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Naples Mold Inspection & Testing

Experience and training/education of licensed mold assessors serving Naples, Marco Island and the Bonita Springs areas varies dramatically.  Some have had a couple 8 hour classes that focus on collecting air samples and not the very important part of a mold assessment, the visual inspection.  A few (about 12)local licensed mold assessors, CIE's (Certified Indoor Environmentalists) have proven their knowledge and experience by qualifying for a national certification, CIE, board approved by ACAC.org

There are about 300 licensed mold assessors serving Collier and Lee Counties, which include Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples.  Many if not most focus on collecting mold air samples (often referred to as mold tests) and then rely on a technician at the lab they send the samples to for analysis, to determine the results.  They either are not experienced or knowledgeable enough to interpret the lab report or afraid to accept the responsibility for the report.  Consumers would be wise to hire experienced professionals instead of someone trying to make a few dollars collecting air samples. Remember the most important part of any mold assessment is the visual inspection.  Mold air samples alone can only indicate the need for further investigation. A mold inspection will identify the location, extent of problem (air samples help with extent) and the source of the mold contamination.

Your Naples Mold Assessor (inspector) must have at least $1 million in liability insurance with errors and omissions insurance for both preliminary and post remediation activities to qualify for a mold assessor license from the state of Florida. Anyone advertising mold assessment in Naples must be a licensed mold assessor / inspector, Fl Law                 

Please contact our office to schedule:
Radon Tests / Mold Assessments (inspections) & Sampling
Formaldehyde & VOC Tests / Allergen Screening
 
John Cosgrove, CIE, Inc.
Radon & Mold Professionals II
188 1st Street, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 948-9717

 radonandmoldprofessionals@comcast.net

SAMPLE MOLD INSPECTION REPORT

July 2011
The US federal government has “mold remediation specifications”
that require the use of mold assessors (inspectors) that hold
at least one of certain certifications for all federal mold assessment / inspections.
American Board of Industrial Hygienist,  (CIH)
ACAC Certification CIE, CIEC, CMC, etc
Council-Certified Indoor Environmentalist,  (CIE)
Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant,  (CIEC)

·        Florida law requires mold assessors pass the CIE or CIEC or CMC exam to be licensed.
·        Most Florida mold assessors were “grandfathered” into their mold license and are not a CIH or CIE or CIEC or CMC. 
 ·        About a 15 licensed Mold Assessors in our area have passed one of the required exams; over 200 did NOT pass an ACAC exam and are licensed. (“grandfathered”)

Radon & Mold Profesionals

All of OUR Licensed Mold Assessors / Inspectors serving Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Ft Myers are Certified Indoor Environmentalists ( http://acac.org/certify/FL.aspx ). Cape Coral, Marco Island and Ft Myers Beach consumers should follow the Federal "mold specifications" and hire ACAC certified mold individuals.

Professional mold assessors ( inspectors) will document suspect areas with photos and written descriptions. 
See the photo set below for digital and infrared photos of moisture intrusion.
Areas of concern identified with infrared must be verified with a moisture meter.

Naples mold inspection photo
digital area photo of wet spot.jpg
digital photo of area identified with infrared camera

This is a digital photo of the same view of the photo below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

infrared photo of wet carpet in Naples home
infrared image of wet area.jpg
Flood from plumbing leak

This photo is the same view, but with infrared thermal imaging; elevated moisture is easliy detected.
Notice the purple and blue colors. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Naples inspection photo of moisture meter
Moisturemeter image.jpg
Wet carpet confirmed with moisture meter

Moisture meters can be non intrusive or intrusive.

Tools of your Naples mold inspector
InfraredCamera and Moisture Meter.jpg
Photo of moisture meter & infrared camera

Infrared thermal imaging camera and hand held moisture meter.
Both devices are non-intrusive

Infrared camera,particle counter, moisture meter
Mold assessor tools.JPG
These are just some of the tool a mold inspector MUST have

Mold spores become air borne during mold remediation (cleanup) and must be removed from the air.


