Mold Abatement & Remediation
Mold has been a hot topic in the restoration industry for the past 20+ years. What is mold and why is it potentially bad for us?Are all mold types dangerous? How do I know if I have a mold problem? How does it affect me and at what level does it impact my health? What levels are too high for me to maintain a healthy environment for my family or pets? Is mold covered by my insurance policy? These are some common questions we get on a consistent basis and will try to answer them from our 15+ years in the industry experience.
What is mold and why is it potentially bad for us?
Mold is essentially a fungus that breaks down decaying organic matter. Mold is all around us and is an essential part of life on our planet. The world we live in depends on fungi to help clean up the environment from decaying matter. There are many different types of fungi out there, but for this discussion let’s focus on the types of fungi that can be harmful to humans.
The most discussed type of mold in our industry is “black mold”. Black mold are types of fungi that create Mycotoxins. What are mycotoxins you ask? Well, Mycotoxins are a bi-product of certain type of fungi that can be toxic to humans. The fungi/mold itself is not toxic, but what they produce (Mycotoxins) can interact with the human body, potentially causing health issues.
The next question we get on a regular basis is: How does it affect me and at what level does it impact my health?
Unfortunately, there is no measurable level that can accurately predict when and if the mold will have an impact on your health. We have had clients react to a fairly small amount of mold exposure, and have had other clients live in that environment without any health issues they were aware of. Each person will react to the mycotoxins at a different level.
If your body is being affected by mold/mycotoxins, you may experience several different symptoms including but not limited to:
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Cough/sore throat
- Chest tightness
- Dyspnea (breathing difficulty)
- Asthma (or exacerbation of it)
- Epistaxis (nosebleed)
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Skin and eye irritation
How do I know if I have a mold problem?
Mold can be detected in several ways.
Visual – Mold can appear visually on materials and appear as spots/discoloration with varying degrees of color and texture.
Smell – Mold can create an odor that has been referred to as a “musty” smell, and is helpful when trying to determine if mold is present without visual confirmation.
Air sample/testing – Air samples or lift tape samples can be used to help verify if there are elevated amounts of mold present and what types of mold are in the dwelling/affected area.
Is mold covered by my insurance policy?
It’s important to note that each insurance carrier has their own policy terms and conditions, and should be addressed on a case by case basis. However, most policies we have worked with in the past do have mold coverage (home owner policies), but are subject to a limit and must qualify in a specific way that relates to their afforded coverage. It’s usually up to the carrier when determining whether the damages suffered to the home are covered or not. It’s always a good idea to ask your insurance carrier/adjuster to clarify whether or not your mold issue can be covered when dealing with an insurance claim.