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What is Mold?

Mold, commonly referred to as mildew, is a type of fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Within the United States, there are hundreds of types of mold. Like most fungi, molds break down animal and plant matter in the environment. However, they can cause problems because they grow nearly anywhere moisture and organic material are present such as on food, in the soil, and in buildings and people’s homes. As mold accumulates, it releases vapors that give it the musty odor that most people recognize. When mold grows on a surface, it usually appears black, blue or green. The type of mold determines the color and reflects the nutrient source, surface substrate and the age of the colony.

Typically, mold growth occurs where there has been water damage or high humidity such as a leaky roof or pipes or windows. Damp, dimly lit areas such as bathrooms, crawl spaces, attics and basements are perfect breeding grounds for mold spores. One of the reasons why mold is so common indoors is that it spreads when it releases spores into the air. For this reason, the amount of mold spores indoors is usually greater than outdoors. Mold is a serious problem for homeowners because there are at least 100 molds known to be hazardous to our health. Problems arise when people inhale these spores deep into their lungs, which often leads to respiratory problems. Fortunately, only a handful of these varieties are typically found indoors. Nevertheless, mold remains common outdoors. Indeed, the only time mold spores are not found outdoors is during the winter months.

Call us today at 646-600-MOLD to schedule your Mold Inspection and BREATHE EASIER with the peace of mind you deserve.

How Is Mold Created?

Mold needs both water and a food source for its spores to reproduce. Spores are the bodies produced by molds which are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Using organic matter as their nutrient base to grow, mold spores reproduce in moist environments. Essentially, spores are the seeds by which mold spreads and reproduces. Indeed, spores can endure in conditions that are too extreme for mold to grow. Mold grows by feeding on dead organic material such as wood or drywall and even some synthetic materials such as paints and pastes. Although mold cannot reproduce on inorganic substances such as concrete, glass or plastic, it can grow on the dust or dirt layer on top of these surfaces. Even if there is no water source present, a humidity level above 60% can make surfaces moist enough for mold spores to reproduce.

It’s important to realize that mold spores are present in the air both outside and inside. Mold is ubiquitous in our environment because air or water can easily disperse the spores to new locations. When they find an area with moisture, food and oxygen, they will immediately begin to grow. In other words, wherever decaying organic matter exists, mold spores exist. While it is nearly impossible to keep an area free of mold, it is possible to control the spread of mold indoors by controlling the amount of moisture indoors.

Health Issues Surrounding Mold

For better and sometimes worse, mold is a part of nearly every environment including your home and everyone else’s home. Unfortunately, there are no national or federal standards stipulating what levels of mold pose a risk to one’s health especially because people respond to mold differently. Generally, your mold level should be lower indoors than the outdoor air you breathe.

Mold becomes a problem when it is visible in your home such as on wood or drywall. Unfortunately, mold often hides inside duct work or behind walls, so that you may have a high mold count in your home even if there’s no growth visible. Respiratory problems are among the most common issues associated with mold growth in the home. Some of the symptoms of black mold exposure include sneezing and coughing; irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; recurring headaches; fatigue; and rashes. In case of prolonged exposure, more severe symptoms may appear such as vomiting, nausea and bleeding in the nose and lungs.

People with Allergies and Respiratory Problems

People who suffer from allergies are more susceptible to the effects of mold than others. In addition to rashes, sore throat, and eye irritation, they may also experience wheezing and a shortness of breath. Furthermore, anyone with other respiratory conditions such as asthma, or emphysema may see more severe symptoms.

People with Compromised Immune Systems

People with compromised immune systems such as individuals with AIDS, some kinds of cancer, and those with organ transplants taking certain drugs are much more susceptible to fungal infections. The danger is that molds sometimes produce powerful chemicals known as mycotoxins which can make people sick if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. While we don’t fully understand the effects of these toxins on humans, it is safe to say that anyone with the above conditions should limit their exposure.

Mold in NYC Buildings and Apartments

In a large metropolitan area such as New York City, indoor mold is a serious concern due to the large amount of apartment buildings and their varying conditions. Since the city investigates as many as 500 cases of mold each year, it appears that this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. The hype surrounds black mold, which produces toxins that are known to cause illness. However, any of the hundreds of mold strains can potentially make you sick although only a handful produce toxins. Nevertheless, any one of the common strains can cause some of the aforementioned symptoms such as headaches, rashes or allergic reactions.

Is It More Common in Older Buildings or Newer Ones?

