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Mold

Mold is everywhere.  It is a small organism that grows on plants or animal matter.  There are many types of fungi in our world, and we are surrounded by it everyday.  Mold is a type of fungi that helps to break down dead organisms and return those nutrients to the soil. Mold reproduces by creating microscopic spores that float or spread everywhere.  Mold spores can grow if given the right conditions. Those conditions include a food source (any organic matter, including dust), water, moderate temperatures, still air and darkness.  It’s when mold grows indoors that it can cause problems for humans.
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To remediate is to remove and decontaminate an affected area.  When it comes to mold remediation, how that removal is accomplished is determined by the type and amount of mold and the size of the area affected.  A third party environmental hygienist takes samples and has them tested, then he or she develops a protocol that should be followed to effectively return the property to a pre-mold growth state. The inspector usually helps to determine the cause of the mold growth as well so that repairs may be made first. In a small area with a common mold on hard surfaces only, the process may entail vacuuming with HEPA-filtered vacuums and wiping surfaces with an antimicrobial cleaner.  But a larger area with a more problematic type of mold, with upholstery or carpet and more contamination will likely include constructing a containment area under negative air pressure, careful demolition and debris removal, then structural cleaning and application of antimicrobials.  What it is NOT?  Mold remediation is not spraying surfaces with bleach and calling it a day when the mold staining disappears. (The mold spores would still be there to cause possible problems.)
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Companies, like CATCO, who perform mold remediation must properly train and equip their technicians to accomplish the job following the specific protocol determined by an environmental hygienist or inspector.  The equipment and materials needed, as well as the certification training involved, are more expensive than most cleaning products and equipment.  Small, less extensive mold damage may cost less than $1,500, but many mold removal projects requiring professional remediation cost more than $20,000.
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If you feel confident identifying a common type of mold that is limited in one area of your property, you might wish to remove it yourself after you repair whatever the cause may be (or it’ll return). Just remember that you must carefully clean the affected area to completely remove any mold spores, even if you apply an antimicrobial and they appear to be gone. Even dead mold spores can cause problems for those with allergies or asthma, and they should be fully removed.  Most mold-affected indoor areas should be remediated by certified, trained professionals using the proper equipment to prevent further contamination.  Just disturbing a larger area of molds can distribute spores throughout the property.  Call CATCO to assist you with this, for peace of mind, at 800-642-2826.
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Inspectors perform sampling either by using tape samples or air sampling with detection equipment that is then analyzed for the specific type of mold and quantity of spores found compared to the outside environment.
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Mold can be an irritant or can cause allergic reactions in some individuals when exposed.  People with asthma or existing allergies or other respiratory conditions are most effected.  Over time, mold inside buildings, where fresh air is more limited, can cause headaches, coughing, itching, respiratory infections, nausea or even other allergic reactions.
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