Acceptable Mold Spore levels from Quality Air Test Results
Significantly different from the surrounding environment. Mold is almost universal since it feeds on rotting plant and wood materials among many other things. As Certified Mold Testing Experts, we do not anticipate a mold test finding that indicates there are no spores present in the house. The existence of these spores, however, could signify a problem with the quality of the air in the home if we discover mold in the home in quantities and forms that we do not observe in the area around it.
The Type of Mold Present
The following list includes some of the most significant molds that your test results may reveal, along with a succinct description of each:
The most prevalent mold species in homes are Aspergillus and Penicillium, both of which have over a thousand distinct species. Even in reasonably clean conditions, these molds can thrive when the only supply of moisture is the air's humidity. Since many times the species of mold outside and inside your home are different, it might be challenging to entirely eradicate these molds from your home.
Another allergenic mold that grows outdoors and indoors is called Cladosporium. It frequently grows on fiberglass, wood, and painted surfaces. Cladosporium has a velvety look and a dark green or black tint.
A particular kind of mold called chaetomium is frequently discovered in wet structures. It typically develops from moist drywall, carpets, and insulation. This particular mold breeds swiftly and disperses. It can seriously harm a house's structural integrity once it gains control of it.
Basidiospore Mushrooms and other fungi create basidiospores. They can frequently be found outside in moist, shaded settings like woodland areas or next to pools of water. On moist surfaces or in humidifiers, basidiospores can also be found indoors.
What is a mold spore trap or air sample? How were these samples collected?
Using a specialized pump, a consistent volume of air is drawn through a mold spore trap, a tiny plastic container about the size of a silver dollar, to collect an air sample. For small to medium-sized homes, we normally collect three air samples: one from the outside, one at the lowest finished level (where we suspect the most problems), and one at a higher level or in the area where we suspect the least problems with the air quality. We might take more samples from larger homes or residences with many possible problem locations for poor air quality.
We transmit the traps and supporting documentation to a lab for analysis after collecting the samples. Each trap's catch will be identified and counted by the lab, and we will receive the results in a report. The findings of a mold test should always be understood in the context of a house inspection or a mold inspection, which is why home inspectors who specialize in mold testing are some of the best experts to contact for a dispassionate assessment of the air quality in the home.
The test outcome will list the quantity and kind of spores discovered in each sample. The information will be presented and organized differently across different labs. Our laboratory divides the various spore kinds into three groups:
Water Indicators: (Red row)
These spores develop on moist or saturated surfaces within the home and may be an indication of a more serious/active/persistent indoor air quality problem with a higher potential for mycotoxin and allergy production.
Predominantly outdoor: (no color)
In general, these spores develop primarily outdoors and are poor predictors of the general air quality within the home.
Indoor/Outdoor: (Yellow row)
These spores, particularly aspergillums/penicillium, are excellent indications of indoor air quality problems since they frequently develop in damp settings in the home. Penicillium and Aspergillus are capable of producing mycotoxin and allergens.
An indoor mold is a form of fungus that is occasionally called mildew. Mold needs moisture to grow. It is recognized that some molds contain mycotoxin and allergenic potential. Mold is highly prevalent inside. Although most molds are benign, some varieties can be extremely harmful to human health, especially when present in huge amounts.
Evaluation of Mold spores Test
Spore Counts in the Raw
The best way to evaluate test findings is to consult a professional. Air quality issues may be indicated when the raw counts of specific spores are significantly out of range from the outdoor sample. Sometimes there are too many spores to count individually, thus only a percentage of them are counted in the lab. For instance, if only 10% of the raw count, which is 60, was evaluated, that may mean there were 10 times as many spores as 600. (Not 60). View the video for additional details
Spores per Cubic Meter Calculated
The report then estimates the calculated number of spores per cubic meter, or how many spores we can anticipate finding floating around in a cubic meter of air, using the raw counts. The test findings are best read by an expert; these visualizations can be informative but potentially deceiving. Remember that the maximum amounts can change depending on the sample; check the video for further details. These graphs are not to scale.
Recognize that fungal spores can be found both inside and outside of the home, so if you see some red on the report marked "ELEVATED," don't panic. That does not imply that there is always a problem. Simply put, it indicates that the fungal spore count in question was at least ten times greater than in the outdoor sample. Regardless of that figure, it might not be a problem. The kind and overall quantity of spores will determine this.
Three air samples are taken to examine the air's quality; one sample is taken outside the house, and the other two are taken within. When the test results are available, we contrast the two indoor samples with the outdoor sample (which is called "background" on the report). We will know there is a problem in the house if any of the inside samples contain noticeably more mold spores than the exterior sample.
How to Fix Water Damaged Walls?
It doesn't matter if your house is old or new, you're bound to face water damage at some point in your life. If you've already experienced a water leak in the past, there is a high chance you'll experience it in the future as well.
Plumbing leaks and water damaged walls are inevitable.
Why? Because the plumbing system in your house is operating non-stop. Pipes and appliances that use water may eventually start leaking due to the constant use. Plumbing leaks waste a lot of water. In fact, over 10,000 gallons of water is wasted every year in an average household's water leaks.
Water damaged walls may also result due to floods and storms. This kind of water damage is easy to identify. However, most of the time, the cause of water damage isn't always so obvious. If left unaddressed, water damage can destroy your plumbing system and cause structural issues to your drywall.
If you found water damaged walls in your house, it's safe to assume there's more damage than you can see on the outside. But the good news is that water damaged walls are repairable. You can call the professionals to repair the damaged walls for you.
