Mold is one of the silent culprits that contribute to Building Related Illnesses. Mold spores are microscopic, can become airborne with little air movement, and can lay dormant in inhospitable environments until conditions are favorable for growth.
For mold to grow and propagate, moisture and cellulose are required. Moisture buildup inside buildings may arise from water penetration through compromised areas of the building envelope, from plumbing leaks, from condensation due to improper ventilation, from the central air conditioning equipment, or from ground moisture penetrating a portion of the building. Common building materials contain cellulose, which is found in paper and wood products, including drywall. Building materials that contain cellulose, become moist, and fail to dry within 48 hours, may result in mold growth and release allergenic spores into the air.
Through a mold assessment, the presence or absence of mold in the indoor environment can be determined and quantified. Sampling techniques include testing the indoor and outdoor air and physical samples of suspected microbial activity.
With the widespread devastation that hurricanes routinely inflict on this region, it is a safeguard to have testing performed when buying a new home. These tests ensure that the proper precautions were taken after a home sustained damage where moisture intrusion was an issue.