Mold produces a byproduct called Mycotoxins. These become airborne and can be infectious to the human body. The immune system responds to mold spores by inflammation of our cardiorespiratory pathways and sinuses. An increase in histamine production causes watery eyes and runny noses. Skin irritation is also a common sign of mold in the home or office. The health problems that can occur range from slight to sever and even hospitalization. The spectrum depends on two variables: the mold species and current medical health problems(i.e. asthma; respiratory infection; sinus infection; bronchitis).Immunosuppressant drugs may also cause the fungus to affect a persons physiology much more than a person not taking the drugs. Over the counter medications may decrease symptoms but as the fungus grows, the immune system will respond to the onslaught.
Using antihistamines, allergy medications, may or may not temporarily decrease the immune response and mask the symptoms. This solves none of the problem; the mold must be removed from the home or office.
During cardiorespiratory infection, certain fungi can grow in the airways or other parts of the lungs. It becomes a compact-sphere.
Mold may also affect digestion in the human gut often causing inflammation in the bowels and Celiac-like symptoms.
Ignoring mold and its ensuing allergies can be detrimental. If you have had water spillage or even small flooding (I.E. Laundry Washing-machine; Dish washing machine; Rain through an open window; Overflowing Sink) in your home or business in the last year; if you have developed unknown allergies or gut issues; a specialist should investigate for the possibility of mold growth. Mold is often visible but sometimes it may not be readily apparent. If mold is found, a thorough remediation process is used to make your home or office safe.
*Finding and Solving The Problem_
Mold remediation has been cultivated over the past few decades for optimization of cleansing contaminated areas. Safety of home owner or worker during the remediation process is extremely important . A mold removal expert must be licensed by the state to work with the process professionally. Here is how it works:
*Remove the Moisture Source-
If the leak, pooling water or moisture source isn’t removed completely, the mold will continue to divide and multiply regardless of any cleaning. Incomplete drying is an easy path to wasted efforts in mold removal.
Mold grows much easier with air-moisture. If the area is more than 55% humidity, humidifiers should be used. A fan may only make the problem worse by helping the spores to spread to new areas. This is a common problem for do-it-yourselfers
*Mold Restoration Safety-
Proper equipment and clothing must be used. Workers or home owners should usually be be protected with a full-face respirator. This prevents the membranes in the eyes from being infected with live or dead spores. Hazmat clothing-covers keep particles from contact with the skin. Gloves should be used to further protect small cuts or nicks. The gloves should be rubber at minimum (Also: Neoprine, polyurethane or nitrile).
*Inspection And Testing-
Water-penetrated areas can be tested with fiber optics, thermal imagining or ready-made home mold testing kits. Core samples of dry wall or wood structures can be subject to visual analysis and uncover mold infestation.
Heating, venting and air conditioning ducts must be thoroughly inspected. Mold spores are found in the H.V.A.C system the inhabitants of the home or office must be removed for health and safety. Airborne spores can also affect other parts of the home. The ducts should be either be fogged or replaced completely. The system must be handled quickly or cleanup will be much more costly.
*Isolate The Mold And Spores-
Setting up the containment walls such as plastic sheeting will isolate the problem areas and protect other spaces from contamination. The cleaning and refurbishing of material often spreads spores around.
*Begin Decontamination and Clean-up-
Spraying and fogging contaminated areas with EPA-approved fungicide is next. The fogging process allows the fungicide to be pressured into tight corners ad crevices. The fog must be cleared before anyone enters the home or office.
Cleaning the contaminated surfaces should be scrubbed with specific types of detergent or cleaners (i.e. trisodium phosphate). Bleach does not do a good job at killing mold and should not be used.
*Isolate The Materials-
Building material and Furniture that is too contaminated to be saved must be removed and disposed of properly. The material or furniture that can be cleaned or refurbished may stay in the home or office or a staging area for decontamination and cross-contamination prevention, then moved on to a safe area for storage. Some semi-porous and all non-porous material can be saved. Materials that mold can infest easily is often discarded.
*Protection from Further Growth and Odor Control-
A fungicidal coating should be used on any wood or cellulose based materials. Wood and cellulose surfaces should then be coated with a water barrier (Usually brush or spray on) to decrease moisture penetration and mold growth incase of new contamination.
The materials, walls, floors, refurbished-furniture and surfaces should then be re-sprayed or the final fogging should be done.
Deodorization may also be necessary. Each home or office situation is different depending on how the mold came about, the density of infiltration and type of species.
Retesting the area for spores is often necessary., especially with high infiltration.
Mold samples and analysis is guided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). It is recommended that a state certified mold Remidiator consult with home owners and business when a high infiltration is found and especially when H.V.A.C equipment is contaminated.