Mold Testing | Los Angeles, CA

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Mold Inspection & Testing | Los Angeles, CA

Mold testing during your inspection for black mold/fungi will help determine the type of mold on the surface of the building materials or in the air.  A certified mold inspector will take samples from your home and submit them using a “chain of custody” to an accredited laboratory for analysis.  Test for Mold >

Surface Sampling

Some mold inspectors may take a sample from the surface your ceiling, wall, or even your personal belongings to determine if mold growth is present.  Some mold tests will illustrate the types of mold, the underlying structural components, and/or the number of spores present in the sample.  Most mold test are completed using light microscopy by a certified laboratory technician.

Air Quality Sampling

In an air quality mold test, a mold inspector will take samples from inside a home or office and then outdoors. By using a special cassette, Air-O-Cell/Allergenco, mold spores can be captured on a special medium and suspended until further analysis at the laboratory.  Mold spores that are present inside at larger numbers than the outdoors, typically reflect a potential source of mold growing indoors.

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Why Test for Mold?

If you believe that mold may be impacting your health or contaminating your air quality, then having a mold test completed inside you home may help determine what types and concentrations of mold spores are floating inside the air.

Allergens too

Those suffering from allergies may be interested in the supplementation tests that can detect potential allergens.  In addition to mold spores the mold testing device is able to detect a fraction of outdoor pollens, inorganic particles, insect parts, and mold fragments.

Other Test

Our Inspectors can sample for all types of potential hazards including lead, asbestos, bacteria, and more.  If you have any questions, please call our office today (888)470-0470.

Test for Mold Now!

During a mold inspection, a mold inspector will determine if drywall and other building materials are holding moisture, with potential for mold to grow. Knowledge of a recent flood or previous water event is an important factor in determining remedial strategies or a Mold Inspection-Testing hypothesis. The history of a building is a critical piece of information that can help isolate a potential mold problem. Indoor contaminants caused by damp and humid conditions should be repaired by a licensed, bonded and insured specialty mold remediation company. Water Damage? Mold Problems? Free Mold Quote! Call (888)470-0470

Mold Inspection & Samples – Air / Bulk Environmental Testing

During your Mold Inspection, Mold samples can help determine a “snap shot” of your indoor environment. Air samples for Mold spores can be taken from your indoor environment and can help Fun Guy Mold Inspection & Consulting LLC detect and confirm suspect mold growth conditions. Physical mold samples including bulk mold samples, tape lift mold samples and swab mold samples, all can be taken by a mold inspector at the time of your mold investigation. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has limited information on Permissible Exposure Limits PELs to biological contaminants within residential structures. Fun Guy Inspection & Consulting LLC uses EMLab, an AIHA (American Industrial Hygiene Association) accredited laboratory for all microbial analysis. Mold samples taken with Air-O-Cell cassettes can help determine if mold spore concentrations are normal or elevated within indoor environments. today to learn more (888)470-0470

Mildew vs Mold Testing Los Angeles

Mold and mildew both belong to the kingdom fungi that are typically found in the home. They grow rich in moist environments and live on various surfaces, which promotes their growth rates. Once they grow in your home or anywhere else, it is challenging for us to get rid of them. If we ignore them, dangerous microorganisms can quickly affect a wide range of your property as well as can cause health problems. These types of fungi hold many standard features, but act differently or cause different severe problems and need different treatment.

Like two siblings who hold many similar characteristics and features, mildew and mold also have a few matching features. Both are moisture friendly and like to grow in such areas where they can sprout their homes. They can also grow on a multitude of surfaces, food products, a shower, and a sheet of paper. All of us know that they belong to the fungi kingdom; that’s why no homeowner would like to see them in his or her home.

People must know the differences between mildew and mold before trying to prevent or treat them from growing. Many people wouldn’t like to tell you the difference between mold and mildew, but you don’t need to worry about that because I am are here to help you.

Let’s dive with me to understand the difference between mildew and mold!

Difference Between Mold and Mildew

Mold is a fungus that includes multiple identical nuclei and occurs in the form of black, green, orange, or purple patches. It grows in the form of filaments of hyphae and can be found in several shapes. 

While on the other hand, mildew can be described as a particular type of mold. It often uses a flat growth structure patten and remains on the surface where it can be removed easily and treated well.

Typically mold grows on food or inside the structures, such as crawls spaces or walls, where it is difficult for us to remove or treat it. Mildew can be found on damp surfaces, fabrics, paper, and various organic materials present in your home. It can also cause considerable damage to crops and plants. Mold is found in five different types, while mildew has two types.

