Mold causes all sorts of headaches! It’s unsightly. It smells. And it causes allergies and asthma.

Testing by certified microbial investigators is the only way to find out where mold is lurking in your home or business. RTK Environmental Group’s investigators spend hours each day testing homes for mold. What follows are some of the frequently asked questions we get from our clients.

Q: Our home was flooded in the fall, and our plaster walls are now moldy. Do the plaster walls, like gypsum board, need to be ripped out?
Yes. If the plaster is moldy, chances are the wooden studs that support the plaster are moldy as well. Mold growing in the walls, out of sight, is a common occurrence.

Q: I bleached the mold that was growing on my basement walls. Will it still cause respiratory problems?
Without a professional environmental inspection, it’s impossible to tell if all your mold is gone. In most cases, bleaching alone is not enough to stop mold from spreading. Even one spore is enough to contaminate the area again. And a little known fact: Even dead mold spores can cause an allergic reaction, so be sure that the area is well ventilated.

Q. I am a really good housekeeper, yet no matter how hard I clean, I still get mold on my walls. Why?
Mold is everywhere, part of our natural environment. Outdoors, mold is an important part of nature, breaking down dead organic materials. Just look at what happens to fallen leaves; that’s mold at work. But indoors, mold is a huge problem. It doesn’t take much for mold to take hold, particularly if there is excess humidity in the home. Within 24 hours, if an area remains damp or wet, toxic mold can start growing. Mold reproduces by tiny spores, too small for the naked eye to see. And once these spores start floating through the air, they begin to latch on to other surfaces and multiply. Rest assured: Mold grows even in the cleanest homes.

Q. Since mold is everywhere, why should I care?
You have to care about mold, because it can make you and your family sick. The most common affect is an allergic reaction when mold spores are inhaled. Typical reactions include hay fever or asthma, and irritation of the nose, eyes, throat and lungs. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine how you will be affected by mold until it attacks. And since allergic reactions can happen from both dead and live mold spores, killing mold with bleach is not a solution. It’s important to test for mold for two reasons: To find out where mold is lurking and to discover the type of mold in your home or office. Once you know those two facts, you can hire a remediation firm to remove the mold.

For more information, or to schedule a mold inspection, call RTK at 800.392.6468.

Past exposure to lead may be to blame for over 400,000 deaths in the United States every year (The Lancet Public Health.)

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