We Work for Our Clients
Certified Mold Strategies, Ltd. is a certified full-service indoor air quality company specializing in building sciences, air sampling, odor removal, and microbial remediation. Our company is dedicated to the awareness, education, information, and resources on toxic, pathogenic, and allergenic molds and their health effects. We combine the understanding of building sciences with the knowledge of indoor air quality to create a unique strategic plan for the reasonable and successful treatment of our clients’ homes. Our reputation rests on helping our clients breathe easier.
Our expertise in Building Sciences and Indoor Air Quality sets us apart from virtually all other mold remediation companies. Our IAQ Investigations and Assessments not only provide the answers you need to correct the source of the problem, but helps prevent future problems from occurring. If you do not understand and correct all the reasons why the mold is in your home, it will recur after the remediation is complete.
The KEY to mold remediation is that you MUST remove the mold spore (seed) from the air; otherwise, the process is ineffective.
If your proposal does NOT include the use of:
- Removal of contaminated porous material, like wet drywall
- HEPA negative air pressure
- HEPA vacuuming
- HEPA air scrubbers
then the remediation will NOT be effective!
An improper mold remediation (not following these procedures and standards), will not only make the contamination worse, but will be a waste of your money!
There are few standards for mold remediation. The main standard is ANSI/IICRC S520-2008. This standard, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has clear procedures that are to be followed. For example:
- that critical barriers and containment be constructed between areas of mold colonization (growth) and non-contaminated areas
- that all water saturated porous materials that have visible mold colonization (growth) be removed (most previously saturated porous materials cannot be effectively treated)
- that one should establish and maintain HEPA negative air pressure within the containment areas
- that all surfaces, not being removed within the containment, be HEPA vacuumed
- and, that HEPA air scrubbers be operated in all secondary contaminated areas (areas adjacent to the contaminated area)
Indoor Air Quality
Every component of a home has a direct or indirect relationship to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Over the past thirty years there have been some significant changes to building design, construction, and materials. When dealing with Indoor Air Quality, the inter-relationship between these components is critical. Inadequate materials, improper installation, or design flaws can create devastating results to the building and the occupant’s health. The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system…the virtual heart and lungs of the home…may be one of the most important systems in the home. It is crucial that this system controls all aspects of the home’s air. Humidification, dehumidification, ventilation, filtering, and comfort are all aspects that must be controlled.
We have spent the majority of the past ten years studying Building Sciences. Understanding the inter-relationships of all these components and their common deficiencies is vital. Knowledge of key principles such as moisture dynamics, water shingling principles, drainage control, vapor barriers, diffusion, and pressurization is essential when evaluating your home.
Questions and Answers
What is mold? Mold is a generic name for over 200,000 different kinds of fungus. Molds exhibit hundreds of different colors and textures. Molds reproduce by releasing spores – regenerative cells surrounded by a very tough coating that can survive detergents, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.
What is “toxic mold”? Many types of molds produce chemicals during their normal growth that are considered to be toxins or poisons. These molds, especially certain kinds that appear to strongly affect human health, have been given the name “toxic mold”. However, doctors and scientists generally do not accept this term because it has not been clearly defined.
How does mold affect human health? Mold is an allergen. Just like any other allergen, your body doesn’t care if it is dead or alive. Depending on our own individual immune systems, we all will react differently to mold exposure. If you are sensitized to mold and are exposed to a significant amount, your body will have a reaction. Once again, depending on your own immune system, that reaction can be from watery eyes to neurological issues. We do know that the more we are exposed to allergens, the more likely we are to become hyper-sensitized. For example, I might live with a dog and be just fine. But if I started living with 80 dogs, I will become hyper-sensitized to them. It may take a week, a month, or a year… but it will happen. What reaction will I have? Once again, it is totally dependent on my own individual immune system. Bottom line…..we know we do not want to live in a building with significant mold colonization (growth).
Does the presence of indoor mold always result in sickness? No. Those who have mold allergies or asthma may be affected. And people with severely compromised immune systems are at risk for developing internal fungal infections if they are exposed to airborne mold spores. But many without allergy or asthma ailments will feel no ill effects from mold; however, there are a growing number of case studies that suggests mold may contribute to non-specific symptoms such as long-term respiratory damage, chronic headaches and nausea, and possibly neurological damage in certain individuals.
Currently, none of these claims have been linked to mold by acceptable scientific research. But in the majority of these cases, mold has been suspected, due to doctors not being able to offer a suitable alternative explanation.
How does mold get inside of buildings? Mold grows when there are moisture problems resulting in building materials being constantly dampened by water. Poor air circulation or inadequate ventilation can also contribute to excess moisture. One of the best sources of food for mold is cellulose, which is the primary constituent of wood and paper products. Modern building materials such as gypsum wallboard, acoustic ceiling tiles, wallpaper, fiberboard, and particleboard are all likely to encourage mold growth if they become exposed to high humidity levels, condensation, or water.
Can I buy a test kit and test my home myself? Test kits are available from hardware stores and are inexpensive. The problem with doing it yourself is that mold is everywhere, inside our homes, cars, clothes, etc. I can open one of these test kits anywhere and grow mold. This may give you false-positive/false-negative results which can be detrimental to your health and well-being. The standards and protocols that are followed and the experience of a certified indoor environmentalist will help to ensure that the information garnered from testing can be used to correct your problem. The bottom line is, if you have a situation regarding mold that is of concern enough to consider testing, it should be of concern enough to use a professional.
Can I use chemicals to kill mold? Certain chemicals called biocides, which kill living molds, are available; however, biocides are poisons and if used incorrectly they can be more harmful than the mold itself. Also, dead mold still contains spores and irritating chemicals and can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma attacks. Mold must be removed, not just killed.
Can I just use bleach to clean it up? NO! DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH TO KILL MOLD! IT IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH AND IT IS TOTALLY INEFFECTIVE AGAINST KILLING MOLD!
Do I have to move out of my home if it contains mold? No. Abandoning a property is usually advised only if occupants are exhibiting severe allergy or asthma-like symptoms that may likely have been caused by mold. Moving out is also advised when there is mold growth or water damage significant enough to have caused major structural problems. You should consult with both a physician and a mold professional before abandoning a property.
Should I report mold to my insurer? Most homeowners and commercial property insurances only cover mold if it is the result of a sudden or accidental discharge of water. Most insurers have also included specific exclusions for mold and fungus, which severely limit or eliminate any coverage for mold removal, regardless of cause.
If you decide to file a claim, document the damage with photographs and keep a record of each conversation you have with the insurance company, including the date, time, and the name of the person that you spoke with.
Will mold or water damage claims affect my ability to buy insurance? Some insurers may consider properties with a history of water damage or mold claims to be “high risk”. Consult with your insurance agent about the procedures of your insurance company for evaluating underwriting risk.
High levels of fungi in an indoor environment as compared to normal outdoor levels are of particular concern.
In the event that fungal contamination is determined within a dwelling, a professional investigation is essential to thoroughly evaluate the occupant space and determine appropriate clean-up measures.
- Chronic Sinus Infections
- Feelings of Hopelessness
- Chronic Fatigue
- Difficulty Breathing
- Frequent Bloody Noses
- Burning or Metallic Taste in Mouth
- Long Lasting Cold/Flu Like Symptoms
- Muscle Pain
- Memory Loss
- Mood Swings
- Sneezing Fits
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Increased Asthma Attacks
- Systemic Candida
- Coughing/Sour Lungs
- Sudden Onset Asthma
- “Early Menopause” Symptoms
- Unexplained Fevers
- Thyroid Irregularities