Detecting Mold - Fast Facts
FAQ on Detecting Mold w. Joe Reiss
Detecting mold. There's so much to say, but let's start with the basics.
How can one tell if there are air quality issues in their environment?
First, assess where the source is and determine what course of action is suitable for you to undertake. Seeking the required knowledge is the key to successful remediation. Each remediation project differs in many ways with many aspects and conditions that are too specific to suggest any alternative steps without understanding what you are dealing with. Once the initial assessment has been finished, I suggest following an industry-standard guideline – the IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guideline for Professional Mold Remediation.
How does one clean their environment and contents inside the affected areas?
Industry-standard guidelines like the IICRC S520 explain in great detail step-by-step procedures to handle most cleaning methods, both for your environment and contents.
What resources are available to better understand and educate about indoor mold and other pathogens?
I would first start within your local and state guidelines, and from there I would recommend reviewing the following literature to grasp a better understanding of microbial growth:
AIHA Guideline 3 - 2004 Assessment, Remediation and Post-Remediation Verification of Mold in Buildings Fungal Contamination - A Manual for Investment, Remediation and Control Author by - Hollace S. Bailey.
Indoor Environmental Professionals Panel of Surviving Mold CONSENSUS STATEMENT Medically sound investigation and remediation of water-damaged Buildings in cases of CIRS-WDB - L. Schwartz CIEC, BSME, MBA, G. Weatherman CMC, M. Schrantz CIEC, CMI, BPI-BA/EP, W. Spates CIAQP, CIEC, J. Charlton ACIEC, AACIEH, K. Berndtson MD, R. Shoemaker MD.
What are some tips to help recognize a potential microbial problem in a home?
- When you walk into your home, how does it smell? If you have a basement, do you notice a difference in the basement climate coming to and from there? Or a moist-enriched environment - can you smell a difference? Also, look into crawl spaces, garages, and unconditioned storage areas, to name a few.
- Check under your toilet tank lid. Flip it over - have you cleaned it before? Most of us haven't. This is a good way to check to see a residual build-up of airborne dust particles has built up over time and could possibly be attracting microbial activity. You see, when you flush a toilet, it work son gravity. When the water is released in the tank, air pressure is subsequently forcing the water to flow downwards. Within the air, there are airborne particles that could indeed have mold spores among them. Generally speaking, where there is a water source, there could be microbial activity. If you notice any suspicious colonizing patterns or discoloration growth on the interior components as well, there could be a good chance that you have mold spores in your ambient airflow, which could possibly be facilitated in your ventilation system. Further evaluation would then need to be considered.
- Check where the ventilation system is located, and take a look at all of the system components. Check the return grills and supply registers as well as the filters that you change. Is there any excessive building of dust and/or strange colonization that doesn't look like it should be there? If so, then further evaluation is needed within the entire system to determine if there is excessive build-up within the internal components. It is then possible that this could be a source where mold spores could be harboring and spreading.
"Never stop seeking knowledge to help others, share what you have learned and then give back to your community for the benefit of others." -Joseph Reiss
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