Mold Testing and Removal FAQ


There are hundreds of species of molds, some of which release toxins. Any mold can be hazardous to the health of someone with mold allergies. Some molds produce toxins that can cause severe health problems when the molds or mold spores are touched, ingested, or inhaled.

What is mold?

Molds, including mildew, are microscopic fungi that typically grow where it is damp and moist. There are hundreds of species, in a variety of colors. Some molds produce toxins that can cause severe health problems when the molds or mold spores are touched, ingested, or inhaled.

Do I need to worry about mold in my home or office?

Some mold types can cause health problems ranging from allergies to serious illnesses. Molds release spores into the air, which, if inhaled, can cause congestion, sneezing, runny or itchy nose, and throat irritation. More serious symptoms include major allergy attacks, cough, asthma attacks, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a pneumonia-like illness), and even infections in people with immune system problems. Mold can cause allergic reactions whether it’s dead or alive. Some molds also produce toxins that are dangerous to people and pets, and can result in neurological illnesses. Because dead mold may still cause allergic reactions, it is not enough to simply kill the mold, you must also remove it.

Molds can adversely affect buildings and possessions as well. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. Ceiling tiles, books, carpet, and other porous materials may need to be discarded if they become moldy. Even if mold is removed from a cleanable surface, it can leave staining.

Can mold growth occur without me knowing it?

Mold growth can occur anytime excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials. Flooding, leaks, condensation, or high humidity can all cause mold. Mold can hide inside ductwork, behind wallpaper, within drywall, under carpets, or above ceiling tiles. Consider having your building inspected for mold by a certified mold specialist if your building smells moldy, or if there has been water damage.

What do I do if I suspect a hidden mold problem?

Investigating a hidden mold problem requires extreme caution. If you disturb an area with mold growth, you risk a massive release of spores that could spread through the building and create a health hazard. If you need to remove wallpaper or other material that may be contaminated by mold, call Alliance Environmental Services. They are highly trained and properly certified to inspect your building for molds and safely remove any moldy materials.

How can I protect myself from mold in my home?

Mold spores are everywhere; it is impossible to rid your home and office of all them. However, mold needs moisture to grow. Your best way to prevent mold from growing is to control moisture in your home. Ensure there is adequate ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen, and fix leaks immediately. If your home becomes flooded, immediately hire a qualified professional to dry it out properly and prevent mold from starting.

If you see mold, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading and releasing spores throughout the house. Remove items that can’t be cleaned of mold from your home immediately. Once mold enters the interior of a wall or the insulation, the EPA recommends seeking the help of a certified professional specializing in mold removal such as Alliance Environmental Services.

Why are absorbent items a special concern?

It is common for mold to contaminate porous items such as mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals, upholstery, wallpaper, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, clothing, wood, etc. Mold can fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials making the mold difficult or impossible to remove completely. These items can hold spores and remain a source of mold growth for years.

What do I do if I see mold that is black in my home?

Known as the “silent killer,” the black stachybotry mold can release toxins under the right conditions. However, not all black molds are the stachybotry type. If you discover a black mold that you suspect is toxic, avoid contact with the mold on your skin, and do not disturb it to avoid releasing toxic spores into the air where you or another person can inhale them. Call Alliance Environmental Services, Inc. to have the mold tested to determine whether there is a need for special removal treatment, containment, and/or remediation.

What do I do if my central heating and air smells moldy?

If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold, or if there is mold near the intake to the system), do not run the HVAC system. It could spread mold throughout the building. Contact Alliance Environmental Services, Inc. to investigate and remediate any potential mold hazard.

What do I do after a flood?

It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Both the EPA and the Natural Resource Defense recommends consulting a licensed environmental services company, such as Alliance Environmental, to clean up a building after flooding, especially if there is contamination from sewage or hazardous chemicals or if there are materials that could contain asbestos.

It doesn’t take a lot of water to create damage and mold problems. Alliance Environmental Services, Inc. has extensive experience in drying homes to prevent mold growth. In the case of flooding, we use rapid extraction devices to quickly remove water. We use high-powered fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters to remove any remaining moisture from walls and other building materials. We take up wet carpets and safely dry them outside the house, and then we treat them with anti-fungal agents to prevent mold growth. If the building requires any restoration after everything is thoroughly dried, we are a licensed contractor and can help you every step of the way.

Time is essential! If your home becomes flooded, call (530) 345-8562 immediately. We are IICRC Water Restoration Certified and are highly trained in water extraction and clean up services. Our emergency services are available 24 hours a day.

When should I have a building inspected for mold?

Call Alliance Environmental Services, Inc. to inspect whether there are any visible or hidden mold issues before you purchase a building. You may also have your home or office inspected for mold anytime you suspect that you might have a hidden mold problem because of smells or water damage.

We will give you a complete report of any mold found as well as moisture issues that may increase the risk of mold growth. The report includes recommendations to eliminate the problem and prevent it from returning.

Where do you send air and swab samples?

We send all samples to a certified and properly licensed laboratory for analysis.

Do you clean carpets?

Environmental services has been our only focus for over 25 years. We are not, and have never been, carpet cleaners.

Why should I call Alliance Environmental Services, Inc. about my mold problem?

We were one of the first companies to obtain NAMP mold inspection/remediation certification in Northern California, and we have over 25 years experience in mold prevention, removal, and remediation.

We have the expertise, experience, and specialized equipment to safely eliminate your mold problem.

We take air samples to confirm the mold is gone to protect you and your family from liability and health issues in the future.  Then we offer a solution to eliminate moisture, improve ventilation, and reduce humidity to create an environment that prevents your mold problem from returning.

Mold is not something you should ignore!

Protect your investment, your health, and your liability. Call (530) 345-8562 to schedule a mold inspection today.

We are also a licensed asbestos abatement contractor and can remove mold contaminated materials containing asbestos.