The team at ASAP Environmental, Inc. knows that you have questions and concerns regarding mold and lead inspections. Browse our FAQs to learn more about mold, lead, and our inspection services.
The term “black mold,” or toxic mold, is commonly used to refer to Stachybotrys chartarum, which is a type of mold that thrives in environments with consistent or excess moisture. It appears greenish-black in color and has a distinctive musty odor. There are several strains of black mold; these fungi can carry serious health implications if continued growth occurs without remediation.
The one thing mold needs most is moisture. When condensation forms in an environment in which the air cannot store additional moisture and adequate ventilation isn’t present, the dampness that follows can invite mold in the home.
Damp areas in the home like bathrooms, basements, kitchens, crawl spaces, or places that receive little sunlight can become susceptible to mold growth.
Adequate protection is recommended for mold remediation, as toxic spores may contribute to various ailments once inhaled. DIY removal is possible with adequate equipment, but licensed professionals are trained to conduct thorough inspections to catch mold in hidden areas. Spores can spread if not properly located, which can likely occur if a professional isn’t present to survey all areas requiring treatment.
Mold inspection results can be available as early as the next business day.
Although there isn’t a current law requiring landlords to test for mold, according Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, chapter 11 (105 CMR 410.00: Minimum standards of fitness for human habitation) “No room or area in a dwelling may be used for habitation if more than ½ of its floor-to-ceiling height is below the average grade of the adjoining ground and is subject to chronic dampness.” “Chronic dampness” is defined as “the regular and/or periodic appearance of moisture, water, mold, or fungi.”
Mold and mildew share several traits; an affinity for moisture, growth on various surfaces, and are classified as fungi. However, there are a few key differences:
- Mildew is typically white or gray in color, whereas mold is commonly black or varying shades of green
- Mildew removal is possible with a mild cleaner and a tough scrubbing brush. The presence of mold usually indicates a more serious infestation that requires professional assistance.
- Mildew usually has a powdery or fluffy appearance. Mold appears fuzzier and can have a slimy texture.
The Massachusetts “Lead Law” (105 CMR 460: Lead poisoning prevention and control) serves the purpose of establishing a statewide program for the prevention and control of lead poisoning. The Massachusetts Lead Law also requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under the age of 6 reside.
For Massachusetts Lead Law compliance, the following is required:
- You must first hire a licensed lead inspector who will test the home for lead and record all lead hazards. Deleading work must be done by a trained and licensed person. A licensed lead inspector will reinspect, and if the home passes, you will receive a letter of full deleading compliance.
- You may choose to have only urgent lead hazards corrected, while controlling remaining hazards.
This temporary method is called Interim Control. You must first hire a licensed risk assessor who will explain what work needs to be done for interim control.
- After a risk assessor approves the work, you will receive a Letter of Interim Control. You then have up to 2 years to remove lead hazards and receive a Letter of Full Compliance.
Under Title X, or the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, whose regulations are enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the following applies:
A landlord must disclose any known lead-based paint or hazards on the property before signing or renewing a rental agreement. Both the landlord and tenant must sign an EPA-approved disclosure form to prove that the landlord notified the tenants of any known lead on the premises. Property owners must keep this disclosure form as part of their records for three years following the start date of the rental term.
A landlord who fails to comply with EPA regulations faces penalties of up to $16,000 for each violation.
EPA lead training is required to obtain lead certification in Massachusetts. This program provides the information needed for one to complete lead-safe renovation work or deleading services.
When lead poisoning occurs in the body, even in small amounts, it can lead to severe health complications, especially in children. High levels of lead poisoning can be fatal.
An inspection by a professional can help detect the presence of lead. To reduce issues associated with lead exposure, it’s critical to address chipping or cracked paint, as even small amounts of lead dust can be dangerous. Children and pregnant women should avoid exposure to homes built before 1978 undergoing renovations. For residents of older homes, schedule an inspection from a licensed lead inspector to ensure safety. When in doubt, always ask home sellers or landlords whether lead paint is present in an older home.
A lead risk assessment is an investigation used to determine the presence and severity of lead at a particular site by a licensed lead inspector.
Common lead hazards in the home include:
- Household dust
- Water and soil
- Children’s products
If you're concerned that your home in the Boston area has mold or lead, the licensed professionals at ASAP Environmental, Inc. will conduct a thorough inspection to determine the health and safety of the building. Request an inspection today.