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Molds photographed using a microscope.
Are your indoor mold levels higher than those outside?
Mold Inspection
     


       
       
       
       
         
         
         
           

Bye Bye Mold ™ is dedicated to the detection and prevention of
mold--including toxic varieties--in your indoor environment.


To preview images, place mouse pointer on item in the "Areas", "Samples", or "Tools" lists; click to view large-size image.

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Protimeter is a brand name of Protimeter plc, part of GE Industrial Systems.

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Note:  in the context above, the word "flu" should be spelled "flue"; this will be corrected with the next update.

 
 
 
Your Best Choice

Bye Bye Mold ™ is on the leading edge in providing scientifically proven testing methods for the utmost in mold testing and mold inspection quality.
Mycotoxins

Tests have shown that some molds produce toxic substances--mycotoxins--and they are found, primarily, on the spores.
Isavuconazonium
Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure.
A year after Sandy, mold a lingering problem for buildings, health
Dampness and mould in schools and respiratory symptoms in children: the HITEA study
Correlation Between Alt a 1 Levels and Clinical Symptoms in Alternaria alternata– Monosensitized Patients
 

Mold in the News

Isavuconazonium

Isavuconazonium, aka Cresemba

Click here to view featured article.

 

Affirmation

Bye Bye Mold ™ is a company dedicated to the detection and prevention of mold in your indoor environment. Accordingly, we provide professional services for mold inspection, mold testing, and mold preventive maintenance. Our rigorous and scientifically proven procedures assure you of the highest degree of reliability in accurate results--revealing even those mold varieties that produce toxic substances. These testing protocols are updated regularly to keep up with the most current methods set forth by experts and laboratories.

Ask our competition if they carry standard and professional liability insurance; Bye Bye Mold does.

We are committed to serving the customer with professionalism, kindness and respect.

Bye Bye Mold ™
founder, George Hatcher, Sr., talks about his company's exhaustive services and customer benefits.

 

Mold and Your Health

Because molds produce allergens and irritants, it is common for exposed individuals to experience:
· hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, a runny nose and red eyes
· a skin rash
· irritated eyes, nose, throat and lungs

However, numerous molds --commonly called "toxic mold"-- also produce poisonous substances, primarily associated with their spores, called mycotoxins (mycology is the branch of botany dealing with fungi). Disruptive to our cell structures and cell processes, these toxins have the potential to cause serious harm. Their effects to the human body have been documented using controlled, laboratory conditions. In our everyday indoor environment there is less certainty of symptoms causality, but it is important to note that mycotoxins were proven to be present indoors with victims suffering from:
· pulmonary hemorrhage or pulmonary hemosiderosis (primarily in infants, though it can occur in adults)
· nose bleeds
· immune system suppression (resulting in increasing numbers of infections)
· hair loss
· dermatitis
· chronic fatigue
· psychological depression
· diarrhea
· sore throats
· headaches and other flu-like symptoms

Other symptoms associated with mold include:
· cognitive disorder
· "burning" eyes
· blurred vision
· respiratory illness
· chest pains
· chest tightness
· breathing problems
· shortness of breath
· wheezing
· dry cough
· nasal congestion
· aggravated asthma

For further information, please see our sections, " The Doctor Says.. " , and " Mold Glossary " ;
comments from Certified Property Mold Specialist, George Hatcher, on Stachybotrys sp.;
" Is Indoor Mold Contamination a Threat to Health? " (by Harriet M. Ammann, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.).

Recent evidence suggests mold's involvement in history that may surprise you:
" New Suspects in Cold Cases " .

Interestingly, the health of the ancient Israelites was protected by the application of laws concerning mold, as explained at " The First Mold Inspector " .

For information on relevant legislation at the federal and state level please see our " Mold Legislation " page.

Additional mold information can be found at our " Mold Links " section.

 

 

Mold Testing and Mold Inspection

Our mold inspection (sometimes referred to as a mold assessment or mold survey) of homes and commercial buildings is performed adhering to standard methods, practices, and protocols of the Certified Mold Inspectors & Contractors Institute and the EAA, Environmental Assessment Association. It encompasses a wide range of data sources, giving you the most accurate conclusions possible.

