Mold Question


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Old 06-17-20, 07:25 PM
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Mold Question

This is not exactly a "do-it yourself" question, but I didn't know who else to ask. We know someone whose master bedroom has over 33 times the "normal" limit of Aspergillus Penicillium . A company is coming out to clean their master bedroom Monday. They're using air scrubbers with a HEPA filter, and something else I can't remember right now.

Should they shut off that bedroom and not let anyone in there until Monday when the company comes? How serious is this?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
 
  #2  
Old 06-17-20, 07:34 PM
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Mold spores are an allergen. Just like anything that people are allergic to, some people are sensitive to mold and some people are not affected as much. It's kind of up to them and their common sense. It is possible that it could be spread to other parts of the home, but that strain of bacterial is in ALL air in small quantities. It's not like it's radioactivity or an asbestos contamination. A company might suggest they stay out for liability reasons as well. That way if anyone gets sick it's not their fault. We live in a lawsuit crazed world.

Here is an excerpt from a website, currenenvironmental dot com.

Penicillium /Aspergillus – the most common mold species to appear in indoor air samples. The majority of the hundreds of sub-species are allergenic; only a few are toxic. This group of species only grows with the humidity in the air as its water source.

Cladosporium – the most common mold species and is considered to be an allergenic. Certain housekeeping issues can be a contributing factor when elevated levels are noted, so room and building condition are very important to note to understand the results.

Curvularia – another common allergenic mold.

Chaetomium – a common water marker that usually indicates wet paper and/or drywall, that has occurred for an extended period of time.

Stachybotrys – the most common toxic mold species, but not all sub-species are toxic. These species need a direct water source to grow.

Memnoniella – a sister mold to Stachybotrys. The two species will grow together; also considered a toxic mold due to production of mycotoxins. Mold spore species and levels differ within each state (if there are regulations determined at all) agreements are hard to come by with analysts and scientists. A comparison to an outdoor air sample is usually used as the rule of thumb. The following mold spore ranges use the spore/m3 number and not the raw count for each species when interpreted in a lab.

Air Sample Report”.0-50 spores – these trace levels are not an typically an issue. Finding Stachybotrysand other water markers like Chaetomium and Fusarium or high levels of Penicillium/Aspergillus can red flag an area. Understanding how these grow and where in the room sampled are key to being able to understand the results.

50-200 spores – still very low levels; the toxic mold species Stachybotrys and Memnoniella are some of the species to be considered an issue at this level.

200-500 spores – the most common species (Penicillium/Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Curvularia) are typically not an issue and stay within the normal range.

500-1500 spores – sometimes the Penicillium/Aspergillus & Cladosporium levels are in this range and do not require remediation. If water intrusion or mold was not found during the, these levels can be caused by normal life in an enclosed environment. Again room and building condition.

1500-3000 spores – this points to an issue that may be apparent, unless a corresponding number in the outdoor sample exists. If water intrusion or mold issue wasn’t found, these levels can be achieved by a hiding behind a wall, newly flipped homes commonly have hidden mold. Room environment including dusty home or type of HVAC system can have an amplification effect. Further inspection is warranted.

3000-10,000 spores – without a corresponding number in the outdoor sample, some remediation is necessary. A perimeter clean-up is needed if a mold spore source has been identified. If water intrusion or mold issue wasn’t found, the home may need to be cleaned and the duct system should be evaluated.

10,000-25,000 spores – without a corresponding number in the outdoor sample, a mold spore source is usually identified and remediation is needed. If no water intrusion or mold issue was found (including behind walls), the duct system may need to be cleaned and a general cleaning of the residence could be a contributing factor.

25,000-75,000+ spores – a mold issue will be easy to identify. Clean up will be required and should be performed by a Professional Mold Remediator, remember approximately 11 states have mold regulations so hiring a state licensed mold company may be impossible.
-end quote-

So while a statement like 33x is higher than normal... and sounds extreme, it does indicate that there is something is causing high humidity and mold growth.

Did they do a baseline test in another room or outdoors to compare it to?
 
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Old 06-17-20, 08:27 PM
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Yes, the company did tests in several rooms as well as outside. The reading in the master bedroom was 34,000. What they think happened is that mold was remediated in the master bathroom medicine cabinet/closet, and a barrier was not put up between the master bathroom and bedroom, and mold spores went flying all over the place. The person didn't do the job correctly.....obviously.
 
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Old 06-17-20, 08:33 PM
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Could be... or it was there before the remodel the whole time since the two rooms are connected. Same air has been there all along. If there was no testing beforehand there is no way to know.

Another example would be someone who never cleans or vacuums. Leads to higher readings because the spores just keep accumulating.
 
 

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