Why is my basement musty?

The team at Indoor Science performs hundreds of indoor air quality assessments per year, from commercial and residential to industrial. After doing a number of assessments, we begin to notice patterns and common questions. One common question being “why is my basement musty?”. This may seem like a simple question but there are many factors

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Fungi: Benefits & A Crucial Role

Previously, I posted a blog about the benefits of mold and fungi in the environment, in food production, and its potential as a future energy source. In this post, I would like to focus on mold in a more specific context: how mold impacts the brewing industry – my personal favorite.

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How Many Mold Samples Do I Need?

If you have done some basic research into mold testing, you have probably come across information on air sampling. For this blog, I will focus on the most common type of mold air samples, spore traps. Each specific mold problem is unique, so there is no one-size solution for the number of air samples. The

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“Air samples only & skip the inspection?”

We often receive calls for general inquiries about mold inspections. We understand that a mold problem is not a common occurrence so we are ready and willing to answer multiple questions from potential clients. One question that comes up often is “can you take air samples for mold only and not perform a full mold inspection?”. This blog post will answer this question and also provide some information on our typical mold inspections.

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“What Makes Your Mold Inspections Unique?”

Our company frequently gets calls from potential clients who are shopping around for services, and we often hear the questions “What makes your inspections different?” For mold inspections, one size does not fit all. You want to make sure the person coming out to your home does the best job possible. Moisture: The Key to

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Why Does Mold Form?

Inevitably, you have seen mold at some point in your life. Whether on a loaf of bread that you let sit around too long, on the fruit you let spoil in the fridge, or in the basement of your Grandma’s house that always flooded, mold is routinely around us in our daily lives. In a

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Mold – What is it good for?

Typically our blog posts focus on the dark side of mold. How mold is hazardous, problematic, and a general headache when it is found inside a home or building. While all of those posts are very informative, it is also worth mentioning the beneficial qualities of mold. This post will shed some light on mold’s critical role in the environment and its impact on the food industry.

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A Renter’s Guide to Mold

Renters have unique challenges because they are limited in the types of repairs and changes they can make to their home.  If you are renting and are concerned about mold, what should you do? This post can serve as a general guide for renters on what to do, but keep in mind that every situation is different and the severity of the mold problem plays a huge factor.

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How Illinois Mold Saved the World

Gather ‘round the computer screen, as I recite a tale of yore. Way off in a dark and mysterious land known as “Peoria, Illinois” (my hometown) comes the legend of Moldy Mary, and how her magic spoiled fruit helped save millions of lives. This may sound like the talk of storybooks and tall tales… you aren’t likely to see her name in history books.

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Can you inspect for mold behind a wall?

Superman has x-ray vision, mold inspectors do not. So unless your inspector gains superpowers, how can they inspect obscured areas like inside of wall cavities for mold growth? We have a number of different options on how we can check the inside of wall cavities during mold inspections, ranging from totally noninvasive measures up to destructive methods.

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The Importance of Having a Written Mold Remediation Plan

When you discover a large mold problem, your top priority is getting it remediated ASAP. In that haste, you may neglect to write out mold remediation plan.  This blog post is intended to shed some light on the importance of having a written mold remediation plan when fixing a mold issue. This article will show how a remediation plan is both beneficial to the owner and the remediation contractor.

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Asbestos Testing During Mold Remediation

After mold has been discovered, the primary concern of the property owner is to have remediation. One potential hazard that is often overlooked is the presence of asbestos in the materials that are being remediated. While the EPA has created the RRP Rule (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) to educate contractors about accidentally disturbing lead paint, there is no such rule in regards to asbestos.

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Can a Home be Mold Free?

As trained professionals in the mold industry, we often get clients who want to know if they can live in a mold free home.  The answer to that question is “It depends on your definition of mold-free.” A home can have no significant mold growth but it will always have a background amount of mold spores.

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What do mold inspections cost?

This might be the most common question we receive. Unfortunately, there are no “one size fits all” type answers to this question. Think to yourself “How much does it cost to go to the dentist”? Well if you are just going in for a routine cleaning your cost could be less than $100, but if you need major work done it could be $1000’s. Much like seeing the dentist, each mold situation is so unique pricing can vary. Our mold assessments can cost up to $1000 (and occasionally higher for special projects), but the average cost for a typical residential project is about $600.

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How Long Before I Get My Mold Report?

In the world of indoor air quality measurements, the turnaround time (TAT) for getting results can vary drastically. While it is possible to give immediate feedback for some indoor air quality parameters, others can take a few days or even a few weeks depending on the type of sampling. The timing is dependant on the type of sample that is taken and consequently the amount of time the laboratory needs to analyze the sample. In this blog post, I’ll cover the turnaround time for our most common mold work.

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Is Mold In An Attic A Big Deal?

The answer is that it all depends.  Let me try to explain.  Mold needs moisture in order to grow.  No moisture; no mold.  In an attic space, moisture can occur from a leak in the roof or from condensation due to elevated levels of humidity (typically from improper ducting from a bathroom exhaust fan).  Mold

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Can You Inspect My Attic for Mold?

We receive many calls from property owners who are concerned about mold in their attic.  Most attics tend to be unfinished with exposed sheathing, wood supports, and insulation.  Because of this unwelcoming environment, property owners rarely go into their attics which can leave undetected mold problems for long periods of time.  In October of 2017,

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Mold Certifications

The mold industry can seem like the wild west. In most states, including Illinois, there are no requirements for someone to call themselves a mold inspector. You may find someone who advertises themselves as being “certified” and features all kinds of official looking seals and stamps on their website, but how do you know if

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Foreclosures And Hidden Mold

A funny thing happened during a recent inspection.  The client had purchased a home roughly four years ago.  She was concerned when a visiting relative complained of having symptoms of her mold allergy while in the property.  The client called a mold company to come in and do air testing.  Picture her shock when she

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Questions From The Field

    During one of my recent inspections, a client presented me a list of questions after the assessment. I often encounter these questions in the field, so I picked out some of the best questions and I am providing the answers below. Q1. Is everything in a room where mold spores are present assumed

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Mold Testing In Winter

Winter brings a unique situation for environmental consultants. With the colder weather and snow cover on the ground that comes with winter in Chicago, there are usually very low outdoor mold levels. Occasionally we can even see outdoor air samples that have no spores present. If you recall from my last blog post on interpreting

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Fundamentals of Mold Remediation

My new book, “Fundamentals of Mold Remediation“, was published this week.  Over the past few years, I have been collecting my thoughts from designing and evaluating countless mold remediation projects.  I have seen some mold projects done right, and many more projects done wrong.   There are a number of guidelines and standards on mold

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Patio Doors That Make You Weep

Several of our clients have experienced water intrusion around sliding glass doors.  There is a mixed bag of flashing problems that can cause water intrusion.  Flashing materials, weep holes, and weep ropes are used to drain water that gets behind the masonry.   In this image, the black material beneath the vertical bricks is the flashing

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