Apparently, most of the mold cases investigated by the city are for buildings under five years old. Believe it or not, many older buildings have fewer surfaces upon which mold can spread. Common causes include building leaks, substandard plumbing and central air systems that can spread mold spores. Unfortunately, mold that is restricted to a relatively small area such as the bathroom can easily spread through the air to the hallways and the rest of the apartment and become a much bigger problem. Families often don’t realize there is any need for concern until members start experiencing symptoms. At this point, the problem is usually too severe for normal household cleaners to solve.

Steps for NYC Tenants Seeking Mold Remediation

If you have a mold problem in your apartment, the first step to take is to notify your property management company or your landlord if you deal with him directly. On the other hand, if you own the property, you are solely responsible to hire a professional to perform a complete mold inspection. After the extent of the problem is determined, you or your landlord should contact a remediation company to treat the affected area. If your landlord fails to address a mold problem upon notification, the New York City has a local government website with a complaint page to which you can submit and/or collect more information.

Know Your Rights as a Tenant

On January 1, 2016, the New York State’s mold law took effect; it states that mold violations are now a class C offense. This means that any property owners or landlords who do not properly remediate mold within their apartments can be charged with a hazardous violation.

Local Law 55, the “Asthma-Free Housing Act”

In addition, Local Law 55 of 2018, known as the “Asthma-Free Housing Act,” was enacted to combat increasing asthma rates and to raise living conditions for the approximately one million New Yorkers suffering from asthma. This law, which took effect in January of 2019, mandates that owners of apartments in multiple dwellings conduct annual investigations to clear out any indoor health hazards which may cause asthma such as mold, cockroaches and rodents. The power of Local Law 55 is that it forces landlords and property managers not just to investigate the problems but to take measures to keep their properties free of such hazards.

How Do Owners Comply with Local Law 55?

The first step is to hire a licensed professional to check for indoor allergen hazards inside the units and within common areas of your buildings. In addition to rodents and cockroaches, allergen hazards include any mold growing on an indoor surface, building structure, ventilation system or inside wall cavities. The next step is to take action to keep the property free of any of these hazards. This includes doing things like mold remediation to eliminate the conditions that produce indoor allergens.

While Local Law 55 specifies that owners must investigate their buildings annually, they are also bound to investigate whenever necessary. For instance, if a resident complains about a possible indoor allergen hazard or if he or she requests an inspection or if the NYC Department of Buildings issues a notice of violation or violation order. Furthermore, this law stipulates that the owner must display a visible sign at his properties to new lease holders and prospective tenants explaining his obligation to inspect for mold. This notice, which must also be included in all tenant leases, must be approved by the DOB and be available in multiple languages.

What are the Penalties for Noncompliance?

The DOB considers visible mold under 10 square feet in a single room of a dwelling an indoor mold hazard violation. If the mold area measures between 10 square feet and 30 square feet, it becomes a hazardous violation. Penalties vary but they can run to as much as $10,000 per violation. Any violations must be corrected and, subsequently, a Certificate of Correction must be presented to the DOB.

How Do I Correct a Mold Violation?

If mold growth is present in your building or if someone files a complaint, then an investigation must be performed by a licensed contractor. Generally, an investigation involves a visual inspection of the entire dwelling including attics, basements, HVAC ducts and any other areas that are prone to mold. Inspecting for indoor mold includes looking for musty odors and visible mold on surfaces. In some instances, paneling may have to be removed, so that the inspector can find the cause of the moisture.

Mold Inspection and Testing

At Mold Authority, we evaluate the existing mold damage in a home or building* by performing the following:

  • Investigating environmental conditions that may cause mold to grow.
  • Pinpointing items that may need repair or replacement.
  • Identifying moisture intrusion areas and inspecting non-visible areas (in walls) for hidden mold.
  • Taking digital pictures of the susceptible areas.

*Clients need not be present during the examination, but it is helpful for them to understand all of the problems and the possible solutions.

As part of our inspection process, we take indoor and outdoor air and surface samples to be sent for independent laboratory analysis. The results of these tests answer many of the most important questions that crop up during remediation such as what type of mold it is, whether it’s toxic, how much is present and why. The lab results also enable us to make recommendations based on findings and will help to ascertain if any medical problems are mold related. If litigation is necessary, the results can provide relevant details, information on health conditions, and mold counts.

Finally, all our clients receive a thorough report which includes our findings; the lab report; digital photos; environmental guidelines; construction defects and potential problems; assessment of existing mold; a remediation plan; general recommendations and preventive maintenance moving forward. The Mold Authority Report has become the gold standard for mold inspection reports because it includes a comprehensive evaluation of the home or building in question; a detailed walk-through; a sampling of air, substance, or surface; and the ensuing report.