Question: How do you know if you need a mold inspection in your Naples home or business?
Answer: Here are some of the most logical reasons to have a mold inspection performed.
Is there suspected visible mold?
Is there a musty or earthy smell?
Has the property experienced a water intrusion?
Do the occupants have any allergenic type symptoms or other health complaints?
Is the occupant or buyer immunocomprised?
A Naples mold inspection will identify any elevated mold conditions and the source(s) that resulted in the mold problem. It can even identify conditions that are potenially conducive to mold growth.
Question: Is a mold inspection in Naples different than mold testing your Naples structure?
Answer: Yes, mold testing is simply providing air sample analysis which usually comes with a "yes or no" decision from the lab; who by the way has never stepped one foot on the property. This is not a reliable method of determining whether the property has a mold issue and does not identify any sources or information about why there is an elevated spore count.
Your Naples mold inspection provides a comprehensive visual assessment of the property, which should include infrared thermal imaging to identify non-obvious moisture sources. Moisture meter verification and documentation of all existing suspect conditions. Occupant testimony about the property history and any health symptoms they may be experiencing. Lab analysis of any air or surface samples taken are also included but are only a single piece of the information necessary for a conclusion to be made. When the inspector has collected all of the pieces of information, then a determination can be made about the property and any potential health risks to the occupants.
Question: How do I choose a Naples mold inspector?
Answer: You should choose your mold inspector based on their experience and knowledge. They should be "certified" by an industry respected organization, not a lab. They also should carry "errors and omissions" insurance as well as "general liability" insurance. Additionally, the inspector should follow scientifically established protocols developed by industry approved standards.

Question: How is a mold inspection performed in Naples?
Answer: A visual assessment should first be made of the subject property. This step is essential to provide locations conducive to mold contamination. The use of Infrared thermal imaging and handheld moisture meters will aid in the locations of potentially hidden mold contamination. Sample collection locations and methods will be based on the visual assessment and information provided by the occupants. The collected samples will be sent to an accredited lab with a Chain of Custody providing what type of analysis should be performed. Lab results will then be provided to the client with interpretation of data to rule out or confirm potential conditions conducive to mold growth and/or visible mold contamination.

Question: Why does mold grow in our Naples homes?
Answer: Mold spores are in every home, they are typically not health concerns until they start to grow and reproduce into colonies. Mold needs only three things to grow. The first is food, mold eats what it grows on. Common types of food for mold is wood, paper, insulation and other organic matter. The second is temperature, mold grows and thrives in the temperatures that we are comfortable living in. The third and most important is moisture. Moisture is the most important to us because this is the only ingredient of the recipe that we can control. Control the moisture in your home and you can prevent the residual mold spores in your home from actively growing.
Question: How can I control the moisture in my Naples home?
Answer: Some of the ways to controlling the moisture in your Naples home are fairly simple.
Make sure that your irrigation system is not sparying water directly on the building envelope.
Have your roof/attic checked annually for leaks.
Keep the indoor relative humidity below 55%. (According to the University of Florida, when indoor relative humidity levels consistently exceeds 55% there is enough moisture in the air for transitory mold spores to grow)
Don't install vinyl wallcoverings on the inside of exterior walls. The wallpaper provides a water vapor barrier and can create mold growth.
Use bathroom fans when showering, and always wipe down the shower stall to prevent mildew (mold) growth in the grout.
Do not leave the A/C running with doors or windows open. Condensation will occur on diffuser vents and can create mold problems.
Make sure the condensate drain line from the air-handling unit remains free of clogs and drains far enough away from the building envelope. Otherwise, the moisture will make constant contact with the exterior wall and given enough time and moisture will wick through to the interior living space; creating mold problems.

Additional Remediation Information:

Source Containment: "Source containment may be as simple as placing a moldy ceiling tile in a plastic bag, sealing the bag, and removing the sealed bag from the building. This level of containment is considered adequate to prevent spore dissemination from minimal areas of contamination."

