Q - How long does it take mold to grow or spread?
A - Mold can spread very quickly when it is disrupted by rubbing it or by air spraying against it. If you spot mold in your home, it is not recommended to wipe it down with bleach as bleach does not kill mold just turns it white and will actually make it spread because you are disrupting the mold spores.
Q – I can’t see any mold in my house, how do I know if I have a mold problem?
A – Mold can grow anywhere. A lot of times, it grows in places you can’t see such as your attic, under insulation, crawl space, in between the walls and floors of your home. By the time you DO see it, there can be a lot more you can’t see!
Q – How many air samples will I need?
A - The general rule is: 1 air sample for every 500 square feet of home space, and always 1 outdoor sample for a baseline reading, as to rule out cross contamination of the indoor air. Sometimes more samples need to be taken depending on how your home is laid out. We always discuss how many will be needed before we take any samples, and we work within your budget.
Q – If I take measurements, or send pictures, can I get a quote over the phone?
A – We never give quotes over the phone. We send an Environmental Hygienist that performs a visual inspection. He also uses his other senses by smelling for odors, and since he is sensitive to mold, he determines how he feels while he’s there! During the inspection, he looks for the source of the problem, not just the mold that’s already there!
Q – I seem to be the only one affected in the home. No one else can smell or feel that there is a problem, why is that?
A – Some people are very sensitive to even slightly elevated mold levels. Everyone reacts differently. Some of the symptoms of elevated mold levels in the home are: feeling lethargic, never feeling quite up to par, puffy eyes, sneezing and typical allergic type reactions, rashes, foggy head feeling such as feeling like you can’t quite concentrate or think straight, asthma and breathing problems, queasiness, and more. People with Lyme Disease and Autoimmune Diseases are extremely sensitive to mold.
Q - How do I know which company to choose for a mold problem?
A - A lot of companies employ Indoor Environmental Professional or IEP, Certified Microbial Consultant or CMC, Certified Microbial Investigator or CMI, Certified Mold Assessor or CMA-(60 Hours of training), Qualified Mold Assessor or QMA-(16 Hours of training), Certified IAQ/Mold Inspector or CMI (8 Hours of training), Certified Mold Inspector or CMI- (24 hour course-Through National Association of Mold Professionals; Which is used as a marketing tool to train people to take samples and send them to certain labs)
We ONLY send an Industrial Hygienist defined by The American Industrial Hygiene Association as: “A professional person possessing either a Baccalaureate Degree in engineering, chemistry, or physics or a Baccalaureate Degree in a closely related biological, or physical science from an accredited college or University, whom also has a minimum of three years of industrial hygiene experience and completed Master's Degree in a related physical or biological science.
Q - We had to replace all the roofing and sheeting in our house because our builder failed to vent the roof properly causing mold in the attic, this cost us $3500; can we declare this?
A - Possibly. It sounds like it might be a casualty loss since this loss was beyond your control.
When you lose an item due to an accident, theft, or act of nature, you may have a tax deduction for the value of the property that is not covered by your insurance.
Here's how it works:
Individuals are required to claim their casualty and theft losses as an itemized deduction on Form 1040, Schedule A Itemized Deductions. For property held by you for personal use, once you have subtracted any salvage value and any insurance or other reimbursement (which you don't have), you must subtract $100 from each casualty or theft event that occurred during the year. Then add up all those amounts and subtract 10% of your adjusted gross income from that total to calculate your allowable casualty and theft losses for the year.
If your property is personal-use property or is not completely destroyed, the amount of your casualty loss is the lesser of:
•The adjusted basis of your property, or
•The decrease in fair market value of your property as a result of the casualty
More details can be found at this link http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc515.html
Q - There is only one type of black mold, and it’s very bad.
A - In actuality, there are a lot of molds that look black. The type of black mold that made the news years ago, associated with a lot of ill health effects, was called Stachybotrys (pronounced ‘stack-ee-bot-riss’). However, there are a lot of other molds that look black, and are fairly common; not all black molds are Stachybotrys. There are many toxic molds, and they come in a variety of colors.