Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How Can You Check For Mold

Larger Drywall Test Cuts To Check For Hidden Mold Contamination

How to Check For Mold

Where we have justification to proceed we may cut a 2″ x 3″ hole in drywall to peer into a wall cavity.

This opening, like the plug cut openings discussed above, is trivial to patch in drywall or plaster, but permits a more reliable inspection of the building cavity interior than a borescope.

Where damage is already extensive, there is nothing lost, no material to preserve, and a still larger opening may be cut, or multiple openings, in order to confirm the extent of contamination and thus the extent of demolition and mold cleanup needed.

Memnoniella echinata – a toxic black mold in a wall cavity: During an investigation of a high-rise apartment in a large U.S. city, I was asked to evaluateblack mold visible on basement floor joists in a kitchen.

Our mold inspection procedure includes a screen of the entire living unit which in this case was a large multi-room apartment.

At the far end of the apartment, remote from the kitchen and its leaks and mold, I found evidence of other leaks into and below an expensive cherry-wood floor.

We traced leaks to an air conditioning wall unit whose condensate was draining into the floor ratherthan into its drain.

The photo above shows our initial test cut into the wall cavity.

The next photo below shows a closeup of the cavity interior.

We chose an area to make a “test cut” into the wall cavity where we thought there had been the most water exposure.

Another “toxic black mold”, Memnoniella echinata is particularly toxic and irritating.

Health Symptoms That Can Be Caused By Mold In Your House

Mold doesnt bother everyone. In fact, out of thousands of mold species, only a few dozen will trigger any health problems at all, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Still, some of us are sensitive to molds. People who are allergic to an indoor mold can experience year-round symptoms like a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and more for those who also have asthma, mold can trigger an asthma attack. People with a weakened immune system or a chronic lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can develop a serious infection in the lungs if theyre exposed to mold.

People without allergies and asthma arent immune to the effects: In 2004, the Institute of Medicine concluded that people without pre-existing lung conditions can also experience symptoms like nasal congestion and a sore throat if they live in a house with damp floors or moisture accumulation.

RELATED: 25 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Most Common Places To Check For Mold In Your Home

If you have allergies or a chronic lung disease like asthma, youre probably very aware of the effect mold can have on your health. But even if you have a healthy immune system and no allergies, mold can cause a variety of health problems coughing, wheezing, and throat, skin, and eye irritation, to name a few. Mold is everywhere and, though you cant fully control your exposure to it outdoors or in public spaces, you can check for mold in common places around your home and take measures to prevent and remove it.

  • Worth the time invested to check
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    Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold

    People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

    How Can I Tell If I Have A Mold Problem

    Spray This Oil And You Will Never See Mold Again!

    Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.

    Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

    It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

    For more information on mold:

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    Where To Check For Mold In Your Bathroom

    You may love a long, hot shower but, unfortunately, so does mold. The warm, wet environment of a bathroom is practically an invitation for mold growth. Bathrooms that lack proper ventilation are especially prone to attracting mold. While it may be clear to check for mold on shower tiles, there are plenty of less obvious places for mold to grow in the bathroom.

    How To Tell When Mold Is Behind Your Walls

    Mold may be a part of nature, but its one natural thing that you never want to see in your home. Even the most minor examples of mold can be visually unappealing and potentially cause health issues, especially for people who are allergic. Learn about what causes mold in the home, what to look for, and how to prevent and treat it to keep every room in the house clean and safe.

    Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Ceiling Above Shower

    How To Detect Mold

    Mold is a type of fungus that grows almost everywhere, as long as the environment is damp and has temperatures between 40 °F and 100 °F. If you are going to be honest with yourself, that’s almost all damp areas in your house. While these tiny microorganisms might be useful outdoors, they can cause serious health issues in your house. Some of them are known to produce dangerous toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Some others also produce allergens that are known to cause allergic reactions. Beyond medical problems, molds can also cause extensive property damage. When they appear on a surface, they gradually fester on the surface, leaving it to rot.