Precautions
To protect your property from accidental contamination, our field technicians put on new full shoe coverings (booties) before entering your premises. And you will notice their safety suits and respirators they utilize to protect themselves from possible toxin contact.

Visual Inspection
Because mold cannot live without moisture, sources of moisture are one of the focal points of our investigation. During the thorough visual inspection of your structure ( including the attic, crawl spaces and basement) we examine:
· heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems
· the moisture content of floors, walls and ceilings--even beneath surfaces--using a non-invasive moisture meter
· the humidity of the indoor air, using a properly calibrated meter
· all water-damaged areas

Also available:
· an examination of moisture barriers for proper installation and condensation occurrence, via a fiber optics   scope and existing wall openings (whenever possible)
· discovery of the point of water intrusion in water-damaged areas
· a definitive report of adjacent and contiguous property contamination sources
· an assessment of property damage

Specimen Collection
Your field representative's training ensures that, throughout this portion of the inspection, there is consistency in collection protocols, minimizing the possibility of sample contamination. Specialized equipment allows us to collect specimens from:

Indoor Air
It is primarily these samples that determine airborne mold spore counts. [Proximate outdoor air is also tested for the control sample 1.] For reliable results, the equipment used includes a controlled volume air pump, which draws air through an Air-O-Cell™ cassette (spore trap) at 15 liters per minute (lpm). Pump controls are adjusted using a field rotameter that has been calibrated to a primary standard. Spore trap test results are reported as the number of spores found per cubic meter of air. Spore trap air samples are not cultured, and test results include counts of both living and dead* spores (as well as pollen). This test is referred to as a “snapshot” of the air at the exact time of sampling, and is used to determine the mold genera that are present.

In special cases where the species of mold needs to be identified, air is sampled with the intent of culturing live spores. A spore collection plate that contains a growth medium is placed in a viable impactor (microbial particle sampler) and the attached air-sampling pump is adjusted to 28.3 liters per minute. Air is directed, through precise apertures, onto the growth medium, and one hour of natural spore settling time is replicated in five minutes. Cultured sample results indicate the number of viable spores in the air at the time of sampling.

[* It is important to note that allergic reactions can come from dead spores and living spores alike. In addition, the toxins that fungal spores produce remain toxic after the spore itself has died.]

Additional air sampling information from the desk of George Hatcher .

Wall Interior Air
Moisture meter readings of an elevated moisture content of the wall material make it a candidate for this type of testing, especially when it is drywall (the paper covering is vulnerable to consumption from mold growth). Samples are collected using the WallChek® system, providing an adapter for an Air-O-Cell™ cassette, and utilizing a small ¼ inch tubing, which is inserted into the wall. Air sampling pumps set at 15 liters per minute (lpm) draw air from the wall cavity for, normally, two minutes, for a total of 30 liters.

suspect surfaces
Here we use a swab or tape.

carpeting
Carpet samples are collected with a system called DustChek™, developed as a sampling and analysis technology for the enumeration and identification of both total and viable fungal spores in dust. The system involves sweeping carpeting with a vacuum that has a DustChek™ assembly attached. The collected dust can be analyzed for total and viable fungal spores, as well as allergens. After the collection is complete, the DustChek™ receptacle is securely capped to prevent external contamination.

small pieces of contaminated material
Sometimes it is necessary to remove a small portion of the material affected (e.g., wall board, insulation, etc.). These are collected without marring appearances, whenever possible.

water from condensate drain pans or cooling towers
This can be an indicator of contamination at the water source.

Specimens Destinations
After the collection procedure is accomplished, we'll confer with you concerning which samples should be microscopically examined by a certified laboratory, allowing us to determine the genus of the mold sampled. This is necessary because unmagnified appearances may not be reliable indicators. While certain colors may suggest the presence of a toxic mold (for example, the purple and green sheen sometimes associated with Stachybotrys sp.), varieties may not always exhibit the same colors. Black mold, white mold, green mold, etc., all require scrutiny along with scientific methodology to ascertain if the sampled mold is a genus known to produce mycotoxins.

