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Mold Inspection

28Dec 2014

You might commonly hear a lot about mold growth in bathrooms, basements, or even kitchens, but there is another area in your home that is very highly susceptible to mold: your attic. As a mold remediation company, we have seen our fair share of mold growth issues in attics. Mold is typically thought of as being an issue in basements and bathrooms because those areas are especially prone to moisture build up. Mold in attic areas is usually the result of some form of moisture in your attic.

Mold in Attic

Therefore, pinpointing the source of moisture can be a great place to start when dealing with the mold growth. Mold in attic areas can develop from a variety of sources of moisture. Lets take a look at a few.

3 Potential Sources of Mold in Attic Areas:

  1.    Roof Leaks: This one is pretty straightforward. Obviously, if your roof is leaking, there will be water coming into your attic. A leaky roof should be mended for many obvious reasons; one being that it can be the cause of mold growth.
  2.    Air Conditioning Units: Many homes’ air conditioning units are found in the attic of the house. These units can leak if not properly maintained. Thus, air conditioning appliances could be a source of moisture in your attic, making it a perfect breeding ground for mold spores.
  3.    Incomplete Insulation Covering: This might be the least obvious source of moisture, but it is probably the most common source of mold in attics. If your attic is not properly insulated, the heat in your home during the winter will meet the very cold roof of your attic and cause condensation, which leads to mold growth

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In order to help prevent mold in attic walls or floors, make sure your roof or air conditioning unit is not leaking and also check on the condition of the ventilation in your attic. Keeping all these factors in check can help you avoid mold issues in your home.

If you have discovered mold growth in your attic already – the severity of which surpasses what can be sufficiently addressed with a do it yourself remedy – call Advanced Mold Diagnostics for professional and reliable mold services including inspection, testing, remediation, and water removal. With decades of experience, certified specialists, and the most advanced technology, AMD is sure to get the job done right.

Mold In Attic | Mold In Attics

22Dec 2014

How much do you really know about mold and mildew?  Many homeowners may be able to recognize mold by sight or even smell, but there’s more to this fungi than meets the eye. When you devote all of your time to identifying and removing mold, like our team at Advanced Mold Diagnostics, you get to know the more surprising details about these organisms.  Some facts are fun, others are helpful, and some are even downright weird!

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Mold is More Common Than You Think

Most people think of mold and mildew as unusual occurrences. After all, when we find it growing in our basements or bathrooms, there is usually a moment of shock or surprise. How did that get there? And yet, mold is actually incredibly common. With over 100,000 species in the world, mold exists everywhere, both indoor and outdoor. Of course, just because mold is common does not mean you need to settle for its presence in your home.  If you have problem with mildew or mold growing in your home, contact Advanced Mold Diagnostics for an inspection.

 

Mold Won’t Eat Happy Meals!

In recent years, quite a bit of media has been devoted to the story of the Happy Meal that just won’t decompose. A McDonald’s Happy Meal burger and fries, when left out for over six months, did not grow mold.  Although this shocked many viewers, it is actually a more common characteristic than you might think.  Many processed foods, when left out, do not decompose, a process which would normally involve mold growth to break down the food.

 

Mold and Mildew Just Might Be the Best Tattle Tales in Your Home

Mold and mildew may actually be one of the best indicators of deeper problems within your home.  Because the fungi require moisture to grow, growth in your basement or bathroom may be a sign you have a leak or lack of proper ventilation.  So, what you initially see as a mess to clean up may be the exact warning sign you need to install a sump pump or repair “that crack” in the foundation.  For help with your remediation project, call Advanced Mold Diagnostics.

 

Vitamin D Can Help Your Mold Allergies

Are you allergic to mold and mildew?  If so, a helpful answer may be right outside your window.  Vitamin D, best synthesized by humans through sunlight exposure, has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on mold allergies. Not only can it help to prevent an immediate reaction, but it can also help the body build up an immunity over time.
If you have more questions about mold or mildew, contact Advanced Mold Diagnostics today.

