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NY Infrared Scan.com
17 Echo Ridge Drive
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Phone: 518-526-5167
Email: allen@tannercontractors.com

 
"I would definitely recommend Allen! He completed a very thorough inspection paying special attention to the concerns we raised in the beginning. His years of experience in the business came through for sure!"
- Randy O.
 

Moisture & Mold Infrared Scans
NY Commercial & Residential Mold & Moisture Thermal Imaging

Moisture scan At different times of the day and night, building components show differences in temperature because of differences in mass, voids, moisture content and/or heat loss because heat from thermal changes radiates from these areas at different rates. During thermal transient conditions, we scan the walls with a sensitive infrared camera to detect the sources of heat and record them for later analysis. Since our infrared thermographers use real-time imaging and recording IR equipment, they can immediately determine if and exactly where, problems exist. We then record matching visual imagery with a digital videotape recorder and/or photographic camera for reference purposes.

Excessive moisture destroys structural integrity and creates huge, expensive problems like mold and mildew which can cause serious health concerns. Often, these problems are not obvious until it's too late so if you can discover them early through infrared technology, you can save yourself a lot of money and increase your building's lifespan dramatically.

What Mold Is and Why Property Owners Should be Concerned About its Presence

Molds are a type of fungus (plural, fungi). Mold is part of the natural life cycle in nature; it helps to break down dead organic matter. It is able to do so via its behavioral characteristic of the ability to infiltrate organic matter (partially or completely). Unfortunately, it is this characteristic that causes property damage. Mold has certain physical characteristics of color (white, brown, black) and of consistency (powdery, slimy). It is these physical characteristics that aid the Home Inspector (HI) to identify its presence during a property inspection. Mold reproduces by means of microscopic spores that are invisible to the naked eye. Mold spores are present in the air (both indoor and outdoor) and in house dust; because of this, it is essentially impossible to rid a home completely of the presence of mold, though the growth of mold can be prevented by controlling the conditions that encourage mold growth. Mold spores require water or moisture to grow. Mold begins to grow indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet or damp. Mold can start growing on property as soon as 24 hours after a water event (e.g. a flood) has occurred. Mold will not grow without water or moisture; therefore, ridding a house of moisture and water sources, as much as practical, reduces or nearly eliminates possibility of mold growth.

Spores are highly resistant to desiccation (drying) and heat and are capable of growing into a new organism. Therefore, preventing mold reproduction (i.e. spore production) is preferred over trying to stop spore production after it has started. The more mold that is present, the more mold spores will be present in the area, which will grow as soon as conditions are right. EPA studies indicate that air levels of indoor pollutants may be two to three times higher than outdoor levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists mold spores as an indoor air pollutant. Mold is the most dangerous offender of all because it goes undetected because of its invisibility. Most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors and are not aware of the health hazards created by this pollutant. Mold has the potential to cause health problems and even make a home uninhabitable. Mold appears most often in moist areas as little black circles or thread –like objects. However, for positive identification, mold must be cultured and identified by a laboratory specialist. A qualified Home Inspector (HI) can visually inspect for the presence of mold, collect a sample, and send the sample to a lab for analysis.

What Mold Needs to Grow

Mold reproduction requires that three conditions be present together. These can be remembered by the acronym TOM:
o Temperature, best between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit
o Organic Matter
o Moisture

TOM is important to remember in relationship to home ownership for two reasons: o because any room of a home can provide proper growing conditions for mold, but most frequently the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and basement. o however, if we eliminate any one of the conditions in the TOM triad, we can prevent mold growth and prevent mold hazards. Some molds have a more rapid growth rate than others. Some molds produce spores at a faster rate than others. Within 4 to 9 days of having proper growing conditions, a single mold spore can produce more than 100,000 spores. The significance of this is that, once mold growth begins, human health and property damage can occur within a short amount of time. Therefore, identifying and stopping mold growth must be done quickly to reduce losses and keep costs to a minimum. To prevent further growth by those molds that produce spores, all spores must either be entirely removed, which is impractical and essentially impossible since spores are present in the air and in house dust, or must be killed with a specialized chemical called a sporicide.