Mold Abatement and Cleanup

If our inspection reveals the presence of mold in your building or residence, you will have to take immediate steps to correct the problem. After we determine the extent of the problem, we begin the mold abatement process. It is important to engage a licensed, professional team like Mold Authority for a number of reasons. For example, in New York City, according to Local Law 55, a mold hazard must be assessed and remediated by both a NYS licensed Mold Assessor and a NYS licensed Mold Remediator.

What to Expect during Mold Remediation?

In addition to testing, Mold Authority also performs mold abatement. During the process, you can expect the following steps:

  • We completely seal off the workspace with plastic sheeting to keep the mold spores from spreading throughout the home.
  • After physically removing the mold from its source, we use professional equipment such as HEPA air scrubbers and air exchange to clean the air of mold spores.
  • We throw away moldy building materials such as insulation, drywall and baseboard because these materials are nearly impossible to restore after contamination.
  • Any remaining mold and mold stains are removed using antimicrobial chemicals.
  • We usually apply a sealer or encapsulant to make the affected areas more resistant to mold and water damage and to control any lingering odors.

At Mold Authority, not only do we take care of your current problem, but we ensure that it will not come back to haunt you in the future. Call us today at 646-600-MOLD to have one of our trained staff talk about giving you the peace of mind you deserve.

Leading the Way for Mold and Indoor Air Quality Testing Needs

Our team of qualified professionals understands the extensive impact of environment issues. Regardless of whether you’re a property manager, a contractor, a realtor or a homeowner that’s buying or selling a property, we know how to identify and solve your air quality issues quickly and effectively. Through our reliable testing and inspection services, we want everyone to breathe cleaner air in a safer environment.

Coverage Areas

Mold Authority offers mold and air quality inspection and testing services in multiple states including New York, New Jersey, North Carolina & South Carolina. Within New York, we cover the Bronx (Bronx County), Brooklyn (Kings County), Manhattan (New York County), Queens (Queens County) and Staten Island (Richmond County). In addition, we cover the following counties in New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Mercer, Somerset, Atlantic, Sussex, Hunterdon, Warren, and Cape May. In North Carolina, we cover Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln and Chester Counties. In South Carolina, we cover York and Lancaster Counties. We also service other states for more extensive projects nationwide.


Mold Inspection and Testing NYC


MOLD

ASBESTOS

LEAD

RADON

ALLERGENS / BACTERIA

VOC's


ODOR ID

WATER

WATER DAMAGE

MOISTURE MAPPING

IAQ

CLEARANCE TESTING

What is Mold?

Mold, commonly referred to as mildew, is a type of fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Within the United States, there are hundreds of types of mold. Like most fungi, molds break down animal and plant matter in the environment. However, they can cause problems because they grow nearly anywhere moisture and organic material are present such as on food, in the soil, and in buildings and people’s homes. As mold accumulates, it releases vapors that give it the musty odor that most people recognize. When mold grows on a surface, it usually appears black, blue or green. The type of mold determines the color and reflects the nutrient source, surface substrate and the age of the colony.

Typically, mold growth occurs where there has been water damage or high humidity such as a leaky roof or pipes or windows. Damp, dimly lit areas such as bathrooms, crawl spaces, attics and basements are perfect breeding grounds for mold spores. One of the reasons why mold is so common indoors is that it spreads when it releases spores into the air. For this reason, the amount of mold spores indoors is usually greater than outdoors. Mold is a serious problem for homeowners because there are at least 100 molds known to be hazardous to our health. Problems arise when people inhale these spores deep into their lungs, which often leads to respiratory problems. Fortunately, only a handful of these varieties are typically found indoors. Nevertheless, mold remains common outdoors. Indeed, the only time mold spores are not found outdoors is during the winter months.

Call us today at 646-600-MOLD to schedule your Mold Inspection and BREATHE EASIER with the peace of mind you deserve.

How Is Mold Created?

Mold needs both water and a food source for its spores to reproduce. Spores are the bodies produced by molds which are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Using organic matter as their nutrient base to grow, mold spores reproduce in moist environments. Essentially, spores are the seeds by which mold spreads and reproduces. Indeed, spores can endure in conditions that are too extreme for mold to grow. Mold grows by feeding on dead organic material such as wood or drywall and even some synthetic materials such as paints and pastes. Although mold cannot reproduce on inorganic substances such as concrete, glass or plastic, it can grow on the dust or dirt layer on top of these surfaces. Even if there is no water source present, a humidity level above 60% can make surfaces moist enough for mold spores to reproduce.

