Mold Testing Services
Central Florida is known for being hot and humid with plenty of rainfall, and this moisture can wreak havoc on your home or building, causing water damage and mold to grow. Whether you are experiencing water intrusion from a weather event, a leak, or a hidden source mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours. Mold can be incredibly harmful to occupants if left unchecked for too long and may cause permanent health problems. If you believe that your indoor environment may be affecting your health call us today, we can assist you in improving your indoor air quality.
There are three types of mold spores, each causing a different set of symptoms:
- Allergenic: Mold spores that cause an allergic reaction in those that breathe in it, such as wheezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, rashes, and fatigue.
- Pathogenic: Mold spores that cause a suppression of the immune system leading to chronic pain, respiratory problems, and sinus infections.
- Toxic: Mold spores that are very hazardous and may lead to more serious health concerns such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, memory lapse, and confusion.
- Skin rashes
- Digestive problems
- Frequent headaches
- Respiratory problems
- Chronic aches and pains
- Sinus infections or congestion
- Mood swings, anxiety, and depression
- Trouble concentrating, memory lapses or confusion
- Itching or irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, or skin
- If the mold investigation and mold testing of your property determines that you have a mold problem, we provide a written remediation protocol plan that outlines how the mold should be professionally remediated. This scope of work can be submitted to companies that specialize in professional mold remediation as well as insurance companies when filing a claim. Note: It is against Florida regulations for the same company to test and remediate on the same job.
After the mold has been properly remediated, Healthy Home will perform a clearance test to make sure that all mold remediation containment areas or open areas are free of dust, debris, and visible mold. Even if no initial test has been performed, it is in your best interest to have a clearance test after remediation is performed following these criteria:
- The source of the problem has been corrected
- All microbial growth is cleaned and/or removed.
- All building materials associated with the mold problem are dry.
- There are no current sources of water intrusion.
- Air samples collected meet industry guidelines for clearance.
- Receive a Clearance Certificate for your records.
All Homes and Buildings Contain Mold
The real question is which molds? Certain molds have the ability to create
Mycotoxins. The World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2011 publication: Mycotoxins: Children’s Health and the Environment defines mycotoxins as follows
- Toxin – A natural produced poison
- Mycotoxin – Natural byproducts produced by fungi that evoke a toxic response when introduced in low concentrations to humans, by a natural route. Note: There is no definition of what “low concentration” means.
Mycotoxins are produced by a number of different toxin producing fungi found in water damaged indoor environments. Their impact can be life threatening.
With ONE TEST, you can detect 10 of the most toxigenic molds and 15 of the most poisonous mycotoxins. EMMA testing uses sensitive molecular detection technology to look for the presence of 10 of the most toxigenic molds. It determines their presence and determines their relative abundance. EMMA also tests directly for 15 of the most poisonous Mycotoxins using its patented Mycotoxin detection test. Testing is simple, only requiring small amounts of dust or material from AC or heater filters.
You are experiencing adverse health effects after living or working in a mold-contaminated environment. Since mold typically needs a food source, an initial inspection is performed to locate the source followed by air sampling and/or direct sampling methods. Environmental mycotoxin testing can be requested at the time of initial testing or after, based on initial testing laboratory results. If the presence of environmental mycotoxins are detected clinical mycotoxin testing is then recommended on exposed occupants, mycotoxin testing is performed using a simple urine specimen which can detect the toxins that come from pathogenic or disease causing species of mold. The medical mycotoxin test comes in a sealed kit with instructions for specimen collection and a pre-paid label to ship your specimen directly to the medical laboratory. Healthy Home Environmental Services NEVER receives clinical medical laboratory results; all guidelines are private, subject to government guidelines and regulations, and go to you, the patient directly.
- Kidney toxicity
- Immune suppression
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Acute Pulmonary Hemorrhage
- Aplastic Anemia
- Birth defects
- You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem before the cleanup or remediation can be considered finished.
- You should have completed mold removal. Visible mold and moldy odors should not be present. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage.
- Areas greater than 10 square feet of visible mold or areas that have been tested and determined elevated or toxic molds exist must be remediated by a licensed professional.
- A PRV (post remediation verification) or Clearance Test should be performed prior to build back to determine if initial contaminants have been entirely removed.
- Ultimately, this is a judgment call; there is no easy answer. If you have concerns or questions, call the EPA Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse at (800) 438-4318.
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the backside of drywall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation). Ceiling Cavity and/or wall cavity sampling can confirm the presence of mold.
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.