XMAN: FAQs

Our technicians are servicing the following locations:
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are most commonly asked by mold removal, mold inspection, and air quality consumers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How can I tell if I have a mold problem?

Answer:

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.

Molds are part of the natural environment.  Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.  Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.  Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.  There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust.  The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present.  Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.  If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.  If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

Should I use bleach to clean up mold?

Answer:

  1. The key to mold control is moisture control.
  2. Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.
  3. Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible.  Dry all items completely.
  4. Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy.  Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely. 
  5. Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold
  6. Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces.  Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting.  Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel. 
  7. If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist.  Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books.  Be sure to ask for and check references.  Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations.

Should I use bleach?
Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain – these spores will not grow if the moisture problem has been resolved. If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with other cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia because toxic fumes could be produced.

Please note: Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold, it must also be removed.

Can mold cause health problems?

Answer:

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.  Molds have the potential to cause health problems.  Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).  Allergic reactions to mold are common.  They can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.  In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.  Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.  Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.  This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure.  For more detailed information consult a health professional.  You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How do I get rid of mold?

Answer: 

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in-house dust.  The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present.  Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.  If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.  If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

How do molds affect people?

Answer: 

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.  Molds have the potential to cause health problems.  Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).  Allergic reactions to mold are common.  They can be immediate or delayed. 

Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.  In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.  Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.  Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.  For more detailed information consult a health professional.  You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How does mold affect people with asthma?

Answer:

 Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma.  People with asthma should avoid contact with exposure to molds.

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense 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.

People with a weakened immune system, such as people receiving treatment for cancer, people who have had an organ or stem cell transplant, and people taking medicines that suppress the immune system, are more likely to get mold infections.

Exposure to mold or dampness may also lead to development of asthma in some individuals. Interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.

Is sampling/testing for mold necessary?

Answer:

 In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. 
Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards.  Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.  Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results.  Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.

Hidden Mold
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth.  For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper.  If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.

What is the difference between Mold and Mildew?

Answer: 

Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus.  The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit. 

Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.  Molds can thrive on any organic matter, including clothing, leather, paper, and the ceilings, walls and floors of homes with moisture management problems. Mildew often lives on shower walls, windowsills, and other places where moisture levels are high. There are many species of molds. In unaired places, such as basements, they can produce a strong musty odor. 

 

What is mold?
  • The key to mold control is moisture control.
  • If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly andfix the water problem.
  • It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Answer: 

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.

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist, but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

Why is mold growing in my home?

Answer: 

Molds are part of the natural environment.  Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.  Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. 

Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.  There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

What are some of the common indoor molds?
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
Where are molds found?

Answer:

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year-round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.

What type of doctor should I see concerning mold exposure?

Answer:

You should first consult a family or general health care provider who will decide whether you need referral to a specialist. Such specialists might include an allergist who treats patients with mold allergies or an infectious disease physician who treats mold infections. If an infection is in the lungs, a pulmonary physician might be recommended.

Patients who have been exposed to molds in their workplace may be referred to an occupational physician. CDC is not a clinical facility. CDC does not see patients, diagnose illness, provide treatment, prescribe medication, or provide referrals to health care providers.

My landlord or builder will not take any responsibility for cleaning up the mold in my home. Where can I go for help?

Answer:

If you feel your property owner, landlord, or builder has not been responsive to concerns you’ve expressed regarding mold exposure, you can contact your local board of health or housing authority. Applicable codes, insurance, inspection, legal, and similar issues about mold generally fall under state and local (not federal) jurisdiction.

You could also review your lease or building contract and contact local or state government authorities, your insurance company, or an attorney to learn more about local codes and regulations and your legal rights. CDC does not have enforcement power in such matters, nor can we provide you with advice. You can contact your county or state health department about mold issues in your area to learn about what mold assessment and remediation services they may offer.

You can find information on your state’s Indoor Air Quality program at https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/indoor_air.htm.

 

I’m sure that mold in my workplace is making me sick.

Answer:

If you believe you are ill because of exposure to mold in the building where you work, you should first consult your health care provider to determine the appropriate action to take to protect your health. Notify your employer and, if applicable, your union representative about your concern so that your employer can take action to clean up and prevent mold growth. To find out more about mold, remediation of mold, or workplace safety and health guidelines and regulations, you may also want to contact your local (city, county, or state) health department.

You should also read the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines, at https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide.

I am very concerned about mold in my children’s school and how it affects their health.

If you believe your children are ill because of exposure to mold in their school, first consult their health care provider to determine the appropriate medical action to take. Contact the school’s administration to express your concern and to ask that they remove the mold and prevent future mold growth. If needed, you could also contact the local school board.

CDC is not a regulatory agency and does not have enforcement authority in local matters. Your local health department may also have information on mold, and you may want to get in touch with your state Indoor Air Quality office. Information on this office is available at https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/indoor_air.htm.

You can also read the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, at https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide. Also, see these Web sites for more indoor air quality tools for schools:

Why is an indoor air quality test for mold important?

Why is an indoor air quality test for mold important?

Since the air we breathe is all part of a cycle, and with it comes all kinds of stuff we inhale into our bodies, but don’t be alarmed, our bodies are built to handle a lot, but there are some things we just need to be health conscious about. X-MAN Inc. knows how...

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XMAN Inc. – Experts in Mold Removal, Air Sampling & Inspections
Headquarters: Lancaster, PA 17601
Servicing New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Pennsylvania

Call Us: 855-665-3101

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