Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Do your allergies seem worse than ever? Are you or your children suffering from symptoms like red and watery eyes, fevers and sore throats?
If so, your home may be infected with toxic mold.
Mold is a microscopic organism that is found just about everywhere – both indoors and out. Inside the home, mold can grow quickly in all sorts of spaces, including dark and damp basements, air conditioning units, bathrooms, carpets, and many other locations. Basically, if there is a source of moisture, mold can go to town reproducing and releasing millions of spores into the air, which are so small they tend to stay in the air we breathe, which can often make people sick.
Is all mold dangerous? No. While some types of mold are relatively harmless, there are certain types that can lead to a variety of health problems like the ones listed above. For example, allergenic molds are not too dangerous in small amounts, but higher concentrations can lead to allergic and asthma-like symptoms.
The most common type of mold goes by the rather ominous nickname of “black mold” – although here at NERS, we also refer to it by its scientific name, which is Stachybotrys Chartarum. Greenish-black in color, this bad-boy of the mold family really loves to proliferate in places like dry wall, carpet and ceiling tiles. Most health organizations consider Stachybotrys Chartarum to be a hazard to health. It can produce a mycotoxin that causes both the humans and animals in a home to become ill and lead to what is called “sick building syndrome.”
How do you know if it’s toxic mold? Not all black mold is Stachybotrys Chartarum. You cannot tell if it is without performing a proper inspection and mold test. Our company routinely works with both homeowners and insurance companies to determine what type of mold is growing in the home before remediation.
The first thing we do is to perform surface mold testing as well as taking an air sample. These are sent off to the laboratory and will give us a definitive answer as to the type of mold we are dealing with. We also perform a complete inspection of the entire home to be sure it is properly vented and that water is not getting in anywhere.
NERS also provides homeowners with a written report that details what we found, what the lab results indicated, and what plan of action we recommend.