Mold is a part of our natural environment and is not always hazardous. Outside of the home, mold works in harmony with nature by assisting in the decomposing of dead natural matter such as dead trees and leaves. However, inside the home mold growth is undesirable. Mold reproduces by way of very small spores. These spores are too small to be detected by the naked eye as they drift through the air. Mold may start to grow inside the home or structure whenever mold spores come in contact with moist surfaces. There are numerous varieties of mold, all of which require moisture to grow.
Whether indoor mold is noticed or just suspected, mold testing and lab analysis will be the only way to determine whether the mold is toxic or non-toxic and whether the mold spore counts are above actionable levels. This is where mold inspectors and mold remediators enter the picture. On the surface, they may seem one in the same, but there can be major differences between the two professions. Primarily, a mold remediator is going to have a vested interest in what occurs after dangerous levels of mold is discovered in a home. Mold remediators would be hired to remove dangerous mold once it has been identified. Mold inspectors on the other hand are involved at the beginning of the process in determining if dangerous levels of mold exist and if so, help develop a protocol or gameplan for remediation followed by testing on the back end to ensure the home if safe to live in after mold is removed.
Unfortunately, some remeditation companies have been accused of misleading individuals about the mold in their structure which is done to ensure they are hired to complete the process of removal. In some cases, the actual testing process may be skipped by them entirely. Any inspection by a remediator which is completed without actual mold testing done by an accredited lab will yield little more than a guess as to what the indoor air quality actually is. If mold is suspected in a home, a mold inspector should first be hired to take surface samples, have then tested, and then offer proof of what type(s) or mold are present in the home or business.
Any reputable mold remediation service who is recommending professional treatment should be in favor of having a mold inspector provide a second opinion. A trustworthy mold inspector should have absolutely no problem in informing clients of the fact that mold removal is not necessary. Alternately, if a problem does exist, an inspector can offer a comprehensive report and discuss the removal process. Many people choose to protect their financial interested by having an inspection completed first. This allows the home or business owner to know upfront that there is no problem, or if a problem is present, can allow for savings by making sure that only the work which is actually needed is done.
It's not difficult to understand why many have a fear of mold. Mold can generate allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic compounds such as mycotoxins. Breathing in or touching mold spores can trigger allergic reactions in vulnerable individuals. Mold may also trigger asthma attacks in those who suffer from this condition. Furthermore, mold exposure can inflame the eyes, lungs, throat and more in both allergic and non-allergic individuals.
While there is no denying that any of the above listed ailments are certainly undesirable, a calm and educated approach to mold inspection and removal (if necessary) is truly what is called for. For many, the best first step is going to have a mold inspection completed by a trained inspector which has no business interest in the removal process. Should remediation indeed be necessary, a reputable removal company can be sought out at that point.