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A few words about Mold:      
mold corner4
Mold spores are everywhere waiting for the right condition become active.
When moisture content or humidity reaches 60% and temperature is between approx. 40ļ and 115ļ F, mold will grow.

Colonies of mold will establish in 48 hours. When the moisture is blocked or dried up the mold will no longer grow.

Some molds produce toxic gases from the decaying mold.

Most vulnerable to health problems from mold
Infants Elderly
Children Immune compromised
Pregnant women People with respiratory conditions

Potential health problems from inhaled mold spores and VOCs
Respiratory problemsExcessive fatigue
Skin irritation Cough
Burning/sore throatCentral nervous system problems
DermatitisAches and pain
Nasal and sinus congestionWatery and red eyes
Nose and throat irritationHeadache
EmphysemaRecurring cold and flu like symptoms
AsthmaPulmonary hemorrhage
DeathDamage to heart, liver, kidneys, other organs

Some common places to find mold are:
Floodingwet basements
humidifiersdamp basements and crawl spaces
backed - up drainsplumbing leaks for more then 48 hours

Testing for Mold
Is Testing for Mold needed?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary.
Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards.  Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.

What to look for
Mold may be easily found or may be completely hidden. Mold can often be smelled even when not seen. The musty, smell associated with damp basements comes from mold growth. If you think you smell mold (mildew), you probably do.

The most dangerous and damaging mold infestations have been from growth inside walls.

Water trapped in walls during construction or seeped in after installation. The moisture could not escape and hidden mold developed. Children died in these homes. Families lost all their belongings. Furniture, clothes, books, photo albums and other valued possessions have become so toxic they had to be abandoned along with the home itself.

Mold grows in places you would normally find water penetration or damage. The first place to look is the grading around the foundation. If water drains toward the house, inspect inside and out where the water ponds near the foundation.

Look for water stains on the  walls and floors. This is usually from clogged or broken footer drains, bad grading and  gutters problems.

Inside the house, the basement is the most likely place for mold. If you smell the unpleasant odors associated with basements, itís probably sewer gas or mold. Pour water in floor drains and run faucets to fill drain traps. If the odor remains it is probably mold.
If you found places where water drained toward the house or cascaded down the siding, look in this area in the basement. Water stains on walls, floor or around expansion joints at the outer edges of the floor merit closer examination. Sump pump areas and backed-up drains are also good potential spots for mold.

Humidifiers, furnace ducts are common places for mold growth

Examine all exposed plumbing for leaks. Any place thatís wet for more than 48 hours at a time probably has mold.

A Wet basement will develop many problems. When your basement leaks or floods, everything in your basement is exposed to damage, furnace, hot water tanks, drywall, paneling, carpets, cardboard boxes (with your treasures in them), furniture, clothing, washer /dryer, wooden floors even your sub flooring can start to rot. Mold starts to grow and releases spores into the air. Even dust mites like this damp environment. These mold spores, gases and smells may travel through the house rising in the air and from furnace duct work.

These signs are a red flag for home buyers -  sellers - and home owners alike.

For more detailed information on Mold in your home click here

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