There are several reasons that you might need to have testing done in your home. Either you have seen or smelled potential mold growth, you have water damage that could increase your risk of mold, or you have a pending real estate transaction where you are required to get a full comprehensive report on home issues.
Whatever the reason, mold detection is something you’re going to want to know how to handle. Here are some things to note about mold growth:
- All damp or wet conditions should be considered high risk for mold growth. If you do not monitor these areas, mold can grow in as little as 24 hours. Some mold varieties can grow very quickly going from a single spot in one room of your home to the entire home in only a few days.
- Mold spores may also be present in the home without visible growth showing.
- Remember, some types of mold are much more dangerous than others. All may pose a health risk to certain people including those with respiratory problems such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, people who are allergic to mold and those who have immune-suppressive disorders.
- In most cases, it is not the mold itself that is dangerous. Instead, it is the mycotoxins that are present in the mold growth.
If you spot or suspect mold in your home, you first want to contain it by draping plastic to keep it from spreading and open a window to the outside if possible. The next step is finding a mold inspector you trust.
Finding a Mold Inspector in Your Area
It is important that you look for someone who is not only a professional with knowledge in the mold industry, but someone who is also reliable and highly regarded in the community.
Get several names and ask for free estimates before hiring anyone. This can be an expensive process, so it’s important to do your research before selecting the right company. If you visit our estimates page, you can compare prices from local mold removal experts for free to help kick start your process and get the mold removed from your space as soon as possible.
If you are buying a home, something to note is that a house inspector may not be qualified to identify mold of any kind nor will he be specifically looking for it. He or she may note some signs of water damage on the final report, which should indicate a need for further inspections before the sale goes forward. This may seem like a lot of inspections and too many hoops to jump through, but as you are buying a home to live in you will want it to be a safe and healthy place for you and your entire family.
Testing and Inspection
While you want to test for and find all sources of mold in your home, here are some things to keep in mind during the testing and removal processes:
- There are some testing kits that you can use for yourself, but these typically only test for the most basic types of mold. These kits do not test air quality, which may be even more important than testing the actual mold growth that you can see.
- A mold inspection can take up to several hours depending on the size of your home, so plan accordingly.
- The inspector should give you a highly detailed report once they are done. This should detail each room and area that was inspected and reveal not only if mold was found, but the type of mold and how pervasive it is.
It’s very important to determine how the mold started in the first place. It can spawn from simple things like a leaky faucet or problems with a sewage system, and grow into one huge problem. Determining the source will help you on the start to your remediation process. Once the mold is completely removed, you will also need to use preventative measures to make sure that the mold does not come back again. Some molds, such as serpula lacrymans or yellow mold, feed on wood and cause dry rot. Other molds will eat right through drywall. It is important to find it, remove it, and then prevent it from growing again. It is what is most important for your home, your family, and your continued health.