Types of Mold

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Stachybotrys chartarum

Types of Mildew

  • Powdery mildew
  • Downy mildew

Difference between Mold and Mildew in Appearance

One of the best ways to verify whether you are facing Mold or Mildew problems is to recognize them according to their appearance patterns. For this, you should have a basic knowledge of the difference between their appearance. Commonly, mildew looks white or grey while mold appears black or green. The following are some detailed specifications about their appearance.

Mold:

Typically, mold is slimy and fuzzy in appearance. It appears as irregularly shaped spots that can have several colours-green, blue, brown, yellow, black, or white. It grows underneath the surface of a wet product.

Mildew:

Typically, mildew grows in a flat pattern and appears either fluffy or powdery. It can be easily identified as a patch of grey, white, or yellowish colour lying on a moist surface  Mildew usually turns brown or black with time.

Texture difference

Mold

  • Severe mold growths look like a plant or moss.
  • It can eat away the cellular integrity of its host (wood, lumber, drywall).

Mildew

  • Powdery mildew often found on the surface of items.
  • It can often be brushed off the surface quite easily.

Growth patterns difference

Mold:

Mold will burrow under the surface of its host, if possible. 

Mildew:

Mildew grows flat on the surface; it has decided to colonize on/in it.

Difference between Mold and Mildew according to their smell

Both types of fungus produce gases; sometimes, these gases are odourless but sometimes can have a musty smell. Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC) is a technical term used for these gases. The significant difference between mold’s and mildew’s smell is the strength of the odour.

Mold’s smell can be detected even before you see the mold because it has a dank and unpleasant odour. Its unpleasant smell is just like a damp forest with decaying wood. The identification of mildew smell can be a little tricky because its smell is not as strong as mold has.

Biological differences between Mold and Mildew

Molds gain their energy from organic matters like food. Enzymes secreted from the breakdown of complex molecules such as cellulose, starch, and lignin into simpler substances. Reproduction may be asexual or sexual via production spores. These spores can survive in extreme conditions. Mold has a musty smell and can be viewed by a naked eye when the colonies start growing.

Mildew occurs on host plants like maize, tomato, potato, beans, rice, and other plants. It can also grow on leather, paper, shower, clothes, curtains, and windows sills where the humidity level is high. Reproduction is both asexually and sexually through the production spores.

Differences in the Effects of Mold and Mildew

Both mold and mildew can cause a lot of trouble with time. So, they need to be taken care of efficiently and quickly.

Mold:

Mold can cause considerable structural damage when we ignore it for a long time. Long term exposure can cause a variety of health problems, depending upon the nature of the mold. Some common health problems caused by mold exposure are given below:

  • Inflammation
  • Heart problems
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness depression
  • Weakness in the immune system
  • Respiratory problems (coughing, asthma attacks, difficulty in breathing, etc.)
  • Black mold causes mycotoxins, which can be harmful, especially for younger kids.
  • Allergic reactions (skin irritations, sneezing nasal congestion, eyes and throat irritation, etc.)

Mildew:

Typically, mildew affects crops and plants. If it grows in indoor environments, it can also cause health risks. For example, it can harm food on which it grows, but it doesn’t leave a long-lasting effect on other surfaces, like bathroom mirrors or tile floors. Inhalation of mildew spores causes headache, sore throat, coughing, and respiratory problems.

Where does each type of fungus grow?

Both types of fungus can thrive in warm, damp, and moist places. But each type demands different environmental conditions when it comes to where to start growing.

Mold:

Mold is a common type of fungus found on food, like cheese, meat, or bread. Moreover, it is the most common type of fungi that can be found in outdoor or indoor spaces that have gotten wet or damp, such as crawl spaces, boats, and sheds, etc.

Mildew:

Mildew often grows on those items which have damp surfaces, with paper, fibre, and leather. Mildew also expands on the walls, floors, or ceilings with lots of humidity like kitchens, bathrooms, or basements. It also likes to grow in agricultural environments and harmful for grapes and potatoes.

Mold vs Mildew Testing

If you don’t know what type of fungi you are dealing with, you can simply test to verify the nature of fungi.  There are two primary methods or testing techniques available that are used to confirm the kind of fungus.

Home Testing

The most comfortable and straightforward way to identify the nature of the fungus in your home is to drip a few drops of bleach on the affected area. Wait for some time and visualize the spot:

  • If it remains dark, you are dealing with mold fungus
  • If spots turn as lighter, you are dealing with mildew fungus

Various mold and mildew testing kits are available in the market; you can also use these kits to test the nature of fungus in your home.

