As known experts in our industry, we frequently receive questions on common topics related to mold, air quality, and testing services.  Our frequently asked questions and answers have been combined into a reference list for easy use.  Should you have any questions or require additional consultation on any of the topics provided please feel free to contact one of our air quality experts.


Indoor Air Quality

Q:  Who is IAQ Management Services?

A:  IAQ Management Services is a full service indoor air quality firm that provides testing, consulting, and training services.

Q:  What are your credentials?

A:  Our professionals have very specific certifications and training in order to assist you with your indoor air quality needs. To review a list of our professional certifications, please click here.

Q:  How long does it take to complete an investigation?

A:  Typical indoor air quality tests are completed in 24 hours to about two weeks, depending on the needs of the client.

Q:  What is involved in conducting air quality testing?

A:  We will perform an interview with the person(s) knowledgeable about the property, complete a comprehensive inspection, and develop a sampling strategy.  On-site testing typically takes around 2-4 hours.  Once we have conducted our analysis and gathered samples, the samples are analyzed at a lab.  After lab results are reviewed, we prepare a full report that will inform you of the extent of our findings and recommendations for remediation.

Q:  How common are air quality related problems?

A:  A committee of the World Health Organization estimates that as many as 30 percent of new or remodeled buildings may have unusually high rates of sick building complaints. While this is often temporary, some buildings have long-term problems which linger, even after corrective action. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that poor ventilation is an important contributing factor in many sick building cases.


Q:  What causes mold?

A:  Mold requires nutrients, water, oxygen, and favorable temperatures to grow. Nutrients for mold are present in dead organic material such as wood, paper or fabrics; mold can also derive nutrients from some synthetic products such as paints and adhesives. Mold requires moisture, although some mold species can obtain that moisture from moist air when the relative humidity is above 70 percent. Many molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures; few if any molds are able to grow below 40°F or above 100°F.

Q:  Can mold make people sick?

A:  Excessive mold spores indoors can trigger allergic reactions, breathing disorders, and asthma attacks.  Mold can cause adverse health effects, regardless of whether the mold is alive or dead.

Q:  Are some molds more dangerous than others?

A:  Any mold can be dangers if an individual has developed sensitivites to it.  Some molds that produce toxins are considered by many doctors to be more dangerous than others.  Some of the molds that produce dangerous toxins include Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Trichoderma, and Penicillum.  These molds are most commonly found indoors when water damage occurs.

Q:  How do I get rid of mold growing on a wall in my home?

A:  If the mold covers more than 10 square foot of space a professional mold remediation company should be contacted.  In some cases professional remediation is recommended even if there is less than 10 square feet.  The mold should be removed under controlled conditions to prevent the mold spores from being transported throughout the indoors.  As a general rule, mold should be removed and not encapsulated or treated (e.g. sprayed with bleach).  Professional remediation companies should never perform the testing and the remediation due to a conflict of interest.

Q:  What is black mold?

A:  While there are hundreds of molds that are black in color, the term “black mold” is generally used to reference Stachybotrys.  Stachybotrys is a black, shiny mold that grows on very wet drywall, particle board, ceiling tiles, and wood.  Because this mold produces potent toxins and some medical experts have attributed it to serious illness including neurological disorders, excessive bleeding, gastrointestinal disorders, and inflammation, it has received more notoriety than other types of mold.

Sick Building Syndrome

Q:  What is Sick Building Syndrome?

A:  Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a situation in which occupants of a building experience acute health effects that seem to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building.

Q:  What are the symptoms of SBS?

A:  Building occupants complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort. These symptoms include headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; a dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors. With SBS, no clinically defined disease or specific chemical or biological contaminant can be determined as the cause of the symptoms. Most of the complainants feel relief soon after leaving the building.