Mold Frequently Asked Questions
Why is mold growing
in my home?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking
down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce
by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin
growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without
water or moisture.
Can mold cause health problems?
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds
have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances.
Allergic reactions to mold are common and include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes,
and skin rash. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.
Why Inspect or Test for Mold?
How do I know if I have mold?
Northwest and a Master Indoor Environmental Specialist will come to your home and test for mold. Results are usually returned
within 3 business days. Give us a call.
How do I get rid of mold?
is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors, but indoor mold growth can be controlled by controlling moisture
indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must remove the mold and also fix the water problem. If you remove the
mold, but don't fix the water problem, the mold problem most likely will return.
Who should do the cleanup?
If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet, you
can probably handle the job yourself. However:
If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers
more than 10 square feet, consult the EPA's Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types.
you choose to hire a Remediator (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience
cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA's Mold Remediation in Schools
and Commercial Buildings, or the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold, contact EnviroSpect
Northwest and a Master Indoor Environmental Specialist will complete an assessment and test for mold. Most results are
returned within 3 business days. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated
with mold - it could spread mold throughout your home.
If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or
other contaminated water, then call a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated
water. After the clean-up is complete, contact EnviroSpect Northwest to perform clearance testing to ensure that all
contaminated materials have been removed.
If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before
For more information, read the EPA's A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.
The above information is provided as a public service by the Environmental
Protection Agency for educational purposes.