What is Mold?

What is Toxic Mold?

The term “Toxic Mold” is not accurate.  Certain mold can be toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specific mycotoxin), but these molds themselves are not toxic.  People with allergies may be more sensitive to mold.  People with chronic respiratory disease or compromised immune systems can be at increased risk of infection from molds.

Symptoms of chronic mold exposure:

  • Respiratory problems – wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Eye irritation – burning, watering, reddening
  • Dry hacking cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nose and throat irritation

How does poor construction cause problems?

Improperly flashed decks, windows, chimneys, skylights, siding, or trim not properly installed including synthetic stucco.  Negative drainage around foundations.

Can air duct systems become contaminated with mold?

During the first cooling season the construction dust (sheetrock) that was left in your air duct system from the sanding done during construction turns to mold.  This is because the duct board that is used to form the duct system holds dirt on its surface.  The humidity and dust act as a food source for mold spores.  Cheap filtration and poor maintenance only exacerbates the issues.

Can ozone air cleaners remove indoor mold?

Studies have shown that ozone, even at high concentration, is not effective at killing airborne mold contamination.  Health experts, including the Minnesota Department of Health, do not recommend the use of ozone to address mold or other indoor air problems.

Will my insurance pay for removal?

That depends on the insurance company you have.  Some will and some won’t.  Since it has become such a widespread problem, more and more carriers are not covering it.  Be sure to thoroughly document EVERYTHING!

When it is important to test for mold?

Anytime you have had a leak of some sort, a flood, or notice severe dampness, or you visually see dark black discoloration.  If you suspect it may be under floorboards, or between walls, and have an unexplained lingering illness, it is a good idea to have a professional check your home thoroughly.

What can I save? What should I toss?

Substances that are porous and can trap mold, such as paper, rags, wallboard, and rotten wood should be decontaminated and thrown out.  Ultimately it is critical to remove the source of moisture first, before beginning remedial action.  Mold growth will return shortly if an affected area becomes re-wetted.

Who should be held negligent?

  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Drywall Contractors
  • Heating and Air Contractors
  • Framers
  • Builders
  • Architects
  • Stucco Contractors
  • Realtors
  • Inspectors
  • Real Estate Appraisers
  • Health Care Facilities

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