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Aspergillus Mold Scams Confound Consumers

Updated on March 26, 2017
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Melody has volunteered with the CDC and is a member of the Medical Reserve Corps. She brings awareness to public health concerns.

Mold scams are on the rise. Consumers must be vigilent when choosing professionals.
Mold scams are on the rise. Consumers must be vigilent when choosing professionals. | Source

Mold scams are on the rise. Not every mold remediation professional has the customers best interest at heart. Reporters uncovered the devious plot for some contractors to scam their customers. More and more contractor nightmares are in regards to mold.

Aspergillus and black mold are scary enough on their own. True professional mold remediation specialists say that there is no reason to scare people about mold. There is plenty of business in the industry to go round.

Scammers sometimes bring their own mold with them and then tell you it came from your home. Other times, they claim your harmless mold to be of a dangerous variety. There is never an excuse for this kind of behavior.

It's up to consumers to protect themselves from this type of scam. Always use a certified mold inspector to identify your mold, and consider having your own independent mold test done.

Signs of a Mold Scam

Spotting a mold scam might be easier than you think. Shysters target individuals who lack knowledge about what they do and how they do it. The best way to protect yourself is to understand how the mold remediation process is supposed to work.

  • Mold professionals always send mold to be tested.
  • Eyeball testing is a red flag.
  • Perform your own mold testing to see if it matches their results.
  • Mold remediation never involves a fee for a mold free certificate.
  • Cost estimate for remediations over $1200 might mean you need a second estimate.
  • Be wary if the deal seems too good to be true.
  • Paying a deposit is normal, but get a new contractor if they ask for full payment up front.
  • If you feel like the contractor is trying to scare you then it may be a scam. Real professionals know better than this.

In the image you can see various species of Aspergillus mold.
In the image you can see various species of Aspergillus mold. | Source

What Does Aspergillus Look Like

Scammers are known to use aspergillus to scare consumers. This mold is known to cause a serious allergic reaction that causes fever and respiratory distress. It's no wonder that people want to know what aspergillus looks like.

Describing what aspergillus looks like is a tricky thing. Many molds appear similar to the eye. In general, they are only truly identifiable under a microscope.

With that being said, there are over 60 species of aspergillus mold. They typically look greenish, whitish and/or orangish-yellow. Occasionally they look black. Just remember, just because a mold has a blackish color does not mean it is black mold.

If you think you have black mold then you need to get it tested, and removed by a professional. You don't want just any contractor, but one with verifiable mold certifications.

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Aspergillus Mold In The Kitchen

The most commonplace in kitchens to find aspergillus is in the trashcan. This usually happens when owners neglect to regularly sanitize them. Luckily, they are easy to replace.

If you are attached to your trashcan then you can attempt to clean it with bleach, vinegar, or with a mold fogger. If you have an asthmatic in your home or anyone with an immune or lung disorder, you need to engage in regular cleaning of your trash bin to prevent this mold from becoming air born and circulated in the air conditioning.

Once mold reaches the air ducts, there is little choice but to seek a professional. Leaky sinks are another place where this type of mold loves to grow. Damp wallpaper and decomposing wood are perfect places for aspergillus to thrive.

Prevention is always the best course of action. Leaky sinks should always be fixed right away. This mold aggregates in areas that are impossible to clean. Once it is under the sink cabinet and under the wallpaper, it could become time for costly removal and replacement of the material.

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Aspergillus Mold In Carpets

Have you even had a pile of clothing get wet, and then mold? This is sometimes aspergillus. It loves porous cloth. Aspergillus mold is also often found in carpets.

When the carpet is vacuumed, the mold spores are then released into the air. There are many ways that carpet could become overgrown with mold.

When a carpet gets wet, the underside and carpet pad may not dry quickly. The wet and dark can cause it to grow beneth the carpet.

Carpet cleaning, while often a good thing, can also be the culprit. Professionals know not to over dampen the carpet, but there are many at home carpet cleaning machines.

Many people try to soak a stain to get it out, and end up causing the underside and pad of the carpet to become too wet.

Sometimes do-it-yourself carpet cleaning can actually cost you more, because moldy carpet will need to be replaced.

Aspergillus is not just found in carpets, but can be found in any cloth item that has been damp for a long period of time.

Bathroom Mold can be prevented by well ventelating your bathroom.
Bathroom Mold can be prevented by well ventelating your bathroom. | Source

Aspergillus In The Bathroom

Aspergillus is a common bathroom mold. When bathrooms become humid the wetness can settle anyplace in the bathroom. It can start to grow unoticed as it seeps into cracks in the walls and floor.

It can sneak under wallpaper and around the toilet. This is why building regulations require a window or a exhuast fan in bathrooms.

The idea is to help the bathroom humidity to be removed quickly before it has a chance to settle someplace where mold can grow.

A well ventelated bathroom is far less likely to allow mold growth. Any organic material is succeptible, is it is best to use good paint instead of wallpaper in bathrooms.

Never carpet a bathroom, and replace or launder bathroom carpets regularly. When building a bathroom, try to use synthetic material as much as possible.

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    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for a useful article.