Mold

Discussion in 'Flooring Potpourri' started by Daris Mulkin, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't know if this is in the right spot or not. If not "T" would you put it in the right one.
    The only thing I know about Black Mold is that it has to have cellulous to grow or thrive on. Not all the black mold is the one everyone is so scared of. Personally I think some fancy lawyer made a fortune off the mold issue. It has been around since day one and now all of a sudden it is a disaster waiting to happen. Like alot of other things that get alot of press.
    So Tandy if you would!!!

    Daris
     
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Great topic, Daris, and I would like to learn more about it too. It prob'ly would have done okay in the Inspections forum, but I think it would do better here in the Flooring Potpourri forum where all visitors can at least read about it, if not participate in the discussion.

    I think one of the biggest problems has been the publication of so many articles about the dangers of mold, maybe authored by attorneys looking to make money on class action suits. But I believe most people, including many flooring professionals, may not be aware of the different types of mold and which ones we need to be concerned about. And not the least of issues is how to properly handle mold and deal with it for the long term when it comes to selling and installing new floorcoverings or ripping out old and finding the stuff.

    I'm confident we have the pros that know - or that can help us find the best information.

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
  3. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    OK Daris, lets get started. I am going to approach this as if the general knowledge of air quality control is extremely limited.

    Mold has been with mankind for a long, long time. Read in the Bible Leviticus chapters 13 and 14.

    Mold and mildew are natures garbage disposals. There are some mold that is good and there is mold that is not good. Next time you eat blue cheese thank mold.

    Remember the air we breathe has microns of mold spores, pollen, skin fragments, insects, combustion particles, toner, environmental dust, construction dust, and many other airborne particulates. From time to time some of these particulates will be mentioned, but for the sake of this study MOLD and MILDEW will be our main topics.

    DEFINITIONS:
    MILDEW
    1. Lay term for a discoloration or superficial coating on various materials caused by the growth of fungi. Occurs in damp conditions.
    MOLD
    1. A fuzzy coating due to growth of a fungus on the surface of decaying vegetable matter or on inorganic objects.
    2. Any one of a group of parasitic or saprophytic fungi that causes mold, such as black molds (Mucorales) and blue and green molds (Aspergillales), the latter including Penicillium, the source of the antibiotic penicillin.
    FUNGUS
    1. Spore-producing organism, a single-cellular organism without chlorophyll that reproduces by spore and and lives by absorbing nutrients from organic matter. Fungi include mildews, molds, smuts, mushrooms, rust, and yeasts.

    THE AIR WE BREATHE

    Air circulating in the ductwork of our home or office can be some of the poorest quality anywhere. Molds, bacteria, yeasts, dust mites, and viruses - all could be present in every breath you take. Do you realize you fill your lungs up to 20,000 times each day?

    These are all aeroallergens that over time become concentrated, causing allergies, inflammation of the mucous membrane, upper respiratory problems, asthmatic conditions, headaches and even flu-like symptoms.

    With many of these our immune system does not build up a tolerance but is in fact weakened by continuous exposure.

    Indoor air can contain as much as 100 times more airborne contaminants than outside air.
    Indoor air quality problems cost North Americans over $100 billion each year in health care, absenteeism, lost production and revenue.

    As you know we are making our homes and offices more air tight. We have insulation in the walls, ceilings, windows, and anywhere else air might come in. As a result the same air is cycled over and over - in many instances becoming more contaminated with each cycle. If excessive moisture is added to the mix, problems can quickly develop.

    COLLECTION OF AEROALLERGENS

    1. What are aeroallergens?
      • Aero = Air
      • Allergen = Substance that produces an allergic reaction.
      • An aeroallergen is an airborne particulate that produces an allergic effect.

      It is estimated that 4% of all Americans are afflicted with asthma with or with ALLERGIC RHINITIS and 7% have allergic rhinitis alone. Rhinitis is an inflamed nasal passage - inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose which is usually accompanied by a discharge of mucus.


    2. A large number of the above 11% inhalant allergens and in particular pollens and molds are involved and mot frequently the triggers of human atopic allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis.

      Atopic allergic is used to describe a condition that is caused by a hereditary tendency to react to certain allergens, such as occurs in hay fever, some skin irritations, and asthma.


    3. Pollens and molds qualify by size and weight as aeroallergens since they are in the 2 to 60 micron range of most particulate matter.

      Micron is a one millionth of a meter - a unit of linear measurement equivalent to .00003937 inches.

    We have six (6) more sections of the three(3) already covered today. If any of you pros or the good people that visit this site have any questions please ask them and we will go over them together. More to come if you wish.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2009
  4. Demonseed

    Demonseed Pro Member

    I actually am certified in mold remediation, I got my books on it around here somewhere (I am not an expert on mold itself just remediation practices). For the most part I agree it seems like a scam, but there are people that are extremely sensitive to mold, and there are varieties that are highly aggressive. In a sense, it is similar to abestos and abestos abatement.
     