Local Containment: "Local containment of contaminents may be achieved by constructing an enclosure from two layers of polyethylene film supported on a wood stud frame. A HEPA vacuum nozzle is used to create negative pressure within the enclosure. Note: The vacuum canister is located outside the enclosure. The negative pressure must be sufficient to ensure containment of bioaerosols. Source containment is used for contaminated material, which is double bagged in 6-mil polyethlene. The bags should be discarded through a decontamination unit which is constructed for entry and exit into and exit from a remediation area. Remaining buiding surfaces and materials should be damp wiped to remove adherent dust. This final cleaning should be performed using minimal water to avoid wetting the material to the point that any residual microbial contamination could regrow."

Fullscale Containment: " A fullscale containment commentsurate with an abestos abatement progarm is recommended for removing materials that are extensively contaminated with visible fungal growth."

Critical Barrier: " Two layers of polyethylene sheeting are used to create a critical barrrier to isolate a contaminated area from clean or occupied building zones. Critical barriers must block all openings, fixtures, and HVAC system components to prevent the spread of dirt and spores beyond the containment area. The barriers must be constructed without disturbing the contaminated materials."

Negative Pressure: "A negative pressure differential between the work area and the surrounding space must be created to prevent contaminants from leaving the work zone. An air filtration device (e.g., a negative air machine) with HEPA filter should be used to negatively pressurize the work area." Edit Text

Biocide Use: " Remediatiors must carefully consider the necessity and advisability of applying biocides when cleaning microbially contaminated surfaces. The goal of remediation programs should be removal of all microbial growth. This generally can be accomplished by physical removal of materials supporting active growth and thorough cleaning of non-porous materials. Therefore, application of a biocide would serve no purpose that could not be accomplished with a detergent or cleaning agent. Prevention of future microbial contamination should be accomplished by (a) avoiding the conditions that led to past contamination, (b) using materials that are not readily susecptible to biodeterioration, and (c) where necessary, applying compouds designed to suprress vegetative bacterial and fungal growth or using materials treated with such compounds." Edit Text

HVAC System Remediation: "Non-porous materials can be readily cleaned and reused. Application of biocides as a substitute for removing microbial growth and settled biolocical material is not considered acceptable. In the first place, most dis-infectants and sanitizers are approved for use on previously cleaned rather than soiled surfaces. Secondly, the allergenicity and toxicity of biological material is not related to microorganism viability. Contaminated porous materials in HVAC systems must be removed to the bare (underlying) metal and the contaminated materials appropriately discarded. Full-containment procedures should be implemented when removing extensive areas of contaminated porous materials from large HVAC system components (e.g., air handling plenums). Depending on the extent of visible fungal contamination, removal of porous materials from smaller HVAC system components (e.g., unit ventilators and fan coil units) requires source or local containment precautions supplemented by HEPA vacuum cleaning."

Source - Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control

Air Scrubbers are used during mold cleanup
air scrubber.JPG
air scrubbers remove particles (mold spores) from the air.

Mold Remediation:
 
We are independent of the remediation process and defer to the qualified remediator for specific repair protocols.

Biocide Use: " Remediatiors must carefully consider the necessity and advisability of applying biocides when cleaning microbially contaminated surfaces. The goal of remediation programs should be removal of all microbial growth. This generally can be accomplished by physical removal of materials supporting active growth and thorough cleaning of non-porous materials. Therefore, application of a biocide would serve no purpose that could not be accomplished with a detergent or cleaning agent. Prevention of future microbial contamination should be accomplished by (a) avoiding the conditions that led to past contamination, (b) using materials that are not readily susecptible to biodeterioration, and (c) where necessary, applying compouds designed to suprress vegetative bacterial and fungal growth or using materials treated with such compounds."

