Bruce Environmental Inc.

Asbestos & Mold Removal

Mold

What is mold?

Mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. There are many different mold species that come in many different colors. Molds are sometimes referred to as mildew. They are found both indoors and outdoors in all climates, during all seasons of the year. Outdoors, molds survive by using plants and decaying organic matter such as fallen leaves as a source of nutrition. Indoors, molds need moisture to grow as well as a carbon source from building materials or building contents.

Excess moisture is generally the cause of indoor mold growth. Molds reproduce by releasing tiny spores that float through the air until landing in other locations. When they settle on wet or moist surfaces, the spores can form new mold colonies. Moderate temperatures and available nutrient sources make most office buildings ideal for mold growth.

Recent media attention has increased public awareness and concern over exposure to molds in the workplace. While this may seem to be a new problem, exposure to molds has actually occurred throughout history. In fact, the types of molds found in office buildings are not rare or even unusual. It is important to understand that no indoor space is completely free from mold spores – not even a surgical operating room. Molds are everywhere, making our exposure to molds unavoidable, whether indoors or outdoors, at home or at work.

How to know if you have mold

Mold in the home can usually be found in damp, dark or steamy areas e.g. bathroom or kitchen, cluttered storage areas, recently flooded areas, basement areas, plumbing spaces, areas with poor ventilation and outdoors in humid environments. Symptoms caused by mold allergy are watery, itchy eyes, a chronic cough, headaches or migraines, difficulty breathing, rashes, tiredness, sinus problems,nasal blockage and frequent sneezing.

Mold growth in buildings can lead to a variety of health problems. Various practices can be followed to mitigate mold issues in buildings, the most important of which is to reduce moisture levels that can facilitate mold growth. Removal of affected materials after the source of moisture has been reduced and/or eliminated may be necessary for remediation.

Mold Remediation and Removal

If you suspect that there is mold in your home or business, then mold remediation Atlanta is incredibly important. Mold inspectors in Atlanta can determine not only if you have mold, but they can also help you understand the scope of the problem. Mold control is important because if you allow it to grow, you could develop allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, asthma, and even toxic mold syndrome.

When you contact a mold contractor to take a look at your home or business, bear in mind that the presence of mold generally indicates a structural issue. Although mold abatement is important, so is determining the cause of the problem so that you can prevent it from happening again in the future. Mold experts can help you figure out where the mold is coming from, remove it, and help you prevent it from coming back.

We remediate dampness and help remove the mold from existing areas. While we can remove mold from many hard surfaces, once it has infiltrated insulation or wallboard, the only safe way to remove the mold is to remove the affected area and replace it. Whether you need mold testing in Atlanta, mold removal in Sandy Springs, or even mold removal in Alpharetta, contact us here at Bruce Environmental for all of your mold-related needs. Our experts are fully trained to test for, locate, and remove mold.

Remediation of dampness and mold contamination

First and foremost, determine the source of moisture and take appropriate measures to make repairs. Damp or wet building materials and furnishings as a result of leaks or flooding should be dried within 24 to 48 hours to prevent the growth of mold. Mold can be cleaned and removed from hard surfaces with detergent and water or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mold in or under carpets typically requires that the carpets be removed. Once mold starts to grow in insulation or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is removal and replacement.

Symptoms related to dampness and mold

Health problems associated with excessive damp conditions and mold include:

  • ALLERGIES

    Allergic responses like those to pollen or animal dander are the most common types of health problems related to mold. Typical symptoms include sneezing; irritation of the nose, mouth, or throat; nasal stuffiness and runny nose; and red, itchy or watery eyes. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause a person who was not previously allergic to mold to become allergic to mold. For people with known allergies, molds can trigger asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough. Irritation can also occur in non-allergenic (non-sensitized) people. Additionally, scientific studies indicate that exposure to molds in the workplace can make pre-existing asthma worse. Recent NIOSH investigations document that some damp buildings are associated with developing new asthma.
  • HYPERSENSITIVITY PNEUMONITIS

    Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a kind of lung inflammation that occurs in persons who develop immune system sensitization (similar to an allergy) to inhaled organic dust. It can be mistaken for pneumonia, but it does not get better with antibiotics for infection.

    Symptoms of HP can vary. Some persons have shortness of breath, cough, muscle aches, chills, fever, night sweats, and profound fatigue. These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss. Work-relatedness may only become apparent over long holidays if symptoms resolve and then recur on return to work. With continued exposure, the persistent lung inflammation of both kinds of symptoms can lead to scarring and permanent damage. The slow progression of symptoms and the persistence of symptoms away from work may result in delayed recognition of work-related lung disease by both workers and physicians.

    HP has been referred to as Bird breeder’s lung and Mushroom picker’s disease in specific occupations with a risk of HP from biological dusts. HP has been documented in workers in buildings with mold and bacteria contaminated air-conditioners (including spray-water cooling systems), and contaminated ductwork and filters. This lung disease has also occurred in workers who worked in water-damaged buildings with roof leaks, plumbing leaks, poorly draining condensation pans, and high indoor relative humidity.

    HP is not contagious and is due to a person’s immune system reaction to inhaled microorganisms, whether dead or alive. It is possible for workers to have both dampness-related HP and asthma at the same time. Additionally, workplaces that have workers with HP may also have workers with building-related asthma.
  • ASTHMA

    Asthma is a form of lung disease in which the airways develop inflammation and bronchospasm (reversible narrowing) in response to sensitizing or irritating exposure. Affected individuals can experience episodes of shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, and wheezing. These symptoms occur after exposure to nonspecific irritating substances in the air or after exposure to substances to which an individual is allergic. Medical testing typically reveals evidence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness such as an abnormal methacholine challenge test or reversible airways obstruction on spirometry (a test of lung function). It is important for affected individuals to have a comprehensive asthma treatment plan and regular follow-up with their physician. Early diagnosis and removal from the impacted damp office environment can cure asthma caused by workplace exposures.

    In approximately 15% of asthmatics, the illness may have been caused, or made worse, by workplace exposures. Some occupational exposures are well known risks for asthma development (e.g., western red cedar; isocyanates). Indoor environment research has identified evidence of an association between damp buildings and asthma symptoms in individuals with pre-existing asthma. There is also new evidence of an association between damp buildings and new-onset asthma. In an individual with new-onset asthma or worsening of stable pre-existing asthma, measurements of lung function made several times a day at work and at home over several weeks may reveal a pattern of changing lung function that suggests a workplace cause.

    For individuals with new-onset asthma or worsening of stable pre-existing asthma that is suspected to be related to the indoor environment, controlling or eliminating the sources of indoor contaminants, along with optimal medical treatment, may lead to symptoms of improvement or resolution.

      "Toxic Mold" & Stachybotrys chartarum
      Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (mycotoxins), but the molds                   themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce
      mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, should be considered the same as other common           molds which can grow in your house or workplace. Contradicting research results exist
      regarding whether toxigenic mold found indoors causes unique or rare health conditions such as         bleeding in the lungs. Research is ongoing in this area.

Mold growing in buildings, whether it is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) or another mold, indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem that needs to be addressed. For further information on Stachybotrys, go to the CDC mold website.


Website Builder