A mold survey, also known as a mold inspection or assessment, is a comprehensive examination that aims to identify areas of mold growth, determine the types and quantities of mold present, and assess the potential health risks associated with the mold. Mold surveys must be conducted by certified mold inspectors with the expertise and equipment to detect and evaluate mold growth.
Why Are Mold Surveys Critical?
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is a greenish-black fungus that grows on highly cellulose materials like drywall, wood, and paper. The growth is most often associated with damp and poorly ventilated areas in addition to when there is continuous moisture from condensation, water damage, water leaks, water infiltration, or flooding.
Black mold in a living or working space can pose potential health risks to occupants. The mold produces mycotoxins, toxic substances that can release into the air causing various allergic reactions and health problems when inhaled or touched.
Because black mold is toxic and dangerous, it is crucial to conduct mold surveys when there is visible mold growth or when there are indications of moisture problems that could lead to mold growth, such as water leaks, flooding, or high humidity levels.
To sum it up, mold surveys are vital for these reasons.
- Mold can negatively impact indoor air quality by releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mycotoxins.
- Mold can have significant health implications, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions, allergies, or weakened immune systems.
- Mold growth can deteriorate and cause structural damage to wood and drywall in buildings leading to costly repairs.
Identifying and addressing mold problems promptly can help mitigate these risks.
What Happens During a Mold Survey”
During a mold survey, the certified inspector will visually inspect the property, looking for signs of mold growth and conditions conducive to its development, such as dampness, condensation, or poor ventilation.
Specialized equipment, such as moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras, may be used to detect hidden moisture and identify areas of potential mold growth behind walls or other inaccessible areas.
In addition to visually inspecting surfaces and moisture mapping for hidden leaks, the mold survey may involve air sampling for viable and non-viable mold spores.
Once the mold survey is complete, a detailed report will be provided that includes the following:
- The inspection findings.
- The types and quantities of mold identified.
- Any recommendations for remediation or further action.
The report may also include information on the potential health effects of the identified molds and suggestions for preventing future mold growth.
Property owners and occupants can better understand the mold situation in their environment by conducting a mold survey and taking appropriate actions to address the problem. This may involve hiring mold remediation professionals to safely remove the mold, fixing underlying moisture issues, improving ventilation, and implementing preventive measures to minimize the risk of future mold growth.
Currently, there are no standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold and mold spores. However, black mold can pose a health risk despite no standards and limits. Therefore, if you suspect mold, have areas with continuous dampness, had had a leak or flood, it’s critical to get a mold survey done.
Contact Atlantic Environmental for professional mold survey services. Our comprehensive mold surveys are offered to NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE, MD, and GA