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air quality

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: Why are we concerned about mold?

Small amounts of mold growth in workplaces or homes (such as mildew on a shower curtain) or workplaces are not a major concern, but no mold should be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When molds are present in large quantities, they may cause nuisance odors and health problems for some people. Mold can damage building materials, finishes and home furnishings. Some molds can cause structural damage to wood.

Question: How do molds affect people?

Most people will have no reaction at all when exposed to molds. Allergic reactions, similar to common pollen or animal allergies, are the most common health effects for individuals sensitive to molds. Flu-like symptoms and skin rash may occur. Molds may also aggravate asthma. Fungal infections from building-associated molds may occur in people with serious immune disease but this is very rare. Most symptoms are temporary and eliminated by correcting the mold problem in the home.

Question: Who is affected by exposure to mold?

For those who are affected by mold exposure, there can be a wide variation in how they react. People who may be affected more severely and quickly than others include:

  • Infants and children
  • Elderly people
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions or allergies and asthma
  • Persons with weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, or organ or bone marrow transplant recipients, autoimmune diseases.)

Those with special health concerns should consult their doctor if they are concerned about mold exposure. The symptoms that may seem to occur from mold exposure can also be due to other causes such as bacterial or viral infections, or other allergies.

Question: What is mold?

Molds are forms of fungi that are found everywhere- both indoors and outdoors all year round. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants and on dead or decaying matter. Another common term for mold is mildew. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions, although it can grow during cold weather also. There are many thousands of species of mold and they can be in any color, including white, orange, green, brown, or black. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Most fungi, including molds, produce microscopic cells called "spores" that spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions. All of us are exposed to fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outside and inside.

Question: How does mold get into a house or building?

Most, if not all, of the mold found indoors, comes from outdoor sources. It seems likely to grow and become a problem only where there is water damage, high humidity, or dampness. All molds need moisture to grow. Common sources of indoor moisture that can cause mold problems include flooding, roof and plumbing leaks, damp basement or crawl spaces, or anywhere moist air condenses on cold surfaces. Bathroom showers and steam from cooking might also create problems if not well ventilated.

Question: How can I prevent mold growth?

Controlling excess moisture is the key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is very important. Ventilate or use exhaust fans (to the outdoors) to remove moisture where it accumulates: bathrooms; kitchens; and laundry areas. Be sure the clothes dryer vents to outside the house. Repair water leaks promptly, and either dry out and clean or replace any water-damaged materials. Materials that stay wet for longer than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth. Lowering the humidity in the home also helps prevent condensation problems. To lower humidity during humid weather, air conditioners and dehumidifiers may be used. Proper exterior wall insulation helps prevent condensation inside the home during cold weather that could cause mold growth.

Question: Can mold be toxic?

Some molds can produce toxic substances called mycotoxins. Airborne mycotoxins have not been shown to cause health problems to occupants in residential or commercial buildings. The health effects of breathing mycotoxins are not well understood and are currently under study.

High or chronic airborne exposures, typically associated with certain occupations like agricultural work, have been associated with illnesses, although these are rare. More is known about eating mycotoxins (from humans and animals consuming moldy foods or feed) and the resulting health effects than is known about breathing mycotoxins.

Question: What is "black mold"?

The news media often refer to "black mold" or "toxic black mold." It has usually been associated with the mold Stachybotrys Chartarum, a type of greenish-black mold commonly associated with heavy water damage. However, mold is a chameleon and will turn the color of its food source.

Known health effects are similar to other common molds. It has been inconclusively associated with more severe health effects in some people. While there are only a few molds that are truly black, many can appear black. Not all mold that appears to be black is Stachybotrys.

Question: What should I do if I see or smell mold in my home?