  5. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Alright!! We got 2 mold experts here I think this is going to be a good topic.
    Now what I know of mold remediation used to be anyway was bleach it. At least that what one of the home flippers in this area did. How good is this to kill it? Then I know a friend who is in the business who was telling me about dry ice and carbonate soda anyway that is what I think it was. Anymore on this?
    I've been in enough houses that I think had black mold and it didn't have any effect on me I don't think. But I am allergic to Penicillin. But when I was getting my shots in the Navy they asked if I was allergic to eggs for that, which I'm not.
    Keep it coming.

    Daris
     
  6. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  7. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Scott that is a very good article, and we will cover most of what was said as we go along. Demonseed do you also do testing? If so what kind?
     
  8. Jerry Thomas

    Jerry Thomas Charter Member Senior Member

    Yes good topic, but we need to keep in mind that nobody can just look at something and factually determine that mold is present. Sample testing is a requirement for this. Am I right or wrong about this ?
     
  9. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You are right Jerry. We will explore how this is done. The "how" will be explored, there are several ways.
     
  10. Demonseed

    Demonseed Pro Member

    Technically my certification is for testing also, but the scope of what I did didn't require it. there is an air pump test kit, surface swab kits, lift tape and petri dish, of course you can buy all kinds of advanced equipment as well, for the most part all of the samples have to be sent to a lab. The big part about the samples is the chain of evidence and documentation. But this is mostly a dog and pony show. The link posted was pretty accurate.

    If you are in a corporate environment testing becomes more important for hidden mold issues, places you cant easily access, visibly or otherwise.




     
  11. Lo Down

    Lo Down Old as dirt member Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: Underhome humidity and venting

    My question was aimed more about humidity levels and reducing them, but it kinda steered towards mold.
    I think this is much better here as it's own topic.
     
  12. mcbrides

    mcbrides Canadian Installers Senior Member

    Excellent discussion, Tandy.

    For whatever reason, we have both become super-sensitized to environmental conditions when entering job sites. We physically react to everything from pet dander to glade plug in's (we run around and unplug them while we are working). If there is mould or mildew present, our noses let us know pretty fast.

    Knowledge of remediation practices will certainly assist us along the way.

    D&D
     
  13. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Lo we will get to that also down the way. D&D if you react that quick, you should consider using a face mask the instant you feel the breathing issues coming on. You will never build up a resistance to it. In fact it is just the opposite the more you are around it the more it tears down your immune system.
     
  14. mcbrides

    mcbrides Canadian Installers Senior Member

    Never fails that when we are pricing a residential ripout and ask the customer to vacuum the carpet first, they look at us like we each have two heads. Can't burn scented candles, wear cologne, and even some fabric softeners drive us both nuts.

    Maybe it's time for us both to train as inspectors ........... :eek:
     
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Re: Underhome humidity and venting

    What Lo said. I split out some of the mold stuff in his topic because it warranted a discussion of its own. Lo's topic wasn't really about mold at all, although it could be a by-product if he wasn't able to resolve the humidity issue. Hope you don't mind.

    Jim
     
  16. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    OK, lets get started. The first three are a review of those already posted here: https://thefloorpro.com/community/flooring-potpourri/5380-mold.html#post63138 Lo would you and Daris get to your desks? :)

    COLLECTION OF AEROALLERGENS

    1. What are aeroallergens?
      • Aero = Air
      • Allergen = Substance that produces an allergic reaction.
      • An aeroallergen is an airborne particulate that produces an allergic effect.

      It is estimated that 4% of all Americans are afflicted with asthma with or with ALLERGIC RHINITIS and 7% have allergic rhinitis alone. Rhinitis is an inflamed nasal passage - inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose which is usually accompanied by a discharge of mucus.


    2. A large number of the above 11% inhalant allergens and in particular pollens and molds are involved and mot frequently the triggers of human atopic allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis.

      Atopic allergic is used to describe a condition that is caused by a hereditary tendency to react to certain allergens, such as occurs in hay fever, some skin irritations, and asthma.


    3. Pollens and molds qualify by size and weight as aeroallergens since they are in the 2 to 60 micron range of most particulate matter (Micron is a one millionth of a meter - a unit of linear measurement equivalent to .00003937 inches).

    4. Airborne allergens may be classified as seasonal and non-seasonal. Pollens, which are seasonal and molds, which are not seasonal, provide entries in each category.

      TREE POLLENS that are predominate in the spring are generally held to be less allergenic than grasses and weeds that dominate the summer and fall months.

      RAGWEED (which is widely considered to be the most allergenic of the pollens) pollinates in late summer and early fall in most localities. However, some western species produce pollen in the early spring.

      MOUNTAIN CEDAR is a tree pollen that is considered equally offensive in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. It rounds out one year and begins another by shedding its pollen from November to February.​

    5. The term "Sick Building Syndrome" (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to the time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building.

      Indicators of SBS Include:
      • Building occupants complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort, e.g., headache, eye, nose, or throat irritation, dry or itchy skin, dizziness and nausea, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, and sensitivity to odors.
      • The cause of the symptoms is not known.
      • Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building.

      In contrast, the term "Building Related Illness" (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.

