If your home has endured water damage or have concerns about mold exposure in north-central West Virginia, Appalachian Environmental Testing & Consulting is the company to call for professional mold detection and remediation services. Mold is present everywhere. It can become an issue in any house or commercial property when overgrowth of mold occurs, most often following flooding, water damage, and high humidity conditions. When an excessive amount of mold spores are present, the situation can cause serious health issues as well as structural damage to the property.
There are many types of molds. These simple microscopic organisms may be present both indoors throughout your home and outdoors in the environment, on surfaces and inside many types of materials. In low numbers, we usually are not aware of their presence; however, when a condition favorable for mold growth happens the consequences can quickly become devastating.
When present in large quantities, mold can harm human health many ways. This is especially true of sensitive groups. These include infants, children, pregnant women, the aged, those with cancer, HIV infection, compromised immune systems, liver disease, multiple chemical sensitivity, and breathing and respiratory conditions. Problems stemming from mold exposure can range from mild irritation to serious.
Exacerbation of Asthma
Symptom Flare-ups of COPD & Respiratory Conditions
Development of Mold-related Illness, Dysfunction & Disease
The signs of mold exposure vary by individual, with allergies being most common. Some people may be exposed to large amounts of mold with no apparent ill effects, while others are sensitive to tiny amounts. Symptoms may occur alone or in combination and can include:
Red, Watery Eyes
Irritated or Sore Throat
Wheezing & Breathing Difficulty
Shortness of Breath
Dry, Hacking Cough
Worsened Asthma, COPD & Respiratory Distress
Skin Irritation & Rashes
Body Aches & Pains
Fever and/or Chills
Brain & Nervous System Damage
Most molds are allergenic or irritative. These may cause serious illness and debilitating disease when present in sufficient amounts. When molds produce mycotoxins, serious health harm is likely to result. Unfortunately, mycotoxin exposure may lead to death in some cases.
When airborne mold is inhaled, it can lodge in the lungs. Eating foods and touching surfaces contaminated with mold spores can result in a dangerous level of mold exposure, also. The quantity of mold spores required to cause symptoms and illness vary.
Left unchecked, structural integrity of affected houses and buildings may become compromised. Repair and remediation costs rise with continued inaction. Unfortunately, mold issues do not typically resolve on their own. If you can smell or see it, you have a mold problem that must be addressed to help minimize damage to your property.
Warped House Frame
Weakened House Structure
Cracked Walls & Ceilings
In most cases, discoloration is easily seen in an area where mold overgrowth is present. Look behind walls, drop ceilings, and around and under porous areas of water damage and moisture exposure for signs of drips, seeping, leaching, musty smells, cracked plasterboard, loose drywall tape, and warped wood.
You may also witness moisture condensation on windows or walls. This signals a condition ripe for mold development. Condensation may also indicate a hazardous or potentially fatal fuel combustion issue and should be investigated immediately.
Mold may be found in a broad range of colors. Patches of mold may be witnessed growing in and near damp areas. Common household molds in West Virginia may cause affected areas to appear discolored:
While not actually a mold, mildew often grows in the same moisture-laden areas alongside mold and is commonly mistaken for mold.
This common bathroom mold is often orange but may also appear pink, white, or greyish. It starts out as a slimy film that turns powdery with maturity. It may be found in bathtubs, shower stalls, and toilet bowls and may cause sinusitis, eye and nail infections for those with weak immune systems.
Commonly found beneath upholstery, wallpaper, carpeting, and similar furnishings, this mold can appear quickly. It emits a distinctive foul and potent odor.
This mold is commonly found in water-damaged areas. Despite its prevalence, it has a high toxicity level. This mold is particularly hazardous to sensitive populations, such as children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions. Smells musty or of rotting vegetables.
This is the most common household mold, commonly found behind walls and in insulation, damp carpet, and bathrooms. Although it may sometimes appear blackish in color, like Stachybotrys chartarum, Cladosporium is not a toxic mold. However, it is still known to cause significant health hazards including infections and allergies – and is a major trigger for asthmatics. It has a suede-like or powdery black appearance and typically grows as “dots” that spread.
More than 180 species of this black topped, yellow to whitish based mold are known to exist indoors in damp areas, as well as outdoors. It commonly causes spoilage of onions, grapes, apricots, and other foods. Exposure can cause aspergillosis, including significant respiratory issues and it has also been associated with the development of pneumonia.
There are more than 1.5 million mold species known to exist! Proper identification can only be made with professional testing and laboratory analysis. If you would like help identifying a mold found growing in your home in north-central West Virginia, contact us at: (304) 613-6999.
Mold requires a suitable place to grow. A mold-promoting environment typically includes a source of moisture and food. This can include everything from paper and wood to shed skin cells, leaves, dirt. Typical indoor locations that encourage excessive mold growth include wet rooms (bathrooms and kitchens), improperly vented areas, and locations with high humidity.
Backed Up Sewers
Flooded Houses & Buildings
Improper Humidifier Usage
Ice Dams & Leaky Roofs
Chronic Plumbing Leaks
Stoves, Dryers & Humidity-generating Appliances Vented Indoors
Wet Clothes & Indoor Clothes Drying
Showers & Baths without Ventilation
Evaporation from Watered House Plants
Although mold tends to be easy to see, it is notoriously difficult to clean up and eliminate properly. Living, as well as dead, mold spores must be scrubbed clean away, killed, and the affected areas thoroughly disinfected with an effective moldicide. The source of moisture must be found and corrected, as well. Continual vigilance is required until the issue is fully resolved.
It is important to know with certainty whether any health issues may be related to your property containing dangerous mold spores or if you should investigate another cause. If water damage or evidence of mold overgrowth is present, you will want this valuable information, also. Unfortunately, airborne mold testing equipment is not available to the general public.
If professional mold testing reveals high mold levels, dangerous mycotoxins, extensive widespread contamination, or other serious concerns, mold remediation is best left to the certified experts at Appalachian Environmental Testing & Consulting. With mold counts in the air up to 1,000 times higher when cleaning, the need for a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health-approved respirator to safeguard your health during mold cleanup, complete removal of live and dead mold spores along with contaminated materials, and consultation and receipt of approval from your physician, mold cleanup is one job that is always best left to properly trained professionals!
At Appalachian Environmental Testing & Consulting (AETC), we are here to help you make the best decisions for your family and guests. Protect your health with professional mold testing and cleanup performed by our NACHI Certified Mold Inspector. All technicians are fully trained, certified, licensed, and well-equipped to provide accurate mold testing. We help homeowners, schools, medical facilities, and businesses of all types throughout our north-central West Virginia service area enjoy cleaner, healthier, safer indoor air. We think you will find that our extensive education, training, experience, and expertise sets us apart as West Virginia’s Premier Mold Inspector. We invite you to explore our full range of inspection and remediation services. Contact us for quality you can rely on. Call us at (304) 613-6999.