Mold and Human Health

When present in large quantities, mold forms colonies. When colony formation occurs, mold becomes a health concern. Everyone is affected differently when in contact with mold. Some molds, including Stachybotrys, can be toxic. It is estimated that 50% of homes contain problem molds, like Stachybotrys. Some molds produce dangerous chemicals called mycotoxins that can cause damage to the human body. People who are sensitive and exposed to mycotoxins can become ill. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, immune-compromised people, those with existing respiratory conditions, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as obstructive lung disease, may also be more at risk to develop mold infections or have reactions to mold. In regards to being exposed to the presence of mold, a person may have:
o no reaction
o irritation or a sensitivity reaction
o an allergic reaction (common, immediate or delayed)
o an infection. Reactions to mold include a long list of signs (another person can see or measure it) and symptoms (only the person experiencing it can validate it)
o Physical changes (fatigue, flu-like symptoms of frequent headaches and chronic aches and pains, itching or irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, or skin, mysterious skin rashes, digestive problems) respiratory problems (nasal stuffiness, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, upper or lower respiratory infections, sinus infections or congestion, sinusitis, runny nose), mental status changes (trouble concentrating, memory lapses, confusion), and emotional changes (mood swings, anxiety, depression). Asthma and sinus infections have been linked to mold Sensitivity reactions may produce certain symptoms and may also trigger asthma exacerbations.Severe responses to the presence of mold because of allergic reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.

Mold infections in the body may be difficult to eradicate. In addition, anti-mold medications can be highly toxic to the liver. Therefore, the best action is to eradicate and prevent further mold growth in the home in order to prevent the need for medical interventions. Ways you can become exposed to mold: Breathing in the spores from the air Skin contact from handling an item that has mold growing on it Eating without properly washing your hands after handling moldy objects. Some molds produce dangerous chemicals called mycotoxins that can cause damage to the human body. People who are sensitive and exposed to mycotoxins can become ill. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, immune-compromised people, those with existing respiratory conditions, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as obstructive lung disease, may also be more at risk to develop mold infections or have reactions to mold. In regards to being exposed to the presence of mold, a person may have o no reaction, or o irritation or a sensitivity reaction, or o an allergic reaction (common, immediate or delayed), or o an infection. Reactions to mold include a long list of signs (another person can see or measure it) and symptoms (only the person experiencing it can validate it): o Physical changes (fatigue, flu-like symptoms of frequent headaches and chronic aches and pains, itching or irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, or skin, mysterious skin rashes, digestive problems) respiratory problems (nasal stuffiness, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, upper or lower respiratory infections, sinus infections or congestion, sinusitis, runny nose), mental status changes (trouble concentrating, memory lapses, confusion), and emotional changes (mood swings, anxiety, depression). Asthma and sinus infections have been linked to mold Sensitivity reactions may produce certain symptoms and may also trigger asthma exacerbations. Severe responses to the presence of mold because of allergic reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Mold infections in the body may be difficult to eradicate. In addition, anti-mold medications can be highly toxic to the liver.

Where Mold Grows

Foods Cloth, leather, wood, insulation Top side of ceiling tiles Backside of drywall, wallpaper, or paneling Behind walls and in cabinets Underside of carpet and padding Around windows, inside duct work, and inside HVAC systems On building materials once they become wet or where water intrusion has occurred Anywhere moisture is present, including behind furniture where condensation forms In kitchens (bottom of refrigerator), around bathroom vanities, in washer/dryer area, in basements When to Suspect Hidden Mold (“red flags” that mold is growing) History of water exposure Musty odor Reports of health problems, like common allergic reactions Visible water stains Color deterioration, discoloration, or staining of a surface Change in structure from firm to soft (penetrable) Slimy or powdery substance coming through a surface

Methods Used to Collect Mold for Identification

o Swabbing Taping Air sampling Methods to Address Mold in the Home Eradication
o Washing
o Bleaching
o Spraying fungicide or sporicide
o Removing infiltrated layers Prevention
o Decreasing moisture sources, including repair of water leaks
o Increasing ventilation and providing good circulation of air, including use of ventilation fans in laundry rooms o Insulating against cold air entry and ventilating those insulated areas, including the attic and crawl space areas
o All HVAC systems should have a good electrostatic filter on the return
o Clean, dry, or remove items that are damaged by water immediately Mold and Human Health When present in large quantities, mold forms colonies. When colony formation occurs, mold becomes a health concern. Everyone is affected differently when in contact with mold. Some molds, including Stachybotrys, can be toxic. It is estimated that 50% of homes contain problem molds, like Stachybotrys.

Therefore, the best action is to eradicate and prevent further mold growth in the home.


Call us today at 518-526-5167 to book your infrared inspection!










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