Professional Testing

If you have a doubt, that your affected property has considerable mold or mold growth or if you are not sure about the best action to take against it. Simply contact a mold or mildew professional removal company in your area for testing, inspection, and evaluation. This step may be a little expensive for you, but it will help you a lot to get rid of the harmful fungus.

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew?

Having mold or mildew in your home can cause several problems for your property and, most significantly, for your health. The first step to protecting yourself from these problems is to protect your home or any other place from mold or mildew growth.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew growth?

The most effective and efficient way to prevent fungus in your home is to keep all the areas damp and moisture-free. The following tips can help you to achieve a moisture-free environment.

  • Inspect your heating and cooling systems regularly
  • Remove mildew-affected plans and weeds as you notice them
  • Fix any leak if you have in your kitchen, bathroom, or in other areas
  • Keep air ducts clean to ensure proper air circulation inside the premises
  • Use a dehumidifier to maintain humidity level at 40-50% inside your house

Things needed to keep your home mold and mildew free

  • Spray bottle
  • Facial mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Scrub brush
  • Dehumidifier
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Commercial cleaner
  • Distilled white vinegar

How to Clean Mold and Mildew?

It is essential to clean mold and mildew as soon as you see them, especially in indoor environments. Here we will discuss some efficient methods to clean mold or mildew from your home.

Let’s dive with me!

Mildew cleaning methods

Method 1:

Mildew is a surface fungus that can be easily removed or treated by using a commercial cleaner and a scrub brush. Before trying this method, make sure that you are working in a ventilated area and wear a facial mask to prevent the inhalation of mildew spores. Wearing the rubber gloves on your hand is also a recommended step when you are going to clean a mildew growth. Clean all the affected area carefully, to ensure that all the fungus has been removed successfully.

Method 2:

If you don’t have a commercial cleaner to remove mildew from the surface, try a mixture of bleach and warm water. Mix a cup of household bleach for every gallon of hot water. Grasp a medium-bristled brush, dip it in the solution and apply it on mildew stain. Try to dry the surface as soon as possible after cleaning the mildew growth because moisture helps to promote mildew growth.

  • Use this solution to remove mildew from non-porous materials and surfaces.
  • This solution is best to clean mildew from kitchens, bathrooms, and other places having tiles.
  • If you have a specific place where you can’t reach to clean mildew, simply put the solution in a small spray bottle. Apply it to infected areas directly by spraying. Then use a brush as usual.

Method 3:

Use a borax solution to kill mildew growth

  • Mix a cup of borax into a gallon of hot water. Dip a brush into the solution and apply on the mildew growths vigorously. After removing the mildew, dry the surface as soon as possible because of moist cause mold or mildew growths.
  • Use the borax solution to remove mildew from wood surfaces
  • It works for both to kill existing mildew and also to prevent future mildew growth
  • The borax solution is a natural cleaning solution that doesn’t contain any additional chemicals and doesn’t give off fumes.

Mold cleaning methods

Mold damages the affected materials with microscopic filaments that go beneath the surface. Mold spores can survive in vigorous conditions, so they can rapidly affect the large area of your property permanently. Moreover, mold id only visible to the naked eye when it starts growing colonies. So, its early detection and treatment are challenging for us. Molds also affect our health badly, so DIY removal methods are not recommendable.

Method 1:

Use hydrogen peroxide to remove mold growth

Take 3% of hydrogen peroxide solution, and add the solution into a spray bottle. Apply this hydrogen peroxide solution to affected areas with mold growth by spraying it. Wait for 10 minutes, and then use a scrubbing brush to remove mold effectively. Dry the surface as early as possible to prevent mold from resurfacing.

  • This solution works effectively for a large variety of surfaces.
  • It can be useful for clothes, fixtures, floors, walls, and also for appliances.
  • It is also a useful and efficient method to remove stains caused by mold infestations.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is the best alternative to bleach and other commercial cleaners that may give off fumes and happen to be toxic.
  • So, use hydrogen peroxide to remove mildew stains from your home without any fear and danger.

Use ammonia to remove mold growth

Take one part of ammonia with one part water, mix them and add the solution into a small spray bottle. Attack the moldy surfaces with ammonia solution and use a scrubbing brush to remove mold efficiently. And wipe out the excess amount of ammonia from the surface with a clean towel.

