Moisture Intrusion Inspections
The Truth about Mold: Control Moisture and Control the Ability of Mold to Become a Problem Within Your Home.
JCM Building Services is dedicated to helping you decide if your chosen home is right for you. Often, home buyers ask for MOLD TESTING to be performed during the Home Inspection. Most homeowner do not know The Truth About Mold, and believe that a simple test can protect them. Many unscrupulous Home Inspectors are happy to oblige, for an increase in the inspection fee. Often as not, the MOLD TESTING is not performed to the exacting standards set by the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants (IAC2). The results of improperly performed MOLD TESTING will be misleading. Learn the truth about Mold, and how JCM Building Services is the inspection provider that can best help you with your Home Inspection.
What is Mold?
Mold is everywhere. Molds belongs to the largest and most numerous group of organisms, known as Fungi. Mold is a natural and important component in our ecosystem. It largely responsible for the breakdown and decay of items in nature. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange. Fungi is a Wood Destroying Organism (WDO).
The problem with Mold begins, when conditions inside the home allow Mold and Other Mold like microbial growth to thrive. Normally, a maintained, dry, and properly functioning home and it’s systems should not promote the growth of excessive mold. The key factor in Mold growth within the home is moisture. Mold can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
JCM Building Services is Infrared Certified and equipped to locate hidden sources of Moisture Intrusion.
JCM Building Services utilizes the most technologically advanced tools in the Home Inspection Industry to help locate moisture intrusion during the Home Inspection process. Our Infrared Thermal Camera is able to photograph evidence of moisture in the home that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Areas of most concern for moisture and conditions that will encourage Mold growth.
Areas in the house that are source of moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, should always be inspected or monitored for moisture intrusion. Plumbing components should be frequently monitored for leaks, and repairs made immediately. Drain boards, back splashes, tile and grout, should be maintained and deficiencies repaired and caulked to prevent moisture from penetrating other surfaces. If moisture damage does occur, the moisture should be dried up and the cause of the moisture be repaired. Ignoring it will only make matters worse.
System failure or structural failure within the home can be a major source of moisture intrusion. Roof leaks, basements, and HVAC systems are prime culprits. Here in Florida, roof failure and poorly maintained air conditioning systems are two items that frequently fail and allow moisture to penetrate the home and promote Mold Growth. AC condensation lines often backup and leak in places that are unobserved. Air conditioner coils require cleaning every 2-3 years. AC Filters require monthly cleaning or replacement. Failure to maintain the coil and filter can allow mold and microbial growth to grow on the moist and dirty AC coil. Roofs can leak, or secondary systems such as gutters can cause moisture to enter the building envelope and promote Mold growth.
Things You Should Know About Mold
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dish washing, and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
JCM Building Services is IAC2 certified and trained in the use of Mold Testing and Mold Inspections. Limited Mold testing can be provided if your situation warrants it on a case by case basis. We do not recommend partial or incomplete Mold Testing that does NOT meet the criteria of the IAC2.