A Fungus Among Us

A Fungus Among Us

“Blue cheese contains natural amphetamines. Why are students not informed about this?”  – Mark E. Smith

Mold is a fungus, among us, that is found both indoors and outdoors. The exact number of species is unknown but range anywhere from tens of thousands to over three hundred thousand. (There is quite a bit of latitude in those numbers!)

Like a discolored box of crayons, mold comes in all shapes, colors, and hues. When “mold” is discussed, we refer to these most common types:

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

While an irritant to many who have allergies, the depth of that irritant depends on just how sensitive one is. The key factor is if you are already asthmatic or prone to respiratory issues, mold presence can increase the frequency and intensity of symptoms. In 2004, when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) established a link between mold and respiratory symptoms, it also recognized that healthy children and adults generally are unaffected by the presence of mold.

Seeing as how the majority of healthy individuals are unaware of mold’s presence on a daily basis, the majority of all mold remediation calls come when someone is:

  • Selling or purchasing a property
  • Has a previous water loss and mold appears
  • Has a new water loss and during clean up mold is found
  • Is receiving a new roof or remodel and mold is present

More often, we continue to live with the mold all around us because – for the vast majority of the population – it’s affects go unnoticed.  This is why the CDC refrains from recommending routine sampling for mold. Yet at the same time, when mold is found, sampling and testing is recommended due to the unknown affect it may have on individuals.

The standards for acceptable spore counts and levels vary from region to region throughout the country. So, when you select a firm to test the presence of mold in your facility, ask them to disclose the standards they are testing for and what they consider acceptable. This way, you will know in advance what is being tested and which standard is acceptable for your region. This knowledge will create the objective solution for your situation and a specific validation of success.

When mitigating a presence of mold, it is a priority to deal with the spores and the actual fungus. The highest priority is to investigate and locate the cause of the condition and solve that issue. This will ensure the solution lasts for as long as possible, and avoids a recurrence in another portion of the facility.

There are qualified mold remediation contractors in every region, country, and continent. Each one has a specific way of delivering an appropriate solution. Look for a contractor that will disclose the solution they provide. Also, look for a firm with “Advanced Mold Remediation Technician” or “AMRT” certified employees.

Mold is irritating, ugly, smelly, and a general nuisance. At the same time, it is present inside and out 24/7/365. If you maintain your home and/or business facility on a regular basis, the presence of toxins will be reduced through simple cleaning and climate control.

Bart Fisher is the Business Development and Marketing Director for Michaelis Corporation. Michaelis is a licensed and fully bonded, Indianapolis-based contractor serving central Indiana. Our strongest bond is with our customers. For over three decades, we’ve helped families and businesses with construction, renovation, restoration, waterproofing, and mold remediation.