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Should You Only Test for Mold in Wet Buildings? Part I

When we consider the possible contaminates in moldy, water damaged, indoor environments most mold inspectors and their clients assume that mold spores are the culprit.

Why do most people, including mold consultants and their client’s jump to the conclusion that mold spores are the cause of our health complaints after water damage occurs?

There are two main reasons:

1. We follow a simple straight forward logical path that is correct most of the time but not all of the time. Here is the logical path that we all follow.  Mold formed after water damage occurred, I got sick shortly after the water damage occurred, and therefore it must be mold spores causing illness.

2. In addition mold spores are the easiest to sample, quantify, and identify contaminates associated with damp indoor environments, and they have received much attention in our society, so mold spores are all that most of us look for or think about during a mold inspection.


At this point most people ask does it really matter if my mold inspector considers other health complaint causes?

The answer is yes, in some cases it does matter that your investigator considers other possible causes.
If for example a mold inspector takes samples for mold spores and finds no unusual mold spore conditions then he or she might assume that there is no problem. Legitimate complaints may be dismissed as imaginary, the home owner gets a strange look from the inspector and the true problem goes unresolved for several more years.


So in conclusion your inspector must not overlook additional contaminates in wet buildings that may appear in combination with mold spores as these other contaminates can be the cause of serious problems.


In 2004 the Institute of Medicine did a study review titled Damp Indoor Spaces and Health. In this massive and important review of data and findings from many previous important scientific studies they concluded that exposure to air in water damaged buildings has a direct correlation to respiratory illness but that the exact causative agents are not always mold spores.  This study that summarized many previous study findings confirmed what we at A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc. Have often observed during mold testing, and that is that it is quite possible for people to have health reactions to water damaged indoor environments even when the levels of mold spores are not elevated. The study also confirmed something else that we always believed, and that is that mold odors may play a role in building related illness.


Thus it is a well-established fact that exposure to air in water damaged buildings can and does cause health issues, but there is a complex mixture of substances with possible synergistic effects that are to blame and not just spores. The good news is that you do not need to have all these substances tested. If your building or home is water damaged or moldy mold remediation will typically take care of all the above problems in the effected areas.


To learn more about some of the specific non spore type contaminates often found in association with dampness and mold please visit our webpage  which discusses these issues in more depth.


Any questions just call. Call us Toll-Free 1·888·381·6651 Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc.
6742 Forest Hill Blvd # 271
West Palm Beach, Florida 33413State Licensed Mold Assessor
# MRSA 328

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