The FAQ on Mold Issues: Frequently Asked Mold Questions
Do I have mold in my home?
Probably the most frequently asked question and for good reason. As previously mentioned, if you live in Tennessee then the answer is that it would be likely. During the summer, the warm and humid environment combined with abundant plant life and vegetation make for ideal mold conditions. The real question that needs to be addresses is whether or not you have a mold problem. If you suspect that you have mold in your home or business, the best course of action is to have a LICENSED professional inspect your home for mold.
Why is mold in my home an issue?
According to the EPA all molds have the potential to cause Health effects. While the severity and specific reactions caused can vary by individual and circumstances, mold exposure should be taken very seriously. You can visit this EPA link for more information on the health effects of mold and mold exposure www.epa.gov
Can I take care of the mold issue myself?
The License applies to those performing work for others. If you would like to take care of the issue yourself, the law does not prohibit that but it comes with some big risks. Often times if the issue wasn’t properly remediated the mold will keep coming back. Additionally, if the remediation includes demo or wall removal, there is a greater likelihood of cross contaminating(spreading mold spores) throughout the entire home. Most importantly, your health is at risk without proper respirators and other PPE(personal protective equipment). I can’t speak for the rest of the county, but our climate is ideal for mold growth basically year round. Improper remediation can lead to a constant issue in the future.
How does mold grow?
There are a few components necessary for mold growth: Food, water, time. The food source is anything organic in the home meaning wood products(baseboard,cabinets, furniture), paper on drywall, and even dust(usually contains dead skin cells). The other key factor with elevated mold growth is that it is usually indicative of a moisture problem. This could be from a roof or plumbing leak or even a just high humidity levels. Mold is a living organism and needs a water or moisture source to live and grow.
Who should I call if I have a mold issue or questions?
If the growth is visible and obvious in a particular room or area of the home, it may be best to call a LICENSED mold remediation company or mold assessor. A LICENSED mold assessor can perform an air quality test ahead of time and give an assessment and/or protocol based on the lab results. The mold remediator performs the “clean up” or remediates the mold. After, the remediation, the area should be tested by a mold assessor to confirm the area and air quality is at normal levels.
It is now a Tennessee Law that any company performing mold remediation be licensed. Be wary of any contractors or tradesmen that tell you otherwise. Additionally, the mold assessor should be independent of the mold remediation company.
Can I just use bleach to take care of my mold problem?
Bleach is not a recommended product for use in the mold remediation process. Successful mold remediation involves killing mold at its roots. Bleach simply is not effective in penetrating the porous surfaces that contain mold. Furthermore, bleach as a product contains a high percentage of water which is problematic since moisture is one of the key components for mold growth. Using a product that can “leave behind” moisture in porous areas can compound the problem. Bleach may be fine for cleaning non-porous surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom but should not be relied upon for mold remediation purposes.