Fungi, microbial growth, aka mold, present in different forms and fashion. Know, that two things are always needed for mold to grow, survive and thrive: a water source and a food source.
The food being plywood, particle board, sheetrock, baseboards, wood framing these being the most common. Water is piped throughout the home, but the areas that tend to be affected most often are the Laundry room, Kitchens/bathrooms under the sinks, and behind the refrigerator/dishwasher.
Sometimes we see water staining on the wall, on the ceiling and not much thought goes into it, sometimes the water heater breaks, and there is water everywhere, the dishwasher leaks and water lines to the refrigerator springs a leak, things happen! Home inspection and Appraisers are being held to a higher standard these days, a lot of our calls are due to inspections commenting on water staining, possible microbial growth.
Sometimes personal belongings block access to full view, so these things get missed until after the fact. This issue is something that everyone that is considering buying or selling should keep in mind when walking through a property. Can you see the platform of the cabinet? Is there water staining? Swelling of the wood or particle board? Baseboards pulling away from the wall, swelling, discoloration? In the shower are tiles set, not loose or pulling away? For many years tile was simply placed on sheetrock and
grouted. This method is not a waterproof system! Over time, dampness, wear, and tear happens, causing tiles to pull away and create a space where water can aid in the possibilities of mold growth. One thing to keep in mind when we talk about mold is what we see on the surface is many times the tip of the iceberg, meaning it can take some time depending on use, location, conditions for mold to make its way to the surface. Typically, mold can start growing within 24-48 hours again, depending on conditions. In Nevada, primarily because of the weather most of us never open our doors or windows. Because of the dry heat, winds or cold temperatures we sometimes have, we don’t think of mold being a problem.
However, we see vacant homes, where a pipe burst, a toilet leaks or just plain neglect. We would like to point out that we are unable to view an area and say it is Mold, samples must be sent to the Lab for analysis. We interpret these results for our clients as part of our report. I want to bring some attention to Health concerns that everyone should be aware of. Anyone that suffers from COPD, Asthma, or are immune deficient if they are a cancer survivor, infants and of course the Elderly. Mold spores can enter the body typically through the respiratory system and create a host of medical issues. We ALWAYS recommend a Licensed Professional Remediation company for removal for the very real reason of “Cross contamination” that can happen when handled without care. Mold spores are like a dandelion, once disturbed they will be airborne.
Much like Asbestos, if not handled with care it will create a host of health issues. We provide Asbestos Testing; Consultants for Asbestos testing must be licensed much like anyone who handles it for the purpose of Abatement. Proper documentation must be in hand if you are removing sheetrock in the process of remediation or re-construction. Know that air quality in Clark County is monitored. EPA and OSHA require testing of Multi family complexes (Condos), any Commercial buildings, in some cases remediation companies request testing for the safety of their employees.
Results show that Asbestos is still found today in things like taping mud, mastic for vinyl flooring, insulation and of course, the popcorn ceilings. For an older home or commercial building, it might be something like thermal insulation, electrical wire coatings as well as roofing materials like shingles or exterior siding. It pays to be informed and careful; you could save with a short cut, but your health could pay the price.