Indoor mold has been around for centuries, even the Old Testament of the Bible mentioned inspection and removal of mold. Why all the concern now?
There are many reasons. The first is the fact that the construction industry has changed dramatically in the past 40 years. Architects and builders are more focused on conserving energy and are constructing homes to be airtight. As a result, proper ventilation of these homes is almost non-existent.
Before air conditioning came about, we ventilated our homes through open windows. Today, a majority of homes rely on air conditioning systems to do that same job. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
Most residential air conditioning systems are able to remove moisture but do not bring in any outside air. These systems circulate and cool the same indoor air over and over again resulting in improper ventilation for most homes.
On an average, 90 percent of the general public’s time is spent indoors. Studies have shown that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The American Society of Home Inspectors says that “up to 38 percent of all homes have a mold and fungus growth due to elevated moisture levels.” Studies have shown a rise in health problems resulting from mold exposure.
Mold grows almost anywhere there is water or elevated moisture. In the right conditions, it can start growing within 24 to 48 hours and is often difficult to notice. Mold can grow behind walls and ceilings, leaky appliances, in attics, and even in your a/c system. People believe that if it can’t be seen, it is not there, however most of the time this is untrue. If you see any mold growth in your home, there is likely to be more that is hidden.
Mold releases microscopic spores impossible to see with the naked eye. These airborne spores can trigger many physical reactions depending on the type of spore and quantity inhaled. Even a relatively small amount of mold spores could adversely affect infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions and the elderly. Of these thousands of existing molds, some are known as allergens while others produce harmful mycotoxins which could cause serious ailments.
In summary, all molds, in the right conditions and in abundance, are a threat. Inhalation of large quantities of airborne mold spores can cause many health problems.
The purpose of a mold inspection is to determine the presence of mold spores, identify the kind of mold, determine the amount of spores found are normal or elevated for that environment, and to find the source that caused this mold growth.