Q: There’s a terrible musty odor in the entranceway of our new store. On some days it is so bad that I have to hold my breath when I open the door. I’ve washed the floor and walls and aired out the space, but nothing seems to work. Can anyone find out the cause of this terrible problem?
A: We can often find mold growth that other people may not have noticed because we know where to look and sample. And sometimes, other things can create a smell that can be mistaken for mold. We know how to track air flows that can carry musty odors from other parts of a building, so we can follow the “odor trail” to its potential sources.
Q: The air conditioning in my office smells like sweat socks. Why?
A: We can test air and dust samples from the air conveyance system to see if it is contaminated with microbial growth.
Q: I’m a teacher, and every morning when I get to my classroom, there is dust covering my desk. I clean it up, and the next morning, the dust is there again. I’m worried about what the dust may contain, and I want to know where it’s coming from.
A: Dust can come from heating and cooling systems, renovation work, or crumbling ceiling tiles. We can take samples to identify some of the contents of the dust, and this will help us find the source of the dust and identify ways to minimize its spread.
Q: I’ve got mold growing on one of the walls in my finished basement. I keep wiping it off, but it keeps growing back. Can you help me?
A: If you’ve got visible mold on one wall, there’s a chance that there is also mold growing in other areas of the basement. And mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours if the conditions are right. We can give you guidance on eradicating the mold and then on changing the conditions that could encourage the mold growth to reoccur.
Q: I’ve got black mold in my attic. What do I have to do to get rid of it?
A: Mold grows in attics primarily because of elevated levels of moisture and not simply inadequate ventilation. We can investigate the initial causes that led to the mold growth and make recommendations to avoid mold problems in the future.
POOR INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Q: I own my own business, and one of my employees seems to think that there is something in the office that is making her cough. No one else who works there has a problem. Can there really be something the matter with the quality of the indoor air when she is the only one who seems to be suffering?
A: Yes, there can be a problem with the indoor air even if only one person is experiencing discomfort. If the problem is not identified and eradicated, more people may suffer such symptoms in the future.
Q: Our daughter is allergic to dust mites and mold, and we’ve done everything we can to keep our home dust and mold-free. Still, she suffers symptoms at home, especially in her bedroom and the basement family room, and she feels better when we are away from the house on vacation or visiting her grandparents. Can you help us?
A: Often the triggers for asthma and allergy symptoms are microscopic. We can gather samples of dust trapped in carpeting, bedding, the heating system, and other places in your home to see if we can identify the locations of mold growth and dust mite infestations that might be triggering your daughter’s symptoms.