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Every home or business owner should be aware of the problems mold can create. Even the cleanest house or workplace can have mold growth. Mold damages structures and threatens people's health.

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What is mold?

Mold also known as fungus, is a general term that refers to the microscopic organism that grows on bread left out for to long, on oranges once they have been left uneaten, in the shower grout & tiles when kept unclean and on leather goods left in a closet that has no ventilation.

Mold is commonly found throughout our ecosystem, and assists in the break down of matter. Hundreds of thousands of types of mold exist all with a different affinity for temperatures, food sources and water requirements.

While it is true that some may be more harmful than others to humans at elevated levels all mold can present problems when found indoors.

Some of the common molds found in an indoor environment are, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Basidiospores and Alternaria.

Some of the molds found in the indoor environment that may suggest water damage event are Stachybotrys (referred to as toxic mold or black mold), Chaetomium, Fusarium, Ulocladium, Penicillium and Aspergillus.

How does mold grow indoors?

For the common molds to grow indoors, excessive moisture and humidity are common causes of mold growth in a building. For mold to grow it needs moisture, the proper temperature, food (fabric, wallboard, insulation, and cellulose are common food sources) and a substrate capable of sustaining growth.

Why is mold a problem?

Mold causes property damage by way of stain, rot and eventually the breakdown of building materials.

Mold may cause health related symptoms by way of releasing a musty odor during initial growth, dispersion of spores and the continued cycle of re-growth, all of which are opportunities for exposure.

Some health problems mold causes include:

  • Asthma—the World Health Organization says 21% of US asthma cases (about 4.6 million people) are linked to mold exposure
  • Fatigue
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a serious lung inflammation)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Aspergillosis – allergic bronchopulmonary type is an allergic reaction to the fungus that usually develops in people who already have lung problems
  • Depression—according to a 2007 Brown University study, exposure to mold contributes to depression
  • Chronic sinus infections—93% such infections are mold-related, according to the Mayo Clinic

Mold-related lawsuits

US lawsuits from mold claims have exploded over the past ten years. In a groundbreaking 2001 case, a Texas jury awarded $32 million to Melinda Ballard” a 48-year-old marketing representative” after her insurance company failed to identify and promptly deal with mold in her home. And in 2003 entertainer Ed McMahon settled, for $7 million, his lawsuit claiming that toxic mold in his Los Angeles home made him and his wife ill and killed his dog Muffin. It should be noted that both lawsuits carried substantial bad faith awards as a result of the insurance companies mishandling of the claim.

What should I do?

If you suspect there’s mold in your home or building, you should perform your own assessment of the property for any indications of water intrusion or suspect staining typically associated with mold growth. Any signs of water damage or past history should be provided to an environmental professional to help determine the next steps to the inspection and possible sampling.

The mold inspector will tell you whether you have elevated mold levels in your house, and what you need to do to clean it up. In some instances clean-up can be done on your own while other instances may require the assistance of certified mold Remediation Company.

If you see mold growing, don’t wait” get rid of it. Don’t risk the health of your family, pets, employees, or tenants.

A mold inspection is highly recommended after any water damage event in a property or during any industrial, commercial,multi-family dwellings or single family residence real estate transactions.


  • You can buy home mold testing kits however since mold spores are present in normal ambient air at any time; this will not provide you with any useful information. This will more than likely cause more confusion than useful information.
  • As well, you should hire an inspector that only performs inspections and not remediation, since this may present a conflict of interest.

How do I clean up mold?

The following are resources provided by various government agencies for the handling of conditions.

The Mold remediation industry follows the guidelines laid out by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S520 the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

What does Andersen offer?

Andersen’s Certified, experienced mold inspectors can perform a through mold assessment, recommend cleanup action, and connect you with high-quality mold remediation contractors. Andersen staff has consulted on thousands of mold inspections, assessments, and remediations across the country. In general as it relates to health concerns Andersen identifies any mold as being a source for adverse health effects. All mold can contribute to increase in allergy symptoms which is the most basic health effect from exposure, therefore the identification and proper procedures for preventing and handling any indoor sources is of importance.

Qualified Andersen personnel have the following certifications:

  • Prepare Construction Site Review Plan (CSRP) for submittal to the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and manage the site throughout the construction process
  • Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
  • Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC)
  • Certified Microbial Consultant (CMC)
  • Certified Microbial Inspector (CMI)
  • Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS)

Andersen Services:

Andersen’s certified staff has consulted in thousands of mold inspections, assessments and remediation projects nationwide, ranging from mild to severe, in single-family dwellings, (to) large tract house communities, high-rise condominiums and office buildings, other commercial properties, and public buildings.

Andersen professionals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Orange County, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Boston, New Jersey, Washington DC, Denver, Montpelier, Concord and Las Vegas, are trained and certified in the testing, assessment and identification of existing and potential mold and fungus issues, as well as, creating sampling and remediation plans for mold in residential, commercial and industrial properties. Andersen professionals can also provide coordination and project management of abatement contractors in the remediation process.

  • Document Conditions as a third party – This proves to be of great importance to identify conditions as they are.
  • Visual assessment of impacted area/s
    • Collection of Photos to document observations
  • Perform moisture survey
    • Use of penetrating or non-penetrating moisture meter
    • Thermal imaging assessment, utilized in large impacted areas and areas difficult to access
  • Assessing ambient conditions
    • Temperature
    • Relative Humidity
  • Collection of mold samples
    • Collection of surface samples
    • Viable and/or non-viable (air) sampling
  • Provide Report of conditions with sample data including a conclusion with recommendations, if any.
  • Post mold remediation assessments upon completion of remediation activities

Laboratory Analysis:

  • Prepare Construction Site Review Plan (CSRP) for submittal to the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and manage the site throughout the construction process
  • Analyses conducted by an independent third-party State-certified and accredited laboratory
  • Rush sample analysis available
  • Results and Reports:
  • Design of project-specific remediation protocols
  • Document project background and site/sample findings
  • Recommendation of trusted remediation companies

Learn more

For more details about mold in your home or business, take a look at these two publications.

To learn more about mold today, call us at 310-854-5453.