It’s important to realize that mold spores are present in the air both outside and inside. Mold is ubiquitous in our environment because air or water can easily disperse the spores to new locations. When they find an area with moisture, food and oxygen, they will immediately begin to grow. In other words, wherever decaying organic matter exists, mold spores exist. While it is nearly impossible to keep an area free of mold, it is possible to control the spread of mold indoors by controlling the amount of moisture indoors.

Health Issues Surrounding Mold

For better and sometimes worse, mold is a part of nearly every environment including your home and everyone else’s home. Unfortunately, there are no national or federal standards stipulating what levels of mold pose a risk to one’s health especially because people respond to mold differently. Generally, your mold level should be lower indoors than the outdoor air you breathe.

Mold becomes a problem when it is visible in your home such as on wood or drywall. Unfortunately, mold often hides inside duct work or behind walls, so that you may have a high mold count in your home even if there’s no growth visible. Respiratory problems are among the most common issues associated with mold growth in the home. Some of the symptoms of black mold exposure include sneezing and coughing; irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; recurring headaches; fatigue; and rashes. In case of prolonged exposure, more severe symptoms may appear such as vomiting, nausea and bleeding in the nose and lungs.

People with Allergies and Respiratory Problems

People who suffer from allergies are more susceptible to the effects of mold than others. In addition to rashes, sore throat, and eye irritation, they may also experience wheezing and a shortness of breath. Furthermore, anyone with other respiratory conditions such as asthma, or emphysema may see more severe symptoms.

People with Compromised Immune Systems

People with compromised immune systems such as individuals with AIDS, some kinds of cancer, and those with organ transplants taking certain drugs are much more susceptible to fungal infections. The danger is that molds sometimes produce powerful chemicals known as mycotoxins which can make people sick if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. While we don’t fully understand the effects of these toxins on humans, it is safe to say that anyone with the above conditions should limit their exposure.

Mold in NYC Buildings and Apartments

In a large metropolitan area such as New York City, indoor mold is a serious concern due to the large amount of apartment buildings and their varying conditions. Since the city investigates as many as 500 cases of mold each year, it appears that this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. The hype surrounds black mold, which produces toxins that are known to cause illness. However, any of the hundreds of mold strains can potentially make you sick although only a handful produce toxins. Nevertheless, any one of the common strains can cause some of the aforementioned symptoms such as headaches, rashes or allergic reactions.

Is It More Common in Older Buildings or Newer Ones?

Apparently, most of the mold cases investigated by the city are for buildings under five years old. Believe it or not, many older buildings have fewer surfaces upon which mold can spread. Common causes include building leaks, substandard plumbing and central air systems that can spread mold spores. Unfortunately, mold that is restricted to a relatively small area such as the bathroom can easily spread through the air to the hallways and the rest of the apartment and become a much bigger problem. Families often don’t realize there is any need for concern until members start experiencing symptoms. At this point, the problem is usually too severe for normal household cleaners to solve.

Steps for NYC Tenants Seeking Mold Remediation

If you have a mold problem in your apartment, the first step to take is to notify your property management company or your landlord if you deal with him directly. On the other hand, if you own the property, you are solely responsible to hire a professional to perform a complete mold inspection. After the extent of the problem is determined, you or your landlord should contact a remediation company to treat the affected area. If your landlord fails to address a mold problem upon notification, the New York City has a local government website with a complaint page to which you can submit and/or collect more information.

Know Your Rights as a Tenant

On January 1, 2016, the New York State’s mold law took effect; it states that mold violations are now a class C offense. This means that any property owners or landlords who do not properly remediate mold within their apartments can be charged with a hazardous violation.

Local Law 55, the “Asthma-Free Housing Act”

In addition, Local Law 55 of 2018, known as the “Asthma-Free Housing Act,” was enacted to combat increasing asthma rates and to raise living conditions for the approximately one million New Yorkers suffering from asthma. This law, which took effect in January of 2019, mandates that owners of apartments in multiple dwellings conduct annual investigations to clear out any indoor health hazards which may cause asthma such as mold, cockroaches and rodents. The power of Local Law 55 is that it forces landlords and property managers not just to investigate the problems but to take measures to keep their properties free of such hazards.

How Do Owners Comply with Local Law 55?

The first step is to hire a licensed professional to check for indoor allergen hazards inside the units and within common areas of your buildings. In addition to rodents and cockroaches, allergen hazards include any mold growing on an indoor surface, building structure, ventilation system or inside wall cavities. The next step is to take action to keep the property free of any of these hazards. This includes doing things like mold remediation to eliminate the conditions that produce indoor allergens.

