there is a high likelihood that standing water and increased moisture has encouraged mold growth. Often, leaks start in places you cannot see, and the water that enters material such as drywall will lead to a mold infestation.
  • Unusual odors throughout your home: If you detect the smell of mold in your house, but cannot see any evidence of it, then you should have testing done right away to find the hidden source for the unpleasant odors.
  • An increase in allergic symptoms: Mold will cause a specific allergic reaction in some people, but it can cause allergy-like symptoms in any one. Consider mold testing if you notice an increase in these health issues inside your home: wheezing, congestion, sneezing, coughing, itchy and watery eyes, or rashes.

Professional mold testing

Trained mold testers will use environmental inspections as well as indoor air quality assessments to detect the specific mold issues that are affecting your home, locate the source of the contamination, and then search for a method to remediate the problem.

Because you spend more time inside your home than any other location, you need to know that you have the best air quality possible. Don’t allow mold and other bacterial growth to jeopardize your health inside your home: the moment you suspect you have a mold infiltration, contact Cool Air Mechanical and put our Atlanta, GA mold testing experts to work for you. We will discover your issues with mold and take the necessary steps to eliminate it.

Continue Reading

Why Consider Mold Testing

Monday, October 28th, 2013

When discussing cleanliness in your home, you’ll find it easier to talk about dust and grime than the possibility of mold growing in hidden spaces. Molds and other pollutants are troubling to even think about spreading through corners of your home. Keeping mold out of your homes—especially out of the ductwork connected to your HVAC system—is important for maintaining healthy air quality. Molds are allergens that can cause a number of health problems, and their danger isn’t limited to people who have allergies to airborne contaminants.

For a city like Atlanta, with a climate that can reach high levels of humidity throughout the year, keeping a watch for mold is particularly important. You should consider testing for mold in your house to discover where it might be growing and what you can do about it.

Cool Air Mechanical performs mold testing in Atlanta and nearby areas that is thorough and uses both environmental inspection and indoor air quality assessment. Contact us to locate mold troubles that might lower the quality of the air you breathe every day. Benefits of professional mold testing include:

  • Identifying specific health concerns: There are many different types of biological airborne pollutants, and they can have a variety of negative effects on health. Mold testing will identify exactly what kind of health concerns should be addressed.
  • Finding the cause of the growth: The reason mold starts to grow inside a home is rarely as simple as “high humidity.” Mold testing will locate where the excess humidity is entering your house and identify trouble spots such as broken ducts or water leaks, which will also need repairs to prevent the growth from continuing.
  • Learning how the mold can be eliminated: Once testing has pinpointed the type of mold and the reason for its infestation, technicians can find the correct approach to destroy the growth and prevent its return.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we have a variety of tools to use for mold remediation and mold prevention, such as UV germicidal lights and dehumidifiers. Contact us today to schedule Atlanta mold testing.

Continue Reading

Atlanta Mold Removal Question: How Will I Know If I Need Mold Testing Services

Monday, October 29th, 2012

In large quantities, mold can negatively impact air quality in your home. But how can you tell if you have a mold problem? We’ve put together a short list of common signs that mold could be growing in your home in Atlanta. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, you should call a qualified mold removal specialist immediately.

Visually See Mold

Mold growth is pretty common your bathroom. You normally will see black or gray spots of mold growing on shower curtains, shower doors or around your sink. But in your basement, cellar or attic, mold might be more difficult to spot.

Strange Odor

Mold has a very distinct smell. If you notice a persistent, “earthy” smell in certain rooms and areas of your house there’s a good chance that it’s mold. If you notice that whenever you turn on your heater or your air conditioning that there’s a musty smell, there might be mold in your ducts. The only way to be sure is to have a professional mold detection company come out and go through your house.

Allergies

Mold reproduces by releases spores into the air. The spores float around in the air until they land on a surface. Once there, they can start to reproduce and releases even more spores. When you inhale spores there can be a number of physical responses. Common symptoms include headache, sneezing, irritated eyes, runny nose and irritation of mucous membranes including your throat, nasal cavities and lungs.

Recent Water Damage

There one thing that mold absolutely has to have in order to grow: moisture. Without moisture, mold can’t exist. If you recently had a flood or a pipe break, there could be moisture still present in your floor or walls that is allowing mold to grow. Mold doesn’t always appear after water damage, but it is something to be aware of. One common culprit for this is your air conditioning unit condensation lines. These lines drain water away from your AC system. If they get clogged the unit will leak water which can allow for mold growth.

If you suspect that you may have mold in your home in Atlanta, you should call Cool Air Mechanical immediately. Mold is not something to be taken lightly. It needs to be removed by a professional and treated as soon as possible.

Continue Reading