Common Signs of Water Leaks
If you're reading this guide, you might have already spotted the water leak somewhere in your home. Yet, sometimes, water leaks may be hidden. These kinds of leaks are more dangerous. So, it's better to know the common signs of water leaks before it's too late.
The signs of water leakage include:
It's possible that the damage has already occurred to the drywall by the time you spot these signs. The gypsum drywall turns into a huge problem when it gets wet. The reason is that gypsum drywall is porous and soluble in water.
Water leakage leads to the growth of mold, bubbling, warping, stains, and deterioration. When the water reaches the drywall, it makes your walls and ceilings look unsightly. Eventually, it causes the wallboard to collapse and fall apart.
Steps to Repair the Water Damaged Walls
Follow these 7 steps to fix the water damaged walls:
You need to pay attention to your plumbing system and locate any possible water leaks. Faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms, showerheads, hot water heaters, washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, garbage disposals, and dishwashers are prone to leaks.
Use your eyes and ears to detect the water leaks. Look for soft spots and soggy areas, and hear if there is any sound of water leakage. Moreover, you can check your water meter and water bills.
The best way to confirm water leakage is to check your water meter. Turn off all the faucets and appliances that use water. Note your water meter readings. Avoid using water for at least an hour. Now, check the water meter readings again. If the reading is not the same, there's water leakage.
By looking for the above-mentioned signs of water leakage, you easily locate the leak. Once you do that, you have to fix the water leak.
If your faucet is leaking, you can replace the washer and fix the leak. However, if any of the plumbing pipes are leaking, you can apply epoxy putty as a temporary fix.
However, if the wall has absorbed a lot of water, you should get a dehumidifier and some towels. Run the dehumidifier and start blotting the walls carefully. This will help to remove the moisture. But be sure not to press too hard as the drywall will already be too soft.
If the Water Damage Toronto is due to flooding, you should rent out a large-capacity dehumidifier to thoroughly dry out the walls, surrounding wood, and carpets.
Next, you have to start removing the damaged sections of the wall. Don't forget to put down tarps and drop cloths. It'll make clean up easier for you because the tarps will catch the removed pieces, dust, and debris.
Now, take drywall saw to cut out the damaged section. Make sure you don't cut any wires or damage the plumbing while cutting the wall. Also, it's important to note that cutting out the damaged part in the shape of a square or a rectangle is highly recommended.
It'll help you fit the patches easily and make the blending of the mud and taping work smoother for you.
How to Manage Damage to Your Home?
After removing the damaged section, check the studs and insulation to see whether they're completely dry or not.
By doing so, you can prevent the new piece of drywall from getting damaged due to the already present moisture.
Water damaged drywalls are the perfect breeding spots for molds. Sometimes, the drywall has no structural defects in spite of the water damage. However, there is a high chance it might be infected with black mold growth.
So, once you have removed the damaged sections, disinfect the area and kill the mold. You can use diluted chlorine bleach to get rid of the mold and even the small water stains. Carefully scrub the drywall, and within a few hours, the mold will be killed.
In the next step, you have to take the measurements of the wall from which the damaged section has been removed. Take 2 to 3 measurements and take the average. You can use this average measurement to cut a replacement piece of drywall. It's better to cut the replacement piece 2-inch longer and 2-inch wider than the hole.
Now, lay this replacement piece down with the backside facing up. Take a pencil and draw a line by measuring 1-inch from all four sides. Your replacement piece is ready, and it'll fit perfectly.
To fit the replacement piece, you have to place 4 drywall clips around the hole and secure them with a drywall screw. But be careful not to over-tighten the screws. Still, if the replacement piece isn't a perfect fit, place it against the hole and cut it out using a utility knife.
Take a mesh or paper tape and put it over the seams. Now, start to apply the first coat of the mud (a.k.a. joint compound). Properly cover the joint and blend the mud. It'll be followed by priming and painting.
Spread out the mud about 4 to 6-inches from the repaired area and let it dry for 12 to 24 hours. When the first coat is completely dry, wear a dust mask and take fine-grit sandpaper and a sanding block to sand off any ridges and high spots.
You'll have to apply a second coat as well. But before you do that, use a vacuum and wipe off the remaining dust. Now, apply the second coat, blend it properly, and let it dry again for 12 to 24 hours. Again, sand off the ridges.
The dried mud absorbs a lot of moisture, so you need to coat it with a primer that'll effectively seal the area. After that, you can start painting the newly repaired section.
You can either use a roller or paintbrush to paint the repaired area. Pour the paint into the paint tray and coat your paintbrush or roller. Then use a zigzag pattern to paint the surface to give your paint a flat finish.
After blending the seams, priming, and painting, the water damaged wall will be completely fixed.
Finally, take a shop vacuum and clean up all the dust and debris. Carefully pick up the tarps you had laid down and be sure not to spread around any pieces, debris, and paint on the tarps. Don't forget to clean the paintbrushes and dispose of all the used paint cans.
You can use warm, soapy water to thoroughly clean the tools, paintbrushes, and roller covers. Once you have done all that, it's time to remove the painter's tape. You can prevent damage to the fresh paint by removing the tape at a 45-degree angle.
How Can GTA Restoration Help You?
If you can't fix the water damaged walls yourself, GTA Restoration can do the job for you. We have a team of licensed and highly-experienced professionals who will expertly assess the water damage, locate the cause, and repair the damaged walls.
Don't wait until the damage gets worse. Contact us right now and save yourself from a huge emergency plumbing disaster.