Here in the New Orleans area, Building occupants, homeowners, facility managers, and insurance companies are becoming increasingly aware of the adverse health implications of mold contamination. Exposure to mold can have serious health and financial impacts. Book Our New Orleans Home Inspection Service
Health Effects of Mold
The presence of certain mold and mold spores in a building can result in adverse health effects ranging from mild to severe. Some molds can deteriorate the structure of a residence. Health effects may include, but are not limited to; asthma, allergy symptoms, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, blurry vision, sinus congestion, sore throat, dry cough, aches and pains, skin irritation, headaches, memory loss, and fever. As humans vary greatly in their chemical make-up, so does the individuals reaction to mold exposure. For some people a small number of spores from certain molds can cause ill effects, in others it may take many more before effects are noticed.
According to the American Air Quality Council the following is a synopsis of an EPA statement regarding the effects of hazardous and toxic substances; the effects of hazardous materials on an individual are subject to the duration and intensity of the exposure as well as the individual’s health and personal habits. Whether or not symptoms develop in people exposed to fungi depends on the nature of the fungal material, the amount of exposure, and the susceptibility of exposed persons. Susceptibility varies with the genetic predisposition (e.g. allergic reactions do not always occur in all individuals), age, state of health, and concurrent exposures.
For these reasons, and because measurements of exposure are not standardized and biological markers of exposure to fungi are largely unknown, it is not possible to determine “safe” or “unsafe” levels of exposure for people in general. To date EPA, CDC, or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to date have not established any PEL (permissible exposure limit) for mold.
Our assessments include the following process:
Identifying the Problem It is important to identify not just any mold that may be present but also the potential causes of the mold growth. Thanks to our experience in building science our inspectors are able to do just that. Our first step is to perform a visual inspection of the property, both interior and exterior to determine if mold and/or conditions associated with mold growth are present and to determine what the potential moisture sources may be. In most cases we will also perform air and surface sampling to provide support to the visual assessment through documentation.
IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation, has identified levels of contamination based on conditions 1, 2 or 3:
Condition 1 (normal fungal ecology): An indoor environment that may have settled spores , fungal fragments, or traces of actual growth whose identity, location and quantity are reflective of a normal fungal ecology for a similar indoor environment.
Condition 2 (settled spores): an indoor environment which is primarily contaminated with settled spores that were dispersed directly or indirectly from a condition 3 area and which may have traces of actual growth.
Condition 3 (actual growth): an indoor environment contaminated with the presence of actual mold growth and associated spores. Actual growth includes growth that is active or dormant, visible or hidden. Our visual assessment will help identify not only the actual growth but also the source of the mold growth and the pathways through which the mold may contaminate other areas of the building.
Moisture control and building repair
In all situations, the underlying moisture problem must be corrected to prevent recurring mold growth. Indoor moisture can result from numerous causes, such as: façade and roof leaks; plumbing leaks; floods; condensation; and high relative humidity. Our New Orleans area customers trust our expertise in removing mold related issues during out home inspection process
Our inspectors are trained to identify not only the mold growth but also those conditions which, if not corrected, could lead to a return of mold growth. Any mold remediation plan should include repairing those conditions causing the mold growth. Book Our New Orleans Home Inspection Service
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