Mold and Mildew | Mildew and Mold

05Jun 2014

When you are trying to choose between competing mold cleanup services in Pennsylvania, or anywhere in the Greater Philadelphia Area, you are faced with several different factors to consider. Many of our customers are concerned with cost, while others are more concerned with the convenience of the remediation process: how quickly the job can be completed, how they can fit it into their schedule, and so on. No matter what your priorities, we consider the most important thing is to get the job done correctly and thoroughly the first time, and to make every effort to avoid the reappearance of mold in your home. We never want to visit the same house twice.

If cost is your main concern, we want to let you in on a little industry secret right up front: some homeowners are able to do their own mold remediation. See our blog post about Do It Yourself mold removal for more information on various cleaning methods and all natural alternatives to bleach and other chemical solutions. For many other people, however, the extent of mold infestation is so severe, they have no option but to search for mold cleanup services in Pennsylvania. When this becomes necessary, you want to make sure the job is done by a team of professionals who will complete it quickly and thoroughly.

What to Look for When Comparing Mold Cleanup Services in Pennsylvania

Consider the following criteria for evaluating and comparing the various companies who promise you the best mold removal services in Pennsylvania:mold cleanup services in pennsylvania, mold removal services in pennsylvania, mold cleanup in pennsylvania, mold removal in pennsylvania, mold remediation in pennsylvania, mold remediation services in pennsylvania

  • IAQA Membership: One of the easiest ways to determine whether or not a company is well equipped for mold remediation is to find out if they are a member of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). The IAQA helps to promote established guidelines for air quality, as well as mold diagnostic and cleanup services. Member companies frequently attend IAQA workshops to receive training and knowledge about best practices in mold removal.
  • Time Frame: Knowing when your mold cleanup will begin and end will help you schedule your work and other activities around the project, but this information will also reveal the expertise of the company giving you an estimate. If they do not have a good idea of the start and end date of your mold remediation, this is a sign that they may not be equipped to do a thorough job.
  • Transparency: A good, honest mold remediation company will fill you in on all of the details about the scope of the work that needs to be done in your home. Ask for information about how much work you can do by yourself in order to save money.

Advanced Mold Diagnostics offers services for detecting as well as removing mold from homes and businesses. Other mold removal services in Pennsylvania are separate entities from mold diagnostic companies, as offering both services may be seen as a conflict of interest. We believe that third party verification, along with the fact that we offer free advice for removing mold on your own, shows that there is no conflict of interest here. In fact, we encourage our customers to compare our services and fees with other companies, as this is a matter which affects the health of you and your family.

Contact Advanced Mold Diagnostics for more information on mold detection and remediation for your home or business.

07Jan 2014

Mold Facts that We Bet You Didn’t Know – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

Sure, you are familiar with mold. You have probably seen it a time or two growing on some old leftovers in your fridge or on an old loaf of bread. Mold is everywhere, in our homes, food, medications, and more. But even though you are familiar with mold, I bet that you do not know much more than the basics about it. This week, we want to provide you with a few obscure facts about mold that might further your knowledge about these creepy substance that is such a huge part of our lives.

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1)     Taking Vitamin D Supplements Can Help Fight Mold Allergies

Vitamin D, which is best synthesized by humans from exposure to sunlight, has been shown in studies to be an effective therapeutic agent to treat mold allergies. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common fungal organisms inhaled by people. This is a very common mold type and it often likes to set up shop in places like your bedroom pillows. These studies relating to Vitamin D were conducted using this mold type and turned up impressive results. Not only did the vitamin prevent the proteins that cause a reaction to the mold from being produced, but it also helps the body build up immunity to it.

2)     Dead Mold Spores are Just as Harmful as Live Ones

Many people believe that as long as mold is dead, that you have nothing to worry about. This is false.  Regardless if the mold spores are alive (viable) or dead (non-viable), they are still harmful to our lungs. So how do you get rid of the danger that mold presents? You have to completely remove it from your home. The best way to take care of this is to call a mold inspector to identify the source and then call a mold removal company to completely remove the mold in a contained environment to ensure that the spores do not spread further in the home.