While Local Law 55 specifies that owners must investigate their buildings annually, they are also bound to investigate whenever necessary. For instance, if a resident complains about a possible indoor allergen hazard or if he or she requests an inspection or if the NYC Department of Buildings issues a notice of violation or violation order. Furthermore, this law stipulates that the owner must display a visible sign at his properties to new lease holders and prospective tenants explaining his obligation to inspect for mold. This notice, which must also be included in all tenant leases, must be approved by the DOB and be available in multiple languages.

What are the Penalties for Noncompliance?

The DOB considers visible mold under 10 square feet in a single room of a dwelling an indoor mold hazard violation. If the mold area measures between 10 square feet and 30 square feet, it becomes a hazardous violation. Penalties vary but they can run to as much as $10,000 per violation. Any violations must be corrected and, subsequently, a Certificate of Correction must be presented to the DOB.

How Do I Correct a Mold Violation?

If mold growth is present in your building or if someone files a complaint, then an investigation must be performed by a licensed contractor. Generally, an investigation involves a visual inspection of the entire dwelling including attics, basements, HVAC ducts and any other areas that are prone to mold. Inspecting for indoor mold includes looking for musty odors and visible mold on surfaces. In some instances, paneling may have to be removed, so that the inspector can find the cause of the moisture.

Mold Inspection and Testing

At Mold Authority, we evaluate the existing mold damage in a home or building* by performing the following:

  • Investigating environmental conditions that may cause mold to grow.
  • Pinpointing items that may need repair or replacement.
  • Identifying moisture intrusion areas and inspecting non-visible areas (in walls) for hidden mold.
  • Taking digital pictures of the susceptible areas.

*Clients need not be present during the examination, but it is helpful for them to understand all of the problems and the possible solutions.

As part of our mold inspection process, we take indoor and outdoor air and surface samples to be sent for independent laboratory analysis. The results of these tests answer many of the most important questions that crop up during remediation such as what type of mold it is, whether it’s toxic, how much is present and why. The lab results also enable us to make recommendations based on findings and will help to ascertain if any medical problems are mold related. If litigation is necessary, the results can provide relevant details, information on health conditions, and mold counts.

Finally, all our clients receive a thorough report which includes our findings; the lab report; digital photos; environmental guidelines; construction defects and potential problems; assessment of existing mold; a remediation plan; general recommendations and preventive maintenance moving forward. The Mold Authority Report has become the gold standard for mold inspection reports because it includes a comprehensive evaluation of the home or building in question; a detailed walk-through; a sampling of air, substance, or surface; and the ensuing report.

Mold Abatement and Cleanup

If our inspection reveals the presence of mold in your building or residence, you will have to take immediate steps to correct the problem. After we determine the extent of the problem, we begin the mold abatement process. It is important to engage a licensed, professional team like Mold Authority for a number of reasons. For example, in New York City, according to Local Law 55, a mold hazard must be assessed and remediated by both a NYS licensed Mold Assessor and a NYS licensed Mold Remediator.

What to Expect during Mold Remediation?

In addition to testing, Mold Authority also performs mold abatement. During the process, you can expect the following steps:

  • We completely seal off the workspace with plastic sheeting to keep the mold spores from spreading throughout the home.
  • After physically removing the mold from its source, we use professional equipment such as HEPA air scrubbers and air exchange to clean the air of mold spores.
  • We throw away moldy building materials such as insulation, drywall and baseboard because these materials are nearly impossible to restore after contamination.
  • Any remaining mold and mold stains are removed using antimicrobial chemicals.
  • We usually apply a sealer or encapsulant to make the affected areas more resistant to mold and water damage and to control any lingering odors.

At Mold Authority, not only do we take care of your current problem, but we ensure that it will not come back to haunt you in the future. Call us today at 646-600-MOLD to have one of our trained staff talk about giving you the peace of mind you deserve.

Leading the Way for Mold and Indoor Air Quality Testing Needs

Our team of qualified professionals understands the extensive impact of environment issues. Regardless of whether you’re a property manager, a contractor, a realtor or a homeowner that’s buying or selling a property, we know how to identify and solve your air quality issues quickly and effectively. Through our reliable testing and inspection services, we want everyone to breathe cleaner air in a safer environment.

Air Quality & Mold Inspection Service Area

Mold Authority offers mold and air quality inspection and testing services in multiple states including New York, New Jersey, North Carolina & South Carolina. Within New York, we cover the Bronx (Bronx County), Brooklyn (Kings County), Manhattan (New York County), Queens (Queens County) and Staten Island (Richmond County). In addition, we cover the following counties in New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Mercer, Somerset, Atlantic, Sussex, Hunterdon, Warren, and Cape May. In North Carolina, we cover Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln and Chester Counties. In South Carolina, we cover York and Lancaster Counties. We also service other states for more extensive projects nationwide.