You pay an analysis fee only for the samples sent to the laboratory. There is no charge for those not sent. Those not sent will be placed in a special culturing area. Their mold growth progress will be noted visually, and documented.

For those samples chosen for the laboratory, a "chain of custody" form is completed by our field representative and the specimens media is carefully packaged and sent. Three days after the laboratory receives the samples, their microscopy technician will send Bye Bye Mold ™ a written report, which is immediately forwarded to you.

Laboratory Results
The specimens analysis report (an example can be seen here) is interpreted for you, following industry-standard analytical methods. The report includes quantitative findings for each of the following fungal spore varieties. The fungal genera (plural for genus) are italicized:
· Alternaria
· amerospores
· Arthrinium
· ascospores
· Aspergillus/Penicillium-like
· Aureobasidium
· basidiospores
· Bipolaris/Dreschlera
· Botrytis
· Chaetomium
· Cladosporium
· conidia, unidentified
· Curvularia
· Epicoccum
· Fusarium
· Memnoniella
· Nigrospora
· Oidium/Peronospora
· Pithomyces/Ulocladium
· rusts
· smuts/Myxomycetes/Periconia
· Stachybotrys
· Stemphylium
· Torula

Mold Inspection Report (Not available in all areas.)
You also receive the added benefit of a unique written compilation of all procedures and findings. Investigative methods, laboratory results, and your field representative's recommendations are documented in a comprehensive report averaging eighteen pages in length. Because of the proprietary nature of the report the preview is limited to the Table of Contents .

Benefits
· occupants discover whether there is toxic mold
· property owners protect their investment
· doctors find assistance with their diagnosis
· lawyers can show an association between mold and an illness
· real estate brokers can present "mold-neutral" properties (waivers may be insufficient litigation protection)
· employers increase productivity

Remediation

Here at Bye Bye Mold ™, our services are restricted to mold assessment and mold testing, but we understand that sometimes mold removal is required.  To assist you with these efforts, we offer the following information:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to vacate my home during the mold cleanup?
Generally, mold remediation does not compel you to temporarily move out of your home.  This is because the work area is enclosed in plastic sheeting (forming an air containment), and isolated from the remainder of the house.  Exceptions include the remediation of a critical room, such as the kitchen or the sole bathroom of the dwelling.  For example, if your house or apartment has only one bathroom (and that room requires remediation) it may be necessary for you to arrange for temporary quarters elsewhere.  Individual room mold abatement can typically take four to ten days to complete (your contractor's schedule may vary from this), and will not be accessible by you during that time.  Other work condition considerations are covered in the next question.

What conditions can I expect to encounter during the mold removal?
While working in the containment, remediation workers will wear Tyvek® suits (made of white tear-resistant paper that provides a dry particulate barrier) and air filtering respirators.  Moldy and water damaged materials will need to be removed from the premises.  All affected wood studs will be "scrubbed" (sanded) to remove discoloration, vacuumed with a vacuum cleaner (HEPA filter equipped), and then sprayed with a fungicide.  Air-moving blowers called "negative air machines" take in air from the containment and are exhausted to the outside.  These blowers can also be used as air "scrubbers" to filter out mold spores while recirculating air.  Dehumidifiers may also be used to remove moisture from the structure.  These machines make a loud noise, and some must run constantly for the duration of the remediation and post-remediation testing periods.

Why must I test for mold again after the remediation?
It is very important to verify the effectiveness of the cleanup.  Work can be evaluated using what is called post-remediation sampling, or clearance sampling.  The clearance inspection and sampling are performed after the remediation is complete, but before the rebuilding (restoration) of the affected area.  If the clearance testing fails, more cleaning and remediation will be required, and another round of clearance testing will be needed.   Each of these add to the cost of the remediation, so it is important to have written legal documentation that clearly states who will be responsible for paying for all additional remediation and all necessary post-remediation sampling.  When the post-remediation sampling test results are satisfactory, the Post-Remediation Sampling Report provides professional third party documentation that the mold was effectively and completely removed.

Mold Abatement Protocol Example

A detailed example of mold remediation (or mold abatement) procedures can be found here.