HVAC System Remediation: "Non-porous materials can be readily cleaned and reused. Application of biocides as a substitute for removing microbial growth and settled biolocical material is not considered acceptable. In the first place, most dis-infectants and sanitizers are approved for use on previously cleaned rather than soiled surfaces. Secondly, the allergenicity and toxicity of biological material is not related to microorganism viability. Contaminated porous materials in HVAC systems must be removed to the bare (underlying) metal and the contaminated materials appropriately discarded. Full-containment procedures should be implemented when removing extensive areas of contaminated porous materials from large HVAC system components (e.g., air handling plenums). Depending on the extent of visible fungal contamination, removal of porous materials from smaller HVAC system components (e.g., unit ventilators and fan coil units) requires source or local containment precautions supplemented by HEPA vacuum cleaning."
 
Source - Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control 
 
 

Molds in the Environment:

Molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. Outdoors, molds play a key role in the breakdown of leaves, wood, and other plant debris. Molds belong to the kingdom Fungi, and unlike plants, they lack chlorophyll and must survive by digesting plant materials, using plant and other organic materials for food. Without molds, our environment would be overwhelmed with large amounts of dead plant matter.

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce, just as some plants produce seeds.   These mold spores can be found in both indoor and outdoor air, and settled on  indoor and outdoor surfaces. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive.  Since molds gradually destroy the things they grow on, you can prevent damage to building materials and furnishings and save money by eliminating mold growth.

Moisture control is the key to mold control.  Molds need both food and water to survive; since molds can digest most things, water is the factor that limits mold growth. Molds will often grow in damp or wet areas indoors. Common sites for indoor mold growth include bathroom tile, basement walls, areas around windows where moisture condenses, and near leaky water fountains or sinks. Common sources or causes of water or moisture problems include roof leaks, deferred maintenance, condensation associated with high humidity or cold spots in the building, localized flooding due to plumbing failures or heavy rains, slow leaks in plumbing fixtures, and malfunction or poor design of humidification systems. Uncontrolled humidity can also be a source of moisture leading to mold growth, particularly in hot, humid climates.

Health Effects and Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure:

When moisture problems occur and mold growth results, building occupants may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems, such as headaches,  breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms; all of these symptoms could potentially be associated with mold exposure.

All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans. The types and severity of symptoms depend, in part, on the types of mold present, the extent of an individual's exposure, the ages of the individuals, and their existing sensitivities or allergies. 
 

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold:

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.  

  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.

  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.

  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.

  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

EPA Publication:

"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"

http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html

For more information about other Indoor air Quality Issues (click here)

For more information about radon & mold visit www.radonmoldhelp.com

For more information about mold and indoor air quality please visit the "links" below.

 

American Indoor Air Quality Council - Indoor Air Quality Certification Body. Promoting awareness, education, and certification in the field of Indoor Air Quality. Integrity ~ Credibility ~ Independence

 

California Department of Health Services Indoor Air Quality Info Sheet Mold in My Home: What Do I Do? - Provides basic information to people who have experienced water damage to their home.  It describes health concerns related to mold exposure, and it also provides general guidelines on prevention, mold detection, as well as cleanup of mold-contaminated materials.  Additional resources and documents are referenced.

Controlling Mold Growth in the Home - Molds thrive on organic materials like natural fibers (such as cotton and wool), paper, leather, wood or surfaces coated with the slightest amount of organic matter such as food, grease and soil.

 

http://doctorfungus.org/ - Great site for mold information and glossary.  

Environmental Protection Agency - The home page of E.P.A.

Environmental Solutions Association - Environmental Solutions Association (ESA) is the nation's premier, membership-based training organization formed exclusively to provide industry professionals with the training and education necessary to confront the environmental and safety issues faced by property owners, inspectors, remediation experts, and all other related industry personnel.

EPA - Air Duct Cleaning - "Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?"

EPA - Health and Mold - How do molds affect people? Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

EPA - Mold & Indoor Air Quality - This link has a lot of very useful publications from the E.P.A. about mold and indoor air quality.

EPA - Mold in Schools - Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools. Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation, and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.

EPA - Mold Remediation in Schools

EPA - Mold Resources - Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.  When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

EPA - "10 things you should know about mold."