      Indicators of BRI Include:
      • Building occupants complain of symptoms such as cough, chest tightness, fever, chills, and muscle aches.
      • The symptoms can be clinically defined and have clearly identifiable causes.
      • Complainants may require prolonged recovery times after leaving the building.

      It is important to note that complaints may result from other causes. these may include an illness contracted outside the building, acute sensitivity (eg., allergies), job-related stress or dissatisfaction and other psychosocial factors. Never the less studies show that symptoms may be caused by indoor air quality problems.

    6. An indoor air quality investigation procedure is best characterized as a cycle of information gathering and testing. It generally begins with a walk through inspection of the problem areas to provide information about the four basic factors that influence indoor air quality. The walk through also includes the outside of the building.
      • The occupants.
      • The HVAC system (see where the fresh air grills are located. They may be in direct line with what is causing the problem, e.g., next to a drive where vehicle set wit motors running).
      • Possible pollutant pathways.
      • Possible contaminant sources.

      MOST FREQUENTLY SPOTTED PROBLEMS IN HOUSES

      In a survey the American Society of Home Inspectors Inc. Found these to be the most frequent spotted problems in houses.
      1. Improper surface grading and drainage. Should be 5% or six (6) inch drop from the house in the first ten (10) feet.
      2. Improper electrical wiring.
      3. Roof damage.
      4. HVAC system problems.
      5. Poor overall maintenance including cracked surfaces, crumbling masonry and broken fixtures.
      6. Structural problems.
      7. Plumbing problems including old materials and faulty fixtures.
      8. Faulty exterior, including flaws in windows and doors.
      9. Poor ventilation.
      10. Miscellaneous problems, including asbestos, dripping faucets and sticking windows.

      If my count is right nine (9) out of the ten (10) most frequent problems could and probably contribute to moisture, mold and other air-borne pollutants.


    Remember if you have any question please feel free to ask and together we will find the answers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2009
  17. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    MOISTURE

    This is the most important condition for mold growth. You may hear the term "EQUILIBRIUM CONTENT." This is used to describe a moisture condition when the material has absorbed all the water vapor it will at a specified humidity. In a non-flooded environment mold can germinate and grow when the humidity reaches 75% and the materials are allowed to reach an equilibrium moisture content of 75% or more.

    Mold growth in wood is well known and the opportunity for mold increases when the moisture content is above 24%. For sufficient safety margin, the minimum recommended rate is 20% to prevent wood decay.

    HUMIDITY

    The warning flag goes up when the indoor humidity is above 60% even in non-flooded buildings.

    When this has been reached for optimum drying the humidity should be reduced and maintained below 50% relative humidity, preferably below 40% as quickly as possible.

    NUTRIENTS

    The type and quantity of nutrients play an important role in the growth of mold. A dirty area provides more nutrients for mold growth than a clean area. Organic materials or those with some organic composition such as drywall, adhesives, paper, wood, plaster, leather, and cloth make an ideal growth substrate.

    Air Velocity

    Most indoor fungi are saprophytes and they grow best when the ambient air is stagnant. Some of the best places to find mold growing is closets, attics and wall cavity. Mold does not grow well if the air velocity is greater than two (2) miles per hour.

    As a result air movers can be a major detriment to mold growth.

    CAUTION: Air movers should not be installed or setup near existing growth as it will disperse mold spores throughout the area.

    TEMPERATURE

    Temperature below 35 degrees F. the mold growth is essentially inactive. It will decline dramatically below below 55 degrees F. Its favorite temperature is a moderate one between 68 degrees F. and 86 degrees F.

    Notice how close this is to human comfort ranges.

    LIGHT

    For the most part mold prefers darkness or low light. That is why we see more inside wall and ceiling cavities and in poorly lighted attics, crawl spaces, and basements than in primary living spaces with good lighting.

    SUBSTRATE

    Mold prefers natural materials to synthetic ones. In most cases (there are probably exceptions) if mold is growing in synthetic there is probably a natural food source in or on the synthetic material (example carpet).

    WATER SOURCE CONTAMINATION

    The nastier the water is, the greater the spores and the more rapid they will grow if everything else is equal (temp., heat, air, light, etc.). If the area has had previous mold growth then there is a greater degree of mold growth in the area again.

    LENGTH OF TIME WET

    Mold germination and growth takes time. I have been told mold starts to incubate in seven and one half (7 1/2) hours. The longer a material stays wet the greater the chance for mold growth. However, it takes about two (2) to three (3) days for mold to grow to a point it can be analyzed.

    ---

    This is the third part and my question is do you wish to continue or have you had all of the mold you want?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2009
  18. cproader

    cproader All over T's last nerve Senior Member

    Keep it comin, I am tryin to stay up with ya but it is alot of info.....I'm filin it fer future reference.......:bow:
     
  19. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Tandy you say mold will or can start to grow when humidity level is at 60%. Now isn't that the top parameter for wood flooring?

    Daris
     
  20. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    The true comfort zone for wood is RH 30% to 50% and temp. 60 to 80 degrees.
     
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