water damage

What is the relation between mold and asbestos in water damage and remediation?

Everyone has an idea about water damage industry and asbestos industry. In the first case, we face damage caused by water and possible mold problems as side effects of water intrusion. With asbestos, everyone has heard or read about the dangers and risk of exposure affecting health. While mold causes allergy and other immediate symptoms, asbestos can trigger a cancerous process decades after exposure. Both mold and asbestos are harmful to health at different scales. But what is the relation that these two materials have in common and in which case is it important to be attentive to both? Let’s break this down. Mold arises when an abnormal source of moisture exists in the property, Excessive moisture it’s the key factor for mold growth. Often it can develop in non-visible places and releases spores causing allergy and other undesirable reactions to the human body.

In some situations, it’s time to contact a contractor or a mold remediation company. When these companies take action, there may be a need to cut sheetrock walls, remove paint, carpet, flooring and several other materials, just to mention. In this case, some materials may contain asbestos. Asbestos does not cause any danger as long as it is not disturbed. In the case of remediation, when construction elements of the property are disturbed, it is just the case. In fact, the mold will be remedied, but assuming there has been materials disturbed, you may be exposed or have been exposed not only to mold spores but also asbestos fibers, which in the second case are invisible to the naked eye. Unfortunately, many remediation companies only address the aesthetic problem of property, and put aside the health issues in the process.

Another very important element is the fact that there is a conflict of interest among remediation companies and the property when it comes to test to find out possible contamination. You may have heard or read: “well, if you can see mold, there is mold” but could you tell the extent of possible contamination your property might be exposed? The answer to this question can only be answered through laboratory testing. Another important point is that the remediation company will always want the test flag as positive to retain remediation work. This interest will be the opposite, after job completion, due the clearance of any air contamination. To avoid the ethical and conflict of interest, always hire a third party to test the air on your property. For instance, is not coincidence that several states prohibit a company to combine mold/asbestos remediation with inspection and test.

If you want you and your family to be health assured, always consider hiring a third party company for remediation process of your property. If your property will be disturbed, consider also asbestos testing.

Mold facts