Question:
> Message: Kitchen air tested; 3000 Penicillium, Aspergillus, mold spores per cubic meter of air.
> Is this a dangerous level that we could erradicate ourselves with
> cabinet removal and drywall replacement plus chemcial treatment?
Answer 
Airborne spore level information from the center of a room alone tells you very little about likely conditions on your walls, behind cabinets, or in your walls, you cannot use air born spore info to tell you about the difficulty of a mold removal job because such data is only a very small part of the big picture.
  • You also have to consider very roughly how much wall area is covered with mold, is very large amounts of mold possibly hidden in the walls?
  • Is an AC return near your work area that could pull contamination in during removal?
  • Are the workers wearing proper protection to prevent something called organic dust  toxic syndrome or other problems?
  • Are you sure the workers do not have asthma, or immune system problems?
  • Do you have dehumidifiers to dry the interior wall voids?
  • And of course has the initial moisture intrusion problem been discovered and repaired?
If the contamination is believed to be more than say 10 square foot then it is best to first have a mold inspection done and then have a professional mold remediator removed the problem. To be safe I am recommending you have it inspected regardless of size because it may be more than you thought. Certified mold inspectors have proper training to diagnose such conditions and we can provide a written remediation protocol addressing the types of  concerns brought up in this e mail. Remediators have special equipment and training to help correct such problems.
Please do not reply to this e mail, this could go back and forth forever, if you need help visit us at or at our other site and give me a call or schedule a mold  inspection appointment.
P.S.
By the way it sounds like you had a swab Jockey test your air.
In the industry we call inspectors who provide a lab report and a meaningless inspection report, or no mold inspection report at all swab jockeys, two day wonders, and pump jockeys, because most states have no license for mold inspectors and most of us just take an inexpensive two day course teaching how to sample your air, they buy a pump and a few sample swabs from the lab, then go out and give you a false feeling of security because you feel that a certified mold inspection was done, when all that was done was the air was sampled and this revealed spores in your air. Wow your air has spores, and you know the scientific names of those spores and the numbers or spores. Only problem is you probably knew you had mold and spore level problems before the inspector came out or you would not have called him and paid him for consultation. Often homeowners do not understand that a disservice was done until months or years later when an unresolved problem gets out of control. It seems that many such inspectors have legal problems and leave the industry after a year or so. Sample analysis has it’s place but what some inspectors do not know is that it is only 5% to 50% of the picture depending on the specific investigation.
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A lot of people ask us how long it takes mold to grow after a recent water
incident; this is the most common question that arises in a persons mind
after a leak.

I am preparing this information for home owners, realtors, and future potential clients
who are looking for a mold specialist to answer such questions.

If you have the water extracted and the moisture properly dried out by
professional remediators or carpet drying specialists in the first 24 to
48 hours after a leak you may likely be ok. It takes mold a 24 to 48
hours to start to grow under ideal conditions. As you know carpets get
moldy very quick, many older carpets with dirt as a food source start
smelling moldy after being wet just a short time. The above refers to small amounts of mold growth, and the mold may only be at the microscopic levels after a few days. It may be a week or two
before it grows to the extent that it is visible to the naked eye as spots
on drywall or carpet pads. Of course, mold being a living organism with it’s own agenda
is not going to follow what I say in this bolg and thus their will be exceptions.

Proper drying is important.
What is most important is how fast and how well the flooded areas are
dried. Many times a person will think that moisture was removed when in
fact enough moisture was left behind to allow mold to start growing.
If a minor amount of moisture is lingering inside the wall cavities, behind the baseboards, in
the carpet, or under the carpet padding it will likely be weeks before it
all dries up, by that time the mold starts forming as visible sports on your walls.
Many mold remediators and carpet cleaning companies will focus efforts on drying the room that flooded and neglect nearby rooms where water flowed hidden inside wall cavities and under carpet or even tile.
Before you realize that dry out was not done properly you may have white, green, or black mold spots showing
up; you may also detect mold odors and  you will likely have mold
capable of causing allergy or asthma reactions in persons who are prone to
such reactions.

How to properly dry out a property.
Proper drying often involves discarding wet carpets and carpet pads
because
they trap moisture and hamper drying. If
the flood was extensive, it may be helpful to remove the baseboards
because these baseboards can trap water and prevent proper drying; in more
extreme case a few holes can be cut in the walls to allow wet air to
escape and dry air to enter the wall cavities.
The use of wet vacs to remove standing water, fans to move air, and
dehumidifiers to dry the air are helpful. Without dehumidifiers to dry the air you are
simply moving wet air with fans
and this is of little or no benefit. If you can dry your air with
dehumidifiers and maintain humidity levels between 30%RH and 50%RH it will
help everything else in the area dry faster. Please be advised that I am not a remediator, we at A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc. provide inspections and written reports on mold and moisture problems for you, your attorney, your buyer, or your insurance adjuster. For more info on proper drying consult with a specialist in remediation or carpet drying etc.

About mold inspections.
It is best to have a mold inspection done by a mold specialist prior to
doing any work like removing moldy drywall. A mold
specialist can try and determine the extent of possible mold spread and
what needs to be done prior to remediation. If more that a very small problem exists it is recommended that a mold removal specialist be called.
We have no conflict of interest and inspect only. We do not do mold
removal nor do we provide drying services. The fee is $300.00 to $1000.00
for a mold inspection in the Miami Ft Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach areas. Prices are likely similar in other areas of the nation. An inspection will also include moisture testing, and a detailed
inspection and written report. In cases where mold may be hidden behind walls it is almost always very
important to have some samples taken from inside walls to determine if
hidden mold is in your walls.  If an inspector tells you they will take
one or two indoor samples from the center of a few rooms your best course
of action may be to keep calling inspectors until you find one who knows
to take samples from inside walls when hidden mold from water intrusion is suspected.

Daryl Watters is president of A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc. He provides home, mold, and indoor air quality investigations in South Florida. He is also the creator of MIR forms designed to aid inspectors in the production of computer generated indoor air quality and mold inspection reports.