Flood Clean-up Fact Sheet - During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood.

Florida Dept. of Health

Florida Dept. of Health - Indoor Mold and Health - The Florida Department of HealthLinks opens in new window. has developed this brochure to address some of the most common questions and concerns about indoor mold, how it affects human health, and ways in which you can prevent or remove it.

Indoor Air Quality Association - The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit, multi-disciplined organization, dedicated to promoting the exchange of indoor environmental information, through education and research, for the safety and well being of the general public.

Indoor Environmental Standards Organization - As the indoor air quality (IAQ) industry continues to evolve, businesses that are responsible for managing IAQ issues are adapting to meet the demands of the industry. The Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO) was established in 2002 to assist these businesses.

Indoor Environment Connections - Indoor Environment Connections is an independent trade newspaper owned by Indoor Environment Communications and serving the indoor environmental marketplace.

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies - The Institute of Medicine serves as adviser to the nation to improve health. 

 

Minnesota Dept. of Health - Mold

 

Mold and Human Health - Molds are a natural part of the environment, but human health problems may result when people are exposed to large amounts of mold, particularly indoors. Inhaling excessive quantities of airborne mold particles or spores may lead to allergic illness, trigger asthma, cause respiratory infections, or bring about toxic effects from certain chemicals in the mold cells.

Molds in Indoor Workplaces

Certified Mold Strategies Website

National Academies Press

Residential Air cleaners - There is a large body of written material on ozone and the use of ozone indoors. However, much of this material makes claims or draws conclusions without substantiation and sound science.

 Mold growth problems can adversely affect many homeowners in Texas. Homeowners who act quickly and appropriately can prevent or correct conditions that may cause mold growth. The Texas Department of Health (TDH) and Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) prepared this publication to help you understand the concerns related to mold growth and to provide some effective steps you can take to help prevent mold growth. The following information will help protect your investment in your home and may prevent the possibility of health risks due to mold exposure.

US Dept. of Energy

United States Dept. of Health

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Certified mold inspection, assessment and testing in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers, Fort myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Collier County, Lee County. Certified by the American Indoor Air Quality Council (AmIAQ) and Envirnomental Solutions Association (ESA)
 
Certified radon testing in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers, Fort myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Collier County, Lee County. Certified by the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH)
 
naples mold inspection, fort myers mold inspection, cape coral mold inspection, bonita springs mold inspection, estero mold inspection. naples mold testing, fort myers mold testing, cape coral mold testing, bonita springs mold testing, estero mold testing. Certified Professional mold inspection and mold testing, radon testing in Naples, Ft. Myers, Bontia Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Collier and Lee Counties, Florida. An essential part of a home inspection. Certifed. Insured knowledgable and experienced.

Please contact our office to schedule:
Radon Tests / Mold Assessments (inspections) & Sampling
Formaldehyde & VOC Tests / Allergen Screening
 
John Cosgrove, CIE, Inc.
Radon & Mold Professionals II
188 1st Street, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 948-9717

 
 radonandmoldprofessionals@comcast.net

johmoldlic2017.jpg
State of Florida Licensed Mold Assessor #5

 
John Cosgrove, CIE
Council-Certified Indoor Environmentalist, (CIE)
Board-awarded by the American Council for Accredited Certification
State of Florida Licensed Mold Assessor / license #MRS 5
FL DOH certified Radon Measurement Technician, R1867

.

Greg2017.jpg
FL Licensed Mold Assessor #33

Greg Gomez, CIE,
 State of Florida Licensed Mold Assessor / license #MRSA763
Council-Certified Indoor Environmentalist, (CIE)
Board-awarded by the American Council for Accredited Certification
FL DOH certified radon measurement tech R 2191
 

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John Cosgrove, CIE 
Radon & Mold Professionals II
Naples / Ft Myers: 239-948-9717 
Toll Free: 800-881-3837
188 1st Street, Bonita Springs, FL 34134 

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