3)     Spraying Bleach on Mold is Not a Good Idea

As most of us are taught at a young age, bleach is a cure all. Bleach can clean up anything and is supposed to kill off just about any unwanted disease or bacteria. In the case of mold however, it can do more harm than good on porous surfaces.  Why? Well, not only are you only just killing the mold off by spraying bleach on it, which we have already discussed still presents an issue, but you have disturbed the mold so the spores can move around the home more freely. Additionally, using bleach on porous surfaces leaves them nitrogen rich which is an ideal environment for microbial growth.

Mold is definitely something that we do not want in our homes or really even in our lives more than it has to be. Knowing a little bit more about it will help you better approach a mold situation with more rationality, and can also assist you in making decisions in regards to how to take care of it the right way. If you have questions or want to learn more about mold, contact a mold inspector. He or she should be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

11Dec 2013

Mold Removal: Do It Yourself – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

As we have already stated, almost all homes are susceptible to mold if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Mold was put on the planet to decompose dead organic materials. We build our homes out of dead organic materials like wood, plywood and paper faced gypsum so the recipe is missing just one ingredient, moisture. Mold is a biological contaminate in our homes that feeds off of the materials that are used to make all of the things that we use for building. And because of the way that we generally like to keep our homes, it is very easy for mold to grow. Some mold infestations are bigger than others, and some require more work for removal. While there are most certainly scenarios where a professional mold removal or remediation is needed, there are others that can be handled without the help of someone in the industry. If you are dealing with a small amount of mold growth in your home, here are four materials that you can use to take care of the issue on your own.

Soap and Water: Yes, simple soap and water will do the trick. Soap is a very effective biocide. This method is best used for areas of mold growth that are affecting the surface of materials in your home, and not coming through it to the surface. Scrubbing using a brush and soap and water can effectively remove the mold and will also keep it from reappearing as long as the area stays dry.

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Chlorine Bleach: Although not the best option, chlorine bleach can also help you remove the mold on non-porous surfaces you may have growing in your home. It contains sodium hypochlorite, a strong antibacterial, and has sterilizing and disinfecting properties. This combination makes it an effective way to remove mold growth. In order to use chlorine bleach for mold removal, mix about a cup of it into a gallon of water, making sure that it is all distributed evenly. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the mold. Again, make sure that you are using this only on surfaces that are non-porous, as porous materials will absorb the bleach and often react poorly.

Hydrogen Peroxide: This material is very effective on some porous surfaces. Before you reach into the medicine cabinet and grab the bottle that you may have there, be aware that you need a concentration of at least 15%. There are boosters (chemicals that create a reaction) that can increase the concentrate percentage up to 30%, but that’s best left to the professionals.

Tea Tree Oil: A more expensive, and uncommon way to remove mold, tea tree oil is often a very effective way to take care of the job yourself. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and an antiseptic, which makes it a very strong substance. Using tea tree oil in your home should be done with caution as if it is ingested; it can cause internal damage if it is in its pure form. To use, mix a teaspoon of the tea tree oil into two cups of water. Shake the ingredients together well. Spray the solution directly to the mold and let it dry out. Unlike bleach, tea tree oil is great for all surfaces.

White Distilled Vinegar: Vinegar is a great ingredient to remove the smell of mold and mildew from your home. It can also kill 82% of the mold growing in your home, which makes it an effective mold remedy solution. All you have to do is pour the vinegar directly onto the mold and let it sit and dry. The acidic odor from the vinegar will disappear over time as will the smell of the mold and mildew after a few hours.

These are just some of the ways that you can effectively remove mold from your home yourself. Keep in mind though that you may not be removing all of the mold that you have in your home by treating just the mold that you see. Mold removal can be a time consuming process, and one that is a lot larger than you realize, so if you suspect that your mold problem is larger than you might be able to see, call a mold removal professional.

