Q. What are some ways I can recognize mold?

Mold has a musty smell. Frequently mold grows in basements, attics, under carpets, in closets or crawlspaces, and behind walls. Often it leaves visible stains on walls, ceilings and furniture.  Mold can be visible detected by discoloration on surfaces, white, black, brown, green, tan, purple are all discolorations that can represent mold growth.

Q. Is mold damage covered by homeowner’s insurance?

Every policy is different, some policies cover mold others do not.  You would need to review your own policy to know if mold damage is covered.

Q. Will painting over mold solve the problem?

No, you cannot paint over mold to solve your problem. The mold can grow again on the painted surface and mold spores which can be invisible to the naked eye can still be present away from the area where viable growth is present.

Q. What are common symptoms a person might experience with mold exposure?

Symptoms of mold exposure are similar to respiratory allergies. Flue like symptoms can occur including itchy eyes, runny nose, cough, congestion, and headaches.

Q. How much mold exposure is harmful?

Individuals differ on the amount of mold exposure they can tolerate. The elderly, young children and those with compromised immune systems are usually more susceptible to the effects of molds than others.

Q. Can you suffer brain damage from mold exposure?

There is no evidence currently to support claims that people have suffered brain damage from mold.

Q  What level of mold in the air is acceptable?

No regulatory agencies have established a specific number that defines safe mold exposure. Mold counts can vary based on the time of year, and the outdoor environment. /how-to-interpret-mold-test-results

 

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Q. How many samples are required in order to verify a mold problem?

The number and type of samples taken depends on each situation. For air testing, typically one test is taken indoors per complaint room and another outdoors, for comparison purposes.  Multiple samples can be taken when a stronger conclusion is desired.  When visible mold is obvious, sampling is not always necessary.

Q. Do you recommend a mold testing kit I can buy at a hardware store?

There are advantages to having a mold professional take samples as opposed to a using DIY kit.  A professional will know where and when to take the sample, and how to interpret the results. They also have the right tools for the sampling. A DIY kit typically is a dish used to capture spores; this is not the most effective method

Q. Why is mold a concern?

Mold is potentially hazardous to your health.  It causes a number of health concerns, including allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Persons especially susceptible to irritations from mold include the elderly, newborns, those with asthma, or a compromised immune system.  Additionally, mold breaks down organic material such as drywall and wood that can cause structural damage to a home if left to grow and spread. 

Q. Is there such a thing as toxic mold?

According to the CDC, there are some molds which produce toxins (mycotoxins). However, the molds themselves are not toxic (poisonous). Reports linking mold to rare health conditions have not been proved.  So no there is no toxic mold.

Q. Where might you find mold?

Mold spores are present in normal outdoor and indoor air.  Mold can grow on paper, wood, carpet, insulation and dust that gather in moist areas.  It often grows in attics, basements, crawlspaces and in ceilings.

  Questions About Mold?

 

Q. How is mold removal performed?  (Mold Remediation)

Mold removal in New Jersey, also known as mold remediation, is based on eliminating mold and its spores from your property. Mold remediation is not killing the mold, as dead mold spores are still irratants.  Mold removal protocol varies for each particular situation but is based on a basic foundation of the following:

 

  1. Isolation of working area (mold containment). 
  2. Establish a negative air environment to control airborne spores that will be disturbed during     remediation.
  3. Hepa vacuuming of mold impacted surfaces.
  4. Cleaning and transporting of contents (removal of mold contaminated media).
  5. Spraying & scrubbing of unmovable structure elements.
  6. Disinfecting, deodorizing & encapsulating surfaces, and rebuilding.-Mold Remediation.
  7. Post remediation air scrubbing (cleaning of the space post remediation to remove residual     spores.

  

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Q. Why do you have mold?

If you have moisture, oxygen, correct temperatures and an organic food source, mold will grow. 

Q. What are the ideal conditions for mold growth?

Temperatures between 68º F and 86º F; a humidity level of 60% or higher; and water damage not addressed within 48 hours.

Q. Does a musty odor mean I have mold?

A musty odor is the "off-gassing" of mold.  It typically indicates the presence of mold that is growing. Dormant mold (think winter time) will not off gas and the musty odor will not be present.

Q.  I got a mold remediation estimate and it said they would wipe surfaces with a fungicide.  This is a basement with exposed wood beams that are rough, I can't believe you can wipe the wood effectively or without getting splinters. Will they actually wipe the mold away?

No you can't wipe rough unfinished wood effectively.  You would hepa vacuum the wood to remove the mold, just like you would vacuum a dirty carpet.  When I see that companies say they will wipe wood beams, I know they don't know what they are talking about if if they are saying this what else are they doing wrong.