Additional Information

Bona fide mold remediation contractors would base their decontamination and disposal recommendations on the following:
· the genus of mold discovered
· the extent of the contamination
· heating, ventilation and air conditioning contamination
· the sensitivity of occupants (some suffer from severe allergies or asthma)

In an effort to prevent mold regrowth in remediated areas, some contractors utilize an anti-fungal paint, which encapsulates the effected building materials (see images).

Additional information on this subject, to list just a couple of examples, can be found at the following Web pages:
· " Table 1: Water Damage - Cleanup and Mold Prevention " and " Table 2: Guidelines for Remediating Building Materials with Mold Growth Caused by Clean Water " from the Environmental Protection Agency

· " Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments " from the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Environmental & Occupational Disease Epidemiology

 

 

Preventive Maintenance

Already have your "mold-neutral" documentation? Congratulations! Please consider Bye Bye Mold ™ for our "Keep That Mold Controlled" maintenance programs, designed for mold prevention. These help assure that, with regular checkups, you will be able to manage potential problems before they escalate, thus sustaining environmental wellness throughout your building's long life.

 

 

Certifications

Credentials alone do not separate us from our competitors. We believe experience to be the best credential, and, having collected thousands of mold samples for laboratory analysis, we know that each day's challenges compel us to adapt--to improve-- making us better inspectors.

· CPMS, Certified Property Mold Specialist

· CEI, Certified Environmental Inspector

· CES, Certified Environmental Specialist

· CTS, Certified Testing Specialist

· CMI, Certified Mold Inspector

· CMS, Certified Mold Specialist

· CEC, Certified Environmental Consultant

* CIH, Certified Industrial Hygienist (available, if your project requires it)

 

Additional Certifications:

· Mold Testing

· Mold Remediation

· Mold Maintenance

 

A Member of:

Better Business Bureau        ( BBB Report ) (Los Angeles area BBB: http://www.bbbsouthland.org/)

 

Environmental Assessment Association      (listed under the name: Hatcher, George, Woodland Hills, California)

 

Environmental Information Association      The Environmental Information Association.

 

Indoor Air Quality Association, Inc.        (  Membership page. ) ( View membership certificate. )

 

Also a Member of:

· Certified Mold Inspectors & Contractors Institute

 

 

Service Areas

With the assistance of our our nation-wide community of associated, qualified agents we are able to service the 48 contiguous states of the United States (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming). Please see our " Service Areas " page for a special invitation to the San Francisco area.

 

 

Contact Information

Telephone: 1 (800) 686-1992

E-mail: George@ByeByeMold.com

Request-a-Phone-Call@ByeByeMold.com
If you prefer, you can request a return phone call via e-mail (we do our best to return all calls within the hour unless you request another time). Your name & phone number are all that we need for the return call. However, if you have time to jot down a few more details (for example, the city & state where the property is located, visible water damage or mold growth, or any health problems you may be experiencing) feel free to do so. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Footnotes

mold-neutral:
At time of testing, indoor mold spore counts are not significantly higher than outdoor mold spore counts.

1.  The outdoor sample establishes a baseline for comparative evaluation of the indoor air samples. Because there are no federal standards for mold spore count levels in residences, schools, or other buildings, the mold inspection industry guidelines are derived from NYC (New York City) standards and the ACGIH
(American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists).

Naturally occurring biological materials such as mold, fungus, and pollen are not regulated by any government agency, and have no regulatory exposure limits. Current acceptable industry practice as explained in the previous paragraph, provides that if the mold measured in indoor air is substantially different from the mold measured in outdoor air, the indoor air quality is considered to be degraded. If the indoor air samples show elevated levels of mold spores (or inconsistent types of mold), such samples are considered positive for mold. Positive samples indicate the need for additional investigation, supplemental testing, or corrective measures. The theory is that any mold in the house comes from outdoors. If there is more indoors, it must come from indoors.

Air-O-Cell™ is a trademark of Zefon International, Inc.
DustChek™ and WallChek® are trademarks of Aerotech Laboratories, Inc.
Tyvek® is a registered trademark of DuPont.

 
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