There are millions of different kinds of molds; only a very few are known as toxic mold. Mold spores themselves are not toxic, but mold spores can produce mycotoxins, which may become toxic mold, during some periods of their life cycle. All toxic molds have the potential to cause health effects. The types and severity of symptoms depend, in part, on the types of toxic mold present, the extent of an individual’s exposure to those toxic molds, the ages of the individuals, and their existing sensitivities or allergies.
The medical consensus of opinion is that toxic mold is linked to respiratory health problems. Though everyone responds differently to toxic mold, it should always be removed. The moisture that is causing the toxic mold to grow is damaging the building and potentially it’s structural integrity.
Moisture control is the key to toxic mold control. Where there is moisture there is the potential for toxic mold growth. Toxic mold spores, similar to seeds in plants, are the mode of proliferation for mold species. When a toxic mold spore lands on a damp surface that is conducive for toxic mold growth (generally cellulose based materials) toxic mold may begin to grow. Leaks, deferred maintenance, or elevated inside humidity are all factors which may allow mold growth to begin. Prior to any removal of toxic mold contaminated materials, all of the sources of moisture should be repaired and verified water tight or the best remediation (professional removal of the toxic mold) may not remain toxic mold free. If the moisture sources persist, there is a significant probability that toxic mold will return.
- Read what the CDC has to say about Living in Damp Indoor Air Spaces.
- For mold descriptions, see our Knowledge Base.
If a leak is found, it is recommended to minimize the possibility/probability of toxic mold growth by starting professional drying as soon as possible. See who does this work - Remediation Contractors.
Each inspection is focused on solving your specific problem. If that problem involves a commercial building or a very complex set of problems in a residence, a protocol may need to be written. This document is a blue print for properly removing microbial contamination: Mold Protocol.
After any remedial work, post validation or clearance testing with a report is always recommended. This testing should be done with engineering controls and containment still in place, to prevent possible cross contamination.