20Nov 2013

Mold Removal Contractor Qualifications: IAQA Membership – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

When hiring a mold removal contractor, there are many things that you should look for in regards to their qualifications such as education, experience, and customer feedback. But, you should also pay attention to the professional memberships that he or she carries. In the mold remediation trade, one of the most reputable associations is the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). It is a good idea to have your contractor be a member of the IAQA. Here is a little bit of information about the association as well as a few reasons why your contractor should be a member.

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The IAQA was founded in 1995 in order to help create uniform standards in the Indoor Air Quality industry, which relates to indoor air quality, mold testing and removal. There are 30 chapters of the IAQA worldwide, including one right here in Philadelphia of which Advanced Mold Diagnostic’s owner, Craig Camel, is the president. These chapters hold 2-4 workshops each year where guest speakers are brought in so area members can be educated on new information as well as proper procedures for specific air quality issues. The association also holds an annual expo where members can get together and attend technical sessions as well as learn the industry’s latest news and techniques.

So why should your mold remediation contractor be a member?

For one, members learn about the proper ways in which to conduct the delicate procedures regarding indoor air quality, which again, relates to mold testing and removal. IAQA provides the proper education as well as continuing education to its members so that they are always up to date on the latest processes and procedures that are being used around the world in the mission to make the air quality of our homes better and safer.

In addition to educating its members, the IAQA also helps promote the standards for the industry, which are set by a different organization, the IICRC. These standards should be the guidelines that all mold remediation contractors are using in their work. Ensuring that your contractor is a member will in turn help ensure that he or she is using the proper standards in the mold removal work that they are doing for you.

The IAQA also is known to fund research and legislation efforts. The research and laws that are supported by the association are used in efforts to help further advance the indoor air quality industry. By hiring a member of the association to take care of your mold removal needs, you will be guaranteeing that your contractor is aware of the latest and greatest techniques in the industry to take care of your mold inspection and/or indoor air quality issues.

When searching for a mold remediation contractor to handle the job that relates to the indoor air quality of your home, remember to ask them about their IAQA membership. Having a simple “yes” as the answer to this question will ensure that you are getting the best inspection possible using the latest, up to standard techniques in the industry. For more information about the IAQA, visit their website: http://www.iaqa.org/, or contact your local chapter president. If you are in the Philadelphia area, call Advanced Mold Diagnostics’ Craig Camel at 1-610-328-4350.

14Nov 2013

Mold Growth Might Cause Parkinson’s-like Symptoms – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

Just down the road at Rutgers University, a recent study has concluded that mold growth may cause similar symptoms as Parkinson’s disease. The findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and how this team of researchers got to this conclusion regarding these shocking mold side effects is a fascinating story, and one that starts very close to home for the team leader, Joan Bennett.

Joan Bennett is Rutgers’ own resident fungus expert. Being a skeptic of “sick building syndrome,” which has been one of the main causes in the rise in mold inspections and mold remediation, she never fully supported the idea that the air inside of the places that we dwell can make us sick. Well, she was proved wrong.

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Owning a home in New Orleans, she definitely experienced one of the leading causes of severe in-home mold growth when Hurricane Katrina cause her home to flood in 2005. She did what any biologist would do, and decided to take samples of the growth in her home so she could study them in her temporary home, New Jersey. While she was collecting these samples, she noticed that she felt ill, experiencing nausea, dizziness, and headaches despite the fact that she was wearing a face mask and protective gear. This experience led to the new research discovery.

Her and her colleagues, while studying her samples discovered the fruit flies develop Parkinson’s like symptoms from a particular chemical that is emitted from the mold. Rutgers researchers exposed a crop of fruit flies to various mold types and recorded the reactions. One particular mold type, called mushroom alcohol by the Japanese scientist who discovered it had an immediate effect on the flies and all symptoms that all of the flies in the group exposed to this mold type mimicked Parkinson’s disease. Another chemical that these flies were exposed to showed the ability to block dopamine, the chemical that allows our nerves to function properly. This research is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what these mold related chemicals can do to us.

Because of these findings, her and her team is now examining the mold that was left behind in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Thus far, in her research, Bennett says that the different mold species that she has found amongst the growth in Sandy damaged homes have been different than those collected during Katrina. This is mainly due to the fact that the water conditions were different between the two storms, which created two completely different environments for mold to grow.

