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12 Mold Facts for Texas Home Owners, Home Buyers & Renters

by Phillip Fry, mold expert, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator, June 1, 2012

Texas home owners, home buyers, and home or apartment rental tenants should know these twelve mold facts to help cope with mold that might exist in their present homes, or in homes that they are considering to buy or to rent, advises mold consultant Phillip Fry, author of the book Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation.

1.  Mold is a very large group of microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. Most are filamentous organisms and produce spores that can be air, water, food, pet, or insect-borne.

2. Airborne mold spores are everywhere both indoors and outdoors. Home residents’ health is at serious risk if there are elevated levels of mold spores indoors, as compared to an outdoor mold control test.

3. The most dangerous indoor molds are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys.
Mold inspection, mold testing, and mold laboratory analysis are required to find and to identify specific mold species that might be infested a home under consideration.

4. Molds spores can cause serious health problems even if the spores are dead or dormant (inactive while waiting for more moisture to resume growth). Even the smell of dead or dormant mold can make some mold-sensitive persons ill.

There no absolute levels of safe or unsafe mold infestation inside a home or other building. Because of the huge discrepancies person to person in mold sensitivity, what might be a harmless amount of mold exposure to one occupant can be devastating health-wise to another person. Usually, mold infestation is considered to be elevated if indoor mold samples show higher mold counts and more mold species indoors than in an outdoor mold control test. Mold infestation usually affects first and most strongly pregnant ladies (and their unborn babies), infants, elderly, and persons with immune system problems. But day in and day out, cumulative exposure to mold infestation can make healthy adults quite sick. Read mold consultant Phillip Fry’s ebook Mold Health Guide to learn about available medical mold diagnostic and treatment procedures.

It is impossible to get rid of all mold spores indoors. Some mold spores will always be present in house dust and floating in the air.

7. The mold spores will not grow into mold colonies if there is insufficient moisture.  Indoor mold growth mold can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If organic materials are wet for more than 24 hours, mold growth can begin.

8. Mold grows by eating and destroying organic building materials and other cellulose-based materials such as carpeting, upholstery, and clothing. The longer that mold grows, the more mold damage to the building.

9. Cellulose is the main substance in the cell walls of plants (and thus of wood), and it is used in the manufacture of many organic building materials such as drywall, plasterboard, plywood substitutes, and ceiling tiles.

10. Mold can grow hidden and undetected inside wall and ceiling cavities; beneath wallpaper, paneling, and carpeting; and inside heating and cooling equipment and ducts, attics, crawl spaces, and basements.

11. Mold growth is often the result of a structural or construction defect, or of maintenance neglect, that allows moisture to enter the building.

12. The owner or employer must first fix the water problem (roof leak, plumbing leak, high indoor humidity) that enables the mold to grow, and then follow the 25 steps for safe and effective mold removal.

For more information about mold, mold health problems, mold inspection, mold testing, mold remediation, and mold prevention, please visit these websites---