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Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is mildew?

What is mildew? Well, mycologists, people who stud fungi, use the term “mildew” only for fungi that grow on plants. When mycologists say “mildew”, they mean a white growth that causes diseases in plants.

People who are not scientists use the word “mildew” differently. For them, mildew is the discoloration caused by mold in buildings. The molds that grow around windows or in bathrooms are called “mildew”.

Is mildew different than mold? The mycologist would say they are different. Mildew only grows on plants outdoors. The non scientist sees the way mold grows indoors and it is called “mildew”.

2) How long does it take mold to grow?

To be more specific, we should ask, “How long does it take for a mold spore to germinate”? Then, we should ask, “How long does it take growing mold to colonize”?

To grow, molds need a food source, a certain temperature and moisture. Where these conditions are present, molds can germinate and colonize. How fast growth occurs depends on the combination of conditions. Spores can germinate after only 12 hours in some conditions and some grow in 24 to 48 hours. Houses offer an ample food supply- drywall, wood, insulation, and paper. When these materials become damp or wet, settled spores can become growing molds.

Molds may colonize in 1 to 12 days depending on the type of mold.

3) Why does mold give off musty odors?

The musty odors produced by molds are known by scientists as Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds. Some MVOCs produce musty and moldy odors, which result form the chemical changes taking place during the mold life process. They are waste products given off by actively growing molds. Health effects such as headaches, dizziness and nausea have been linked to exposure to MVOC’s , but research is only beginning. Odors from MVOC’s are a sign that mold is actively growing and so may indicate a level of mold contamination requiring remediation.

4) What are mycotoxins and are they dangerous to humans?

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances. “Myco” means fungus, so think of mycotoxins as “fungi toxins”. They are designed for chemical warfare against other organisms, even against other types of molds. Living molds may produce mycotoxins to discourage other molds or bacteria from growing in the same territory. Unfortunately, humans who inhale, ingest, or touch mycotoxins may have a reaction, Some mycotoxins have been shown to produce human heatlth effects, while little is know about the possible harmful affects of some other mycotoxins.

We should not panic over mold toxins. Not all molds produce mycotoxins; furthermore, molds that can produce mycotoxins do not produce them in all situatios. EPA cautions that finding molds in a building does not mean that mycotoxins are also in the building, and even when mycotoxins are present in a building, the quantities may not be large and thus health threatening.

5) How do you prevent mold from spreading?

To prevent mold spores from spreading to clean areas of a building, a remediation contractor must control air movement. There are two important procedures : (1) Erect critical barriers and (2) Establish negative pressurization in the work area.

Critical barriers block the paths that airborne mold spores might follow. Contractors construct critical barriers by placing two layers of polyethylene over any air pathways through which spores might travel(air vents, wall, plates, recessed lighting, doors and other openings).

To establish negative pressure, a contractor creates low air pressure in the work area. The result is that rooms and areas surrounding the work area will have higher air pressure than the work area. Maintaining negative air pressure prevents mold spores from being carried by air movement from the work area to uncontaminated rooms of the job site.

6) Will ozone kill mold and the mycotoxins produced by mold?

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists do no recommend using ozone on visible mold growth. Due to various factors, ozone has not been found effective against molds. One problem is the elements that cause ozone to be less effective. Ozone can be affected by temperature and pH, decreasing its impact on mold. Organic materials in the structure can also affect ozone.

A second problem is that ozone does not kill what it does not reach. No method of application can ensure that the ozone contacts every surface where mold contamination exists.

The last problem is mycotoxins. Even if ozone did affect mold, the toxins on mold spores and mold fragments still remain on surfaces and can still cause allergenic reactions in people. To remediate a mycotoxin problem, you must reduce the concentrations of mycotoxins in the structure.

In conclusion, ozone does not work in solving the mold problem. Molds are usually found in damp areas. Using ozone on wet materials in a damp area may result in bleaching of the areas.

7) Should I have my air ducts cleaned?

YES!! The type of contaminates usually found inside air duct systems include dirt, dust, dust mites, drywall dust, mold, mildew, fungi, moisture, sawdust, pet hair, pet dander, insect remains, pollen, carpet fibers, and/or rodents. These type of contaminates need to be removed professionally.

8) What are the benefits of using UVC’s?

UVC’s are important because it kills germs, bacteria, mildew, viruses and mold spores. It is vital to use UVC’s to stop the spreading of these contaminates. It stops the spread of sickness and disease by passing thru the UVC’s. It stops mold and bacteria growth inside your central air conditioning system.

The UVC’s eliminate chemical odors, pet odors, tobacco odors, and cooking odors making the air in your rooms smelling fresh and clean while producing ZERO ozone.

It also destroys VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).

It generates safe and highly affective hydroxyl, the natural compound that scrubs pollution from the earth’s atmosphere.

It generates negative ions, which are circulated out of your cooling and heating vents and into your living space by your central air conditioners fan or blower.

Molded Floor Return
Mold Infested Floor Return

Containment Barrier
Containment Barrier

Containment Barrier Separated
Containment Barrier Separating Upstairs from Basement

Enviro-Clean, a leader in the indoor air quality industry, has been in business for over 18 years, providing clients with commercial cleaning, mold testing, mold remediation, water damage restoration, carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning and whole-house air filtration solutions.

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