Bennett says that just because mold has these effects on people, it does not mean that you should panic over a small amount of household mold. Flooding, Nor’easters, and other natural disasters can cause the dangerous growth that she hypothesizes it would take in order to have the same effects on humans.

That being said, there are people out there who have suffered damage from natural or man-caused disasters and have not had their homes inspected or repaired. If you fall into this category, after reading this article, we hope that you realize how important it is to have a mold inspection on your home. Do not delay this any longer for your safety as well as the safety of your family.

30Oct 2013

Advanced Mold Diagnostics, LLC is an environmental consulting company located in Broomall, Pennsylvania.

Mold, as unsavory as it is, is a substance that can be found in at least some quantities in most homes. But, mold is never just mold. There are 100,000 and counting different species of mold that occur naturally and many of these can also be found in your home. Some mold varieties are not very trying on our bodies, while others can cause very serious health issues. Here are just a few of the most common types of mold that might be found in your home after a mold inspection.

Penicillium: There are over three hundred different species of Penicillium that you might find in your home.  Most people have been exposed to at least one species of this mold in one way or another, as it is a major component of many common foods and medications. This mold is an allergenic mold, and despite its medical claims to fame, can cause many diseases in humans. This type of mold often grows on building materials when they get wet or the humidity is elevated as well as in soil or on food. It is sometimes found in dust too.

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Cladosporium: This mold is one of the most common molds on the planet. This type of mold is a black or green powdery substance. It is often found on food, dead plants or things that are made out of dead organic materials, (like modern day houses), paint and in fiberglass air ducts. It can cause many issues in humans including skin rashes, pulmonary conditions, asthma, and even nail fungus.

Memnoniella: This is one of the most common types of mold found in homes seeing that it grows on materials that we all have and use in our daily lives. This type grows on cotton, paper, and wood products. It can also develop toxins that are unsafe for both humans and animals.

Stachybotrys: This is a much discussed and misunderstood mold type, which is more commonly known by the name of toxic black mold. This species is what is defined as an indicator species. Knowing that it requires very high water activity in order to grow suggests that there is flooding or a leak in the home that is sustaining it. As you might already know, it is slimy and blackish in color, and is often found within the structure of the home. It grows on walls and ceilings, most often behind them, so it goes unseen and it has been known to cause asthma, headaches, and in extreme cases, cancer.

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Mucor: This mold type can be seen in homes and is most often found in animal waste as well as soil and common household dust. If you have a weak immune system, it is easy to develop a lung infection if you are exposed to this type of mold.

Alternaria: This type of mold is also an allergenic mold. It is usually found outside in soil and on plants. Inhaling this type of mold can cause serious asthmatic reactions as well as hay fever and other allergy related problems.

The only way to know for sure what type of mold is growing in your home is to have your home mold tested. Getting a professional mold inspection will ensure that you know exactly what is going on in your home in regards to mold growth and will guide you on to what the next steps are to remove it. Regardless of what type of mold is growing in your home, it is important that you get it removed so that the health effects, regardless of severity do not affect you or your loved ones.

08Oct 2013

Common Mold Removal Techniques – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

Almost all homes are susceptible to mold. Because we as humans tend to live in cool, moist environments, it is easy for mold to grow on the materials that make up the dwellings in which we live. But, unfortunately, though a common problem, mold is something that you definitely do not want in your home. Mold affects the structure of our homes as well as our health.

So how do you go about mold removal? Well, the first step is to call a professional. The mold that you can actually see may not be all of the mold that is present in the home. Mold may be growing within the inner cavities of your walls, so scrubbing it off the surface may not solve the problem.

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Next, it is important to understand the different types of tactics that professionals use to remove mold in your home. The majority of mold remediation contractors use chemicals and stain removers to take care of the problem. It is important to understand a little bit about the chemicals that are being used in your home. Make sure that you ask questions about the effects that these products will have on you and your health. You should request an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on any mold removal products that will be used in your home. Also make sure that you ask your contractor questions about how these products will react with the mold that is present. If your contractor cannot answer questions like these, you might want to consider finding one who can because some people react adversely to some products.

