AQA Tips & Insights

You might be able to see mold in your home, growing on walls, floors, carpet, ceilings or bathroom fixtures. However, mold often grows in places where it cannot be easily seen, like under carpets, inside walls and inside heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts. You should suspect mold if your home has a musty smell.  Also know that mold is likely if you’ve had flooding or a water leak in your home. To find out for sure if there’s mold in your home, you need to call in a certified mold tester. Certified mold testers are trained to locate mold even in hard-to-see places. They can let you know if there is mold in your home and if so, what type of mold it is.

It can be dangerous. The degree of risk depends on numerous factors, including the type of mold (some strains are more hazardous to your health than others, although it’s not good for you to be inhaling any type of mold spores), the amount of mold, whether or not you’re allergic to mold, and the state of your health and the health of your family members. Health problems commonly associated with household mold include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, headaches or migraines, sinus infections, pneumonia and asthma attacks. Infants, elderly people and those with respiratory disorders like asthma or emphysema are most susceptible to mold-related health problems, but even healthy young adults can be affected. 

You can purchase test kits that allow you to test your home for mold, but we recommend calling in an expert instead. Certified mold testers are trained to locate all traces of mold in a home and they can also tell you what strains of mold are present. Do-it-yourself mold tests aren’t always accurate and many require you to send samples to a lab to find out what strains of mold are present, at significant extra cost. Hiring a professional for the job simply provides better results.

  • Most professionals that test for mold are engineers. They have extensive training and education in how to conduct and interpret the tests. A mold specialist will help you identify exactly what type(s) of mold you are dealing with, in order to determine the best clean-up techniques.

  • Professionals know how to find mold in hidden places, where homeowners frequently miss it. We will be able to find and identify mold that is hidden, such as inside walls or under flooring.

  • Professionals like AQA, can tell you what strains of mold are present in your home (often there is more than one strain) and provide you with information about the health risks of exposure to those specific strains.

  • AQA can advise you about the safety precautions that should be taken during the mold removal process. A specialist will help you understand each step involved in the cleanup process.

Obvious signs of mold in your home include cracking paint, water stains (brown stains on the ceiling), rust, warped ceilings, walls, and dust.

Toxic Black Mold’s formal name is Stachybotrys. It can produce mycotoxins, which may cause a burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and nasal passages. Other symptoms of Stachybotrys may include diarrhea, headaches, and memory loss. Stachybotrys forms on wet building materials and areas with humidity levels of traditional mold forming levels of 60% or higher.

You can view a full list of the most common types of mold here.

You will SMELL it and/or SEE it.

Black mold can be gray, green and sometimes look dark blue. It forms in clusters and can sometimes look slimy, fluffy growing outward, and spotty.

Black mold can sometimes and very frequently give off a musty and damp odor.

We suggest taking the 5 steps listed in our blog post, in this order, to resolve your mold issue in a rental property. 

There are three main issues even the smallest leaks of can cause. 

1. Mold

2. Structural deterioration 

3. Electric issues

Unfortunately, yes. It affects pets more than it will affect a healthy human. Their immune systems are much smaller than ours, so if you have mold and are feeling ill, they will most likely be feeling your symptoms but multiplied. This blog on How Mold Affects Your Pets offers more information if you’d like to read more.

AOB faq

AOB stands for Assignment of Benefits. It serves as the authorization by an insured to an insurer to pay a claim directly to a third party contractor. Most commonly used when at the doctor’s office. Each provider submits a separate AOB for the services & materials they provided, then invoices directly to the carrier on your behalf. Residential and commercial property is very similar. Send us an email through our Contact page form and ask to be added to our resources’ email list to be informed on updates on the AOB and laws surrounding it.

Yes, you maintain control over your policy the whole time. A contractor cannot change policy limits or make any changes to the policy whatsoever.

The insurance companies may use their experts to determine whether coverage should be afforded and to pay the claim, however, sometimes their experts state the damages are not covered, therefore denying the claim. The contractor has the right and opinion to bring in experts on your behalf. 

We have seen instances in which the contractor files a lien on the property in order to collect payment for their work, or the client has to come out of pocket for those expenses. The AOB adds a layer of protection to the consumer. 


  • You can prevent damage to your home, and its contents, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.
  • Condensation, humidity, leaks, and flooding are all moisture-related causes of mold growth.
  • Reminder: With any type of water damage in the home drying the affected areas within three days or less will help prevent the growth of toxic mold.
  • Black mold is a toxic species of mold that forms in moisture-rich areas. 
  • When dealing with a mold issue, calling a professional is your best bet in guaranteeing the issue is properly taken care of, and will not return.
  • Mold not only damages the materials it is found on, but also affects the air in your home, air conditioning unit, clothing, kitchenware, carpets, and your overall health. 
  • Unfortunately, mold causes allergy-like symptoms in those who come in contact with mold spores. 
  • Mold only needs a few things to grow including moisture, organic materials (nutrients), and temperature of 60-100 degrees.
  • Musty odors are a very common sign of mold growth.
  • Mildew and mold are two different forms of fungi. Mildew (surface mold) can easily be removed with soap and warm water.
  • Mold has a strong odor that typically smells like the following: Musty odor, wet leaves, dampness, aged wood, stuffy, stale and mildew.
  • November is the month where mold levels are the lowest due to lower humidity.
  • When ingested Activated Charcoal can help elevate mold poisoning.
  • Improving airflow in your home can prevent moisture build-up and mold growth.
  • Plants help improve your indoor air quality. There are many kinds of indoor plants, but a specific few have the best affects on the indoor air. Read more here.
  • Furniture contains toxic chemicals that affect your indoor air quality.
  • Some candles contain harmful carcinogens that release toxins into the air when burned. Using soy candles or essential oils is a healthier and safer way to scent your home.
  • Make sure you have plenty of ventilation in your home. Use fans and open your windows often to allow fresh air into your space. 
  • Use all natural cleaning products that don’t release harmful chemicals into the air. Bleach also gives off dangerous fumes that affect your respiratory system.
  • You can view your areas indoor air quality score by visiting the website.
  • Where you live can determine the air quality in your home based on air pollution.
  • Allergies affect many people and the cause could be something inside your home.
  • Common mold, dust, dust mites, cockroaches, furniture, cleaning products and more.  
  • To find our ways to prevent allergy symptoms read our blog here.
  • Allergies sufferers are affected all year long, but July begins mold spore allergy season

  • Black mold is not actually just black. It can look gray and dark blue.
  • There are many different types of black mold, some are harmful and some are not.
  • Black mold is well known because it is the most common type of mold that forms in homes.
  • Black mold grows everywhere from on your food, in walls, and among vegetation including leaves.
  • One little known way to prevent mold growth in the shower is the use a squeegee.
  • Pets feel the negative effects of mold exposure more than people because their immune system is smaller and more sensitive than ours.
  • The best action to take when you find your pet is suffering from any of the above symptoms related to mold is to relocate them.
  • If you have an ill pet and have had water damage in your home, it’s best to let your veterinarian know if your home has been exposed to water damage whether it’s from a flood, roof leak, or a common household leak.
  • Take pets to the vet if you have mold to make sure they are not suffering from a mold-related illness and are continuing to be healthy.
  • mold and pets is very serious and for the sake of your little loved ones, should not be taken lightly.
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