  • Avoid mixing ammonia and bleach, because the mixture of ammonia with bleach produces a toxic chemical called chlorine gas. It is harmful to our health.
  • To remove hard mold stains, spray the infected surface with ammonia and wait for several hours before using a scrubbing brush to remove it.

How Difficult is it to Get Rid of Mold vs Mildew?

Here is another difference between mold vs mildew is how difficult to remove each fungus? You can remove mildew by using a commercial cleaner and a good scrubbing brush. While on the other hand, mold growth is more challenging for us to remove. Most people can’t deal with mold growth treatment on their own. Mold removal professionals are the best option to deal with it. So, try to hand it over to professional mold removal.

You can also buy a mold prevention spray which is available in the market or visit online stores to get it.

Exposure Symptoms

Mold:

  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Heart issues
  • Neurological issues
  • Respiratory problems

Mildew:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Respiratory problems

Tips to prevent & treating Mold/ Mildew Indoor

Following are some ideal tips that you can implement in your home to prevent mold/ mildew growth:

  • Let in sunlight
  • Seal the grout lines
  • Maintain better circulation
  • Change HAVAC filter regularly
  • Dry your clothes to the outside
  • Clean items around the shower
  • Keep your basement clean and dry
  • Open windows and doors if possible
  • Use hydrogen peroxide in your home
  • Use mold and mildew resistant paint
  • Use fans to achieve proper ventilation
  • Use exhaust fans to exit moisture outside
  • Clean the items around the sink regularly
  • Use a commercial cleaner to remove mold
  • Spray cleaning solution on the mold places
  • Use mold/ mildew purifier to purify the air
  • Keep your home moisture and humidity-free
  • Try to keep your crawl spaces well ventilated
  • Wash and dry your clothes as soon as possible
  • Clear out the old foods from the refrigerator
  • Check and fix the leaks around basins and tubs
  • Fix all the leaks in the kitchen or through the sink
  • Use an exhaust fan to remove damp and moisture
  • Avoid leaving damp and wet clothes in the laundry basket
  • Prevent your house to encourage condensation conditions
  • Clean your air conditioning drip pans after a regular interval of time
  • Use a garbage can and empty it daily to keep it safe from mold growth
  • Use a hygrometer to check the humidity level in the indoor environments
  • Perform mold/ mildew and moisture testing to verify whether mold/ mildew has occurred or not.
  • Use dehumidifier inside the house to control the humidity level, especially in hot, and humid climates

Comparison table between Mold vs. Mildew

Sr.No #

Comparison

Mold

Mildew

1

Definition

Mould is a living organism that belongs to the kingdom of Fungi

Mildew can be described as a sub type of mold

2

Types

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Stachybotrys chartarum
  • Powdery mildew
  • Downy mildew

3

Texture

Slimy, Fuzzy

Powdery, Fluffy

4

Colour

Green, blue, brown, yellow, black, or white

Brown, black, grey, and white

5

Where did it found?

Underneath the affected items

It occurs on the damp surface like walls, wet clothes, etc.

6

Growth Pattern

Grows in an irregular shaped spot manner

Follows the regular flat pattern

7

Classification

Fungi

Sub-type of mold

8

Commonly affected items

Food

Plants and crops

9

Why harmful

Release toxic gases

Affects plants and crops

10

Which is more harmful?

It is more harmful to health

Less harmful

11

How to prevent?

Try to keep the surfaces clean and dry

Use mildew removers

12

Uses

Food and Drug production

None

Conclusion

Neither mold nor mildew is pleasant to our health and property. If any growth which seems to mold or mildew, it is better to remove it as early as possible rather than spotting the difference. The reason for taking quick and strict action against mold, or mildew is that both are fungus which is harmful to our health. Although mildew is a less threat as compared to mold growth, still it is necessary to remove it as soon as possible from the indoor environments.

Minor mildew or mold growth can be removed by using commercial cleaners or disinfectants. However, a considerable mold or mildew growth can cause a problem and might require a professional to help in removal. The best way to prevent fungus grow is to conduct household bleaching or using deep cleaning agents after a regular interval of time

The conditions which help mold or mildew growth do not occur in properly designed, installed, operated and maintained systems. While on the other hand, the environments where the water is allowed to accumulate in the systems, conditions can occur which promote fungus growth in the air handling duct system, whether it is unlined or lined. You must have to protect your home from mold or mildew growth and the condition which promotes their growth to prevent dangerous reactions related to your health.

I hope this article would be amazing and helpful for you. After reading this article, you would have a clear idea about the differences between mold and mildew, their different types, and how its effect on our health. You would be able to verify whether it is mold or mildew and it exists or not.