Another very popular method of removing mold is dry ice blasting. This is a very abrasive procedure that involves literally blasting the affected areas with dry ice particles to remove the mold. It is important that when hiring a contractor that uses this method to do your research. Dry ice blasting is a risky method that if not done correctly, can cause health concerns. Dry ice converts into a gas, carbon dioxide, once it is no longer in its solid state, and too much CO2 can be a problem in addition to the potential of cross-contamination that this method creates. The process of dry ice blasting makes the microscopic particles even smaller, harder to remove spores will travel and create regrowth.

Some technicians prefer to use a common bleach mixture and a nylon brush for scrubbing. This method is a little old fashioned and is only effective on non-porous surfaces. Keep in mind that bleach is not an EPA registered disinfectant to kill mold so again, do your research. Making sure that you have a reputable contractor take care of your mold removal needs is crucial to the permanent mold removal of your home.

No matter how you remove the mold, it is everyone’s wish to make sure that it stays gone. The professional that you hire should be able to tell you exactly what caused the mold growth in your home and how to prevent future growth. Sometimes the solution is as simple as fixing a leak or using a dehumidifier. Whatever the case may be, it is important that you follow the advice that you receive because the mold may grow back if you don’t, costing you even more money and lost time.

Ensure that you receive proper mold removal by calling a professional today, and doing your research. Keep the mold away by following the after treatment instructions that you receive, and you will live in a comfortable, mold free environment.

04Oct 2013

Home Mold Inspection: How to Determine if You Have a Mold Problem? – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

Owning a home is a great accomplishment and one that you should be very proud of, especially in the tough times that we face as a country today.  But when owning a home, it is important that you know what problems you may face regarding potential home repairs. A hot button issue, especially in areas that have the perfect conditions for it, like the northeastern United States., is mold.

Mold’s purpose, other than ruining the loaf of bread that you were going to use to make a PB&J, is to breakdown dead, organic matter. So knowing this information, think about what homes are made of. If you guessed dead, organic matter, you would be correct! So if conditions are right, your home is the perfect place for mold to grow, and just like you do not want fuzzy bread, you do not want mold in your home.

So how can you tell if mold is growing in your home?

Some of the signs of mold growth are obvious. Mold is often visible, especially in places that have been directly touched by water. For example, if your home has a leak of any kind and water is touching the surface, because the leak is providing a constant supply of water, the area never dries and you will be able to see the discoloration that is caused by mold growth. Other cases create environments where mold will actually start to grow on your personal belongings from furniture to clothing.

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Other instances of in home mold require further testing, and you may not even know you are suffering from the problem. If you start to notice a strange odor in your home, one that is musty or reminiscent of mildew, you might have some mold growth within the structure of your house. One of the scarier facts regarding mold that you can smell but not see is the fact that you will have no idea until you remove wall coverings, etc. just how severe the situation is.

Regardless of whether you see mold or you smell it, it is crucial that you get your home tested. Mold cleanup is not only important for the aesthetic environment of your house, but also for your health and the structural integrity of your home. Breathing in mold spores can affect young children, allergy sufferers, those who are immune compromised, and if the mold is bad enough, perfectly healthy adults. Mold can also ruin expensive items in your home, as well as cause thousands of dollars in building material damage. Getting your home tested for mold now can help you save a lot of money in the long run.

If you are seeing or smelling mold in your home, call a professional for a mold inspection as soon as possible. With proper testing and removal, you will be able to save your health, money, and peace of mind. Make sure that whoever you choose to call for your potential mold removal/remediation is certified. Knowing that mold grows and the places it grows is often not enough. Having knowledge of the actual chemistry involved with both the mold growth as well as how the products used for cleanup will react to the mold is crucial for proper mold remediation. A mold inspector without this knowledge puts you at risk for an incomplete or improperly done job.

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