There are over 200,000 species of mold and if you Google the word “Mold” you will be assaulted with more than 43 million results. You might be trying to clean the mold in your tile grout, have found mold growing on your leather jacket, discovered mold in a sink cabinet, been diagnosed with Aspergillosis, or come home from vacation to find a pipe leak and your entire home covered in mold.
If it is less than six square feet, it can usually be handled by the homeowner with little to no trouble; however anything over this should be handled by a mold remediation company such as PuroClean Emergency Services.
Mold needs three things to grow, Moisture, Stagnant air, and something to eat that used to be alive, such as paper, drywall, baseboards, etc.
The EPA is a decent place to learn about mold, www.epa.gov/mold . Another good resource is a book written by Richie C. Shoemaker, MD called “Surviving Mold, Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings.
If you have water damage in your home, say a pipe break floods your home, the time clock starts ticking. If the water is from a clean water source, our company can extract the water and save the furnishings most of the time. However, if the water sits for 48 hours, the padding should be removed and we can still save the carpet. After 72 hours everything the water touches should be removed with the exception of structural items and those items should be treated (Remediation).
Mold remediation companies should not be doing testing themselves, due to a conflict of interest. There are third party testing companies such as Envirohealth, Brantley May: 904-742-2422, Omega Environmental, Alex Kearson: 904-614-3805 or Home Pro Inspections, Ed Selkov: 904-962-4867. Testing can be costly so if you have what you believe to be mold you may want to have it professionally removed and spend the money to test after the remediation to be sure the job was done correctly.
In the case of a blaming issue such as employee v/s employer or tenant v/s landlord, you may want the mold tested prior to remediation which will tell you what type of mold it was along with the levels. No one can look at mold and tell if it is toxic, it can only be determined by a test.
Mold does not start out toxic. Mold colonies grow over time and can produce toxins (called mycotoxins).
Ultimately if there is mold in a property and it is affecting someone, physically or just creating worried thoughts, a professional should be consulted. The general public does not have access to the tools, equipment, and cleaning agents used by professionals. My company, PuroClean Emergency Services, will inspect your mold damage at no charge and create a plan for remediation. If remediation needs to be done, your insurance may pay for this depending on whether you have mold coverage on your policy.
I highly recommend mold coverage in Florida because the humidity levels here are over 60% eighty percent of the time, which allows a perfect recipe for mold to grow. I also highly recommend flood coverage regardless of whether you are in a flood zone. If your water heater breaks causing an indoor flood your insurance company will most likely pay for the clean up of the indoor flood, however if it is rising water from outside, if you do not have flood coverage, you will most likely be denied a claim.
Hopefully you have spent some time with your insurance sales person and chosen a level of property coverage that includes sufficient mold coverage and flood coverage. Another issue I have seen is people that get laid off or lose their job increasing their deductible to lower their insurance payment. Knowing what I do about this business, if I lost my job I would think about lowering the deductible even if it meant a small increase.
I come into situations where people that have raised deductibles, come into a water damage emergency and have problems coming up with the deductible. I hope this has been informative. Please call me with any questions. Wayne Terry, Owner of PuroClean Emergency Services 904-573-3566 or Cell: 904-613-0883.