The most important step in solving a mold problem is to identify and fix the moisture sources that caused the mold growth. For small mold problems, use detergent and water to wash mold off hard surfaces and dry completely. Porous or absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles, wallboard and carpeting) that become moldy should be replaced. If you do not see mold growth, but notice a musty odor, mold may be growing behind water-damaged materials, such as walls, carpeting or wallpaper. Persons cleaning mold should wear gloves, eye protection and a dust mask or respirator to protect against breathing airborne spores (an N95 dust mask or respirator may be purchased in hardware stores). If you have health concerns, you should consult your doctor before doing any mold cleanup.

Question: What are Possible Sources of Excessive Moisture?


  • Humidifiers
  • Cooking and dishwashing
  • Bathing
  • Plumbing leaks
  • House plants
  • Firewood storage indoors
  • Unvented clothes dryer/indoor clothes line
  • Improper venting of combustion appliances


  • Flooding
  • Rain or snow melt
  • Seasonal high humidity
  • Ground moisture
  • Wet building materials

Question: How Do I Control Moisture?

Indoor Sources:

  • Fix plumbing leaks, drips or "sweating" pipes
  • Limit sources of indoor humidity/dehumidify indoor air
  • Improve air movement in poorly ventilated areas
  • Increase fresh air ventilation when outdoor air is not humid
  • Warm cold surfaces where condensation occurs

Outdoor Sources:

  • Maintain roof and gutter/downspout system.
  • Direct runoff away from foundation by grading, drain tile, landscaping, etc.
  • Use air conditioning and keep building closed during high outdoor humidity
  • Prevent leakage around windows, doors, flashing, etc.
  • Waterproof foundations

Question: How Do I Control & Eliminate Mold Growth

Controlling mold exposure requires strategies that address removal of mold contaminants as well as the source of moisture that sustains the mold growth. The following steps should be taken to eliminate the presence of indoor molds:

  1. Identify moisture source and correct the problem (see lists of possible moisture sources and control above). *Keep in mind that molds may be hidden.

    A moldy smell with or without visual confirmation is indicative of a mold problem, particularly if accompanied by health problems. Mold may be hidden on the backside of dry wall, wallpaper or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets or pads, etc.

    Investigation of hidden mold should be undertaken with caution as disturbing some sites with extensive mold growth may result in a massive release of spores (e.g. removal of wallpaper).

    Consider hiring an experienced professional if hidden mold is suspected. Once the moisture problem has been addressed, which addresses the future growth of molds, removal of the existing mold contamination can begin.

    Molds can be toxic; personal protective equipment should be used to avoid excessive mold exposure during the clean-up process. The following personal protection products/procedures are recommended:

    • Respiratory protection (N-95 or TC-21C dust mask)
    • Goggles
    • Rubber gloves
    • Washable or disposable clothing
    • Ventilate area well when using bleach
    • Establish containment around the work area for large or heavily contaminated areas to minimize spread of spores

  2. Remove mold by cleaning and disposal *Do not paint or caulk over mold.

    a. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
    b. Porous materials should be removed, bagged and discarded.
    c. Non-porous materials may be cleaned with non-ammonia detergent and scrubbing.
    d. Disinfect using household detergent.

  3. Dry thoroughly keep in mind wet building materials take time to dry out completely. Fans and de-humidifiers may speed the process. The use of a moisture meter to monitor the moisture content of the material may be helpful.

Contact us for additional information:

Phone: 914-361-9703

Concerns relating to the presence of mold in the home or dwelling requires an independent, 3rd Party, Certified Residential Mold Inspector to conduct a thorough site assessment. Turtle Clan will take the necessary and appropriate actions to assure proper IESO, IAQA, ACGIH, IICRC, ISO, NADCA, ASHRAE, OSHA, EPA, AIHA and all State and local governmental protocol is followed in all investigations.

Ask us about our patented TiO2 application process which safely and inertly treats 40,000 square feet by mid-day, competition can only apply 1,000 sq. ft. the entire day. It is applied clear to interior or exterior surface such as windows, furniture, clothing, to eliminate all odors such as cigarette and urine; all VOC's and MVOC's such as molds, air pathogens, MRSA, SARS; for continuous elimination, not neutralization or masking.