If the test results are positive for lead, you can’t sand, paint, scrape or destroy without having an abatement done by an EPA licensed lead paint remediator. It’s possible to simply patch or paint over the contaminated surfaces, provided you don’t disturb any lead paint. That means you can’t sand, not even a little. In fact, the EPA considers encapsulation–covering lead paint with another layer of paint–a safe remediation.

If the test results are negative, it is a good idea to conduct additional tests in order to confirm that there is no lead. Hansen said, “If you have any doubts at ALL, call in an expert.” It is important to find a contractor and/or testing professional who have a lead-safe certificate from the EPA. The agency maintains a state-by-state database that Asbestos Testing New allows you to search for approved professionals. In terms of our health, the term “Black Mold” refers to molds which can produce toxic substances (specifically mycotoxins), like groups of molds known under Stachybotrys. When these kinds of mold exist, mycotoxins won’t always be produced. Simply put, mycotoxins do not always exist in the presence of mold. It is not clear what the conditions for the production of mycotoxins are. Other than Stachybotrys, mycotoxins may be produced by other types molds. These molds aren’t always black. However, all visible molds must be removed regardless of their color. (We’ll discuss the removal tips in “Mold Remediation & Mold Removal” in the next section.

Mold is an organism found in nature that has many useful functions. It helps make cheeses and antibiotics such Penicillin, by breaking down organic matter. If mold is found in excessive amounts, it becomes a problem. It is important to remove and remediate mold. Molds reproduce through the release of microscopic, airborne spores. These spores can then find their way to any surface. Molds can grow on any surface, including most building materials, such as wood, insulation, and drywall. These molds will grow into active colonies if there is enough water.

Most cases of visible mold growth are not worth sampling. Samples cannot be used for checking compliance to federal mold standards because there have not been any federal limits or EPAs set for mold. A surface sample may be used to check if the area has been cleaned up or remedied. Mold sampling should only be done by experts who have experience in developing sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpretive results. Analytical methods for sample analysis should be followed by the American Industrial Hygiene Association or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, or any other professional organization.

This document contains enough information for most building owners to conduct their own mold investigation, mold testing and cleanup. Do-it yourselfers should be careful about what can go wrong. Have you read HIRE a PROFESSIONAL yet? Do it now

We encourage healthy people, who are not at risk, to tackle small mold problems on their own. It doesn’t take a professional to clean moldy bathtub tiles or moldy drywall square feet. You should not attempt to clean up moldy bath tiles or drywall by yourself. If the problem becomes too severe, it is best to contact a professional. Even if there is no visible mold on the surface of the building, you can find mold-producing conditions and events such as traces in walls or ceilings that may indicate that there may be a problem.

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