Q. How do I know if a house I am buying has mold?

The best way to be sure if a house has mold is to have it inspected by a professional.  Often there are signs of water damage or a musty odor.  These are indications you may have mold.  An environmental mold professional will inspect the property using sophisticated equipment to confirm the presence of mold.

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Q. Are newer homes more susceptible to mold growth?

Mold is more likely to be found in newer, more tightly sealed buildings, where there is less air circulation. 

Q. Can I find the mold and just fix the problem myself?

If there was a secret sauce, spray or powder we would post it, there isn't.  Remediation is the removal of the mold which takes work and training.

A mold remediation professional is trained to contain the mold during removal (so you do not spread the mold) and to treat the area with antimicrobials to kill and prevent future growth.  Professionals also use portable air scrubbers that filter the air where mold is being remediated to capture airborne spores (remove mold from the air).  DIY mold remediators do not have access to this equipment or the training.

We are often called to remediate a mold problem at a property after the owner has tried to cleanup the mold, but the mold keeps coming back.  This is because the mold was never fully remediated.  Mold was left on surfaces, The vacuum or cleaning instruments they used spread the spores into the air and when they landed on organic material, they grew again.

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Mold removal is a complex process and is best left to experienced, licensed and certified professionals. An inexperienced and untrained individual trying to perform mold remediation on or having a general contractor attempt it is usually unsuccessful and can spread the problem.  We have found more often than not, improperly trained contractors who attempt remediation end up spreading the contaminants airborne, creating an even larger problem.

DIY Mold homeowners often become sick due to not following proper mold removal procedures. For example, proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn and the proper containment procedures must be followed to prevent the contamination from spreading to unaffected areas of your home. Without taking these necessary precautions a mold remediation project often becomes a worse.

Our top priority  is to keep you and your family safe both during and after the mold remediation process. Our clients can be assured  that  Curren Environmental Inc. will take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety.  

 Q. Can I use bleach to clean the mold?

The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill mold. Bleach is mostly water; once you stop smelling the bleach it stopped working. Using bleach to kill mold results in dead spores left behind which can still irritate people.  Bleach doesn't get the airborne spores (mold in the air is the likely source of how mold started in the first place).  These spores evantually land on organic material and grow.

Q. How do I know if what I have is mildew or mold?

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi. Mold is fuzzy and black, green, or blue in
color.   Mildew is powdery, and gray or white in color. When mildew is left to grow for a period of time, it can turn into mold.

Q My home inspector found mold, now what?

Once you have discovered mold, you need to locate the moisture problem and correct it promptly.  Call a professional who will carefully contain the area, remove the mold, and treat the area to prevent further mold growth. In some instances they may need to check for possible structural damage.

 Do not remediate mold until the cause of the mold is determined.  Many times it is more than one source.  Also water leaks DO NOT GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN.  

  Questions About Mold?

Q How do you check for mold?

There are different ways to detect the presence of mold, including a visual inspection, air sampling, surface sampling, bulk testing, moisture evaluation, and borescope.  There are many different types of mold.  Laboratory testing can identify the species of mold present in your home.

Q. Should I have the mold tested to find out what type it is?

Mold can be sampled and tested but is not necessary. The EPA
advises not to test; there are no federal regulations for mold in a residential
setting. The focus is removal of the mold and fixing the moisture problem.

Q. What is a HEPA filter?

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. Use of a HEPA vacuum when removing mold will get rid of any spores that may be present. 

Q. How do I know if the mold I have is the type that makes people sick?

Different types of mold affect people differently.  It is an allergen and may cause respiratory issues for some people.  Mold growth indoors is well known to be undesirable.

Q. After remediation of mold, will the mold return?

To prevent mold from coming back, follow these guidelines:

- Stop water infiltration into the structure

- Use a dehumidifier in damp areas such as basements and
  crawlspaces

- Use exhaust fans in kitchens & bathrooms

- Fix water damage immediately.

Q. Is a mold-free home possible?

No, mold is part of our environment.  However, there should be a lower mold count indoors than outside. You want to prevent your home from being conducive to mold growth.

Q. Why are there price disparities between mold remediation companies?

The scope of the work to be performed by mold remediation companies can vary which may result in price differences. Certain firms are more thorough than others.  It is best to get a second quotes for mold removal work to understand any price disparity.

Q. Are mold levels regulated by the law?

There are no federal laws or standards regulating types or levels of mold found in a residential setting. Mold testing and remediation follows industry guidelines to remediate and test mold.

Mold remediation cost

Post remediation air scrubbingCurren Environmental is a leading mold inspection, mold testing, and mold remediation company serving New Jersey,  and Pennsylvania.  Areas we serve in NJ include Northern and Southern New Jersey counties such as Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County,  Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer  County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic  County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Warren County, and Union County.

 

Our mold inspection company also serves residential, commercial and industrial  property owners in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and surrounding PA
communities.