I recently performed a mold inspection in florida and on a commercial building in the city of Murrieta, CA. The occupant of the leased unit noticed black fungus growth at several locations, at the surface of the wall, which runs adjacent to the exterior wall. During our visual inspection CRI Mold Inspections noted physical growth, which we felt originated from irrigation over-spray at the planters. located directly outside of the building. In addition, CRI noted that the entry access of the store allowed moisture intrusion during annual rain events. CRI conveyed verbally, our findings to the occupant of the building. CRI, at that time and under the direction of our client, took several air/environmental samples, as well as, a physical swabbed sample of the actual growth.
The client, who was obviously concerned, contacted the landlord, who then laughed off the occupants concerns and explained to my client that it was too hot in Murrieta for mold to grow and he should not be concerned. In fact, he told my client that CRI Mold Inspections, must be an ambulance chaser, just looking for a quick buck. This issue is currently in litigation, so I won’t go into too much detail, but the landlord is obviously not an expert in mold growth or remediation and is clearly increasing his liability by offering advice or opinions, as if he was educated in the manner of mold and the conditions which create an environment conducive to growth. My client has been ill, as well as his employees, all are showing symptoms, which can be followed back to the species of fungus, which CRI Mold Inspections found with our sampling and are now being addressed by their own medical practitioners.
Until I received a call from a new client, I thought the landlords comments were indicative of a man who was panicking and could not actually believe his own comments. After I explained to the new client our mold inspection services, he also told me that it was too hot for mold to be an issue and was not concerned with the issue.
I felt that if a few people told me of their view, then that must mean a large number of people may have the same view. Conditions conducive to mold growth are as follows;
- Temperatures which range from 40 to 100 degrees.
Ok. So some of you might say I just proved myself wrong. The deal breaker is that most homes today have some type of air conditioning and heating system to cool or heat the interior of their homes. Therefore, the interior of the home is usually always between and 40 and 100 degrees, which is conducive to mold growth. You should also know, if mold grows and then dies due to excessive heat, most species of mold are still be toxic even when dead or dormant.
Since we are on the subject of conditions, which facilitate mold growth, lets talk about moisture. The most common locations CRI Mold Inspections finds fungus growth are; garages, laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and within the attics. All of these locations have one thing in common, they are locations which are prone to moisture related issues. Mold will grow within 48-72 hours of moisture levels reaching 20% or higher and humidity levels reaching 60% or higher. Every time you take a shower you create these types of conditions, which is why is common to see mold growth within showers and bathrooms, where an exhaust fan is poorly operating or missing, and where the occupants do not utilize the window during and after the use of the shower.
In regards to food, almost everything in your home can be consumed by the breakdown and growth of fungus, including you!!! Your walls are most likely built with wood, cellulose, and paper, which is molds favorite food.
The other big response to mold is, “Well its been around for hundreds of years, why is it a big deal now?” Ironically, mold has become a growing issue, due to the energy efficiency advancements made in the design of the building envelopes used and due to the change in materials used in the construction of your home. We know have windows which are air tight, thresholds and doors sealed, ceilings and floors are insulated. These building conditions prevent air movement, which help control humidity levels in the air, creating an environment conducive for growth. Walls are now comprised of paper backed gypsum, rather than stucco and concrete of years past. Paper or cellulose is Molds favorite food. The equation is simple for our mathematical reader, (Moisture+Warmth+Cellulose=MOLD). Mold is everywhere, but its up to you to prevent the environment conducive to growth.