    The most common types of molds called mildew are easy to spot. At the very early stages, they often start as dark spots that later grow into large colonies. It’s the dark things that you see on the damp walls in the bathroom, the grout lines in the shower, on deck boards and many other shaded areas. The mold you can see are usually not a problem because depending on their size, you can easily remove them. However, some molds grow in areas where you can hardly see them. Even when you see some, you might confuse them with dirt. In such a situation, mold detection becomes the most reliable way to help you detect the problem and find the mold.

    Perform A Visual Inspection

    How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

    If you suspect you have mold, the first step is to perform a thorough visual inspection of your home. You will recognize mold as spots that can appear in many different colors. Mold thrives on moisture, so pay particular attention to roofs, windows, pipes, basements, laundry areas, bathrooms, previously flooded spaces, and so on. Mold commonly appears on fibrous surfaces like drywall, upholstery, wallpaper, fabrics, and cardboard. If you see any signs of mold, call a professional.

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    Check Your Petri Dish

    After 48 hours, check your petri dish for signs of mold growth. If you do not see mold, wait another 24 hours and check again. If you still dont see mold, wait again for 24 hours and check one last time. If you do not see mold growth after 96 hours, your test did not detect any mold. If you do see mold on your test plate, you should take additional steps to remove the mold.

    Testing For Mold In Your Home

    If you hire a professional mold inspector to come to your home, theyll take samples from three areasthe air, the surface, and surrounding dust. They send these samples to a third-party laboratory to find out the concentration and kinds of mold in those particular areas.

    However, this procedure takes time and isnt cheap. Fortunately, testing for mold in your home is a relatively easy task that can give you faster results and save you money. If youve done everything you can to prevent mold but still have reason to think the air you breathe is compromised with mold spores, check strategic locations for visible signs of mold.

    Common areas of mold growth include:

    • Areas around plumbing lines, even behind the drywall
    • Below sinks
    • Coils of HVAC air handlers or ductwork
    • Between the furniture and exterior walls, particularly in basements or concrete block houses

    Also Check: How To Get Mold Off Ceiling In Bathroom

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Having Mold In Your House

    Whether youre selling a home, preparing to buy one for the first time, or just performing regular maintenance, the issue of mold may worry you particularly if your home is in a damp environment.

    In most cases, a typical home inspection wont include mold inspections and testing. You will need to hire a professional mold inspector to check your home for issues like black mold.

    So, to help you understand whether or not you may need a home inspection for mold, weve put together this comprehensive guide that will help you understand the signs and symptoms of mold, know what next steps to take if you think you have mold issues, and provide you with other helpful information and tips that will help you deal with a potential mold problem.

    Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House

    Why You Need to Test Your House for Mold

    Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.

    Read Also: How To Fix Mold On Bathroom Ceiling

    What Mold Looks Like

    Molds are a type of fungus and can look like their fungal cousins, mushrooms and yeasts. Outdoors, molds can be seen gobbling up the dead organic matter on decomposing surfaces like fallen leaves and rotting logs indoors, house mold thrives in wet, humid environments like bathrooms and basements or anywhere that has recently flooded. There are thousands of types of mold, and their appearance can vary depending on the type of mold and where its growing.

    The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum , is also sometimes found in homes and other buildings. This greenish-black growth can grow on fiberboard, paper, dust, and lint, particularly in areas that may have recently flooded or suffered other types of water damage. While black mold can certainly look scary, the CDC says that Stachybotrys chartarum isnt any more harmful than other types of mold.

    RELATED: 11 Unexpected Places Mold May Be Hiding in Your Home

    What To Do Once Mold Has Been Identified

    Once a tenant has followed the proper protocol of how to test for mold and believes that they have identified mold within their apartment, they need to take the proper steps to get it removed.

    This usually involves contacting the landlord so that they may hire the appropriate services to come in and remove it.

    Depending on how extensive the damage is from the mold, this could be a fairly lengthy and expensive process.

    That is why a tenant should be doing everything they can to try and prevent mold as soon as they move in anywhere. Letting mold faster in their apartment is a good way to end up losing their damage deposit.

    Enjoy the benefit of knowing that your apartment is completely mold-free by getting one of the pristine apartments offered through Blueground.

    Whether you need to rent them for a month or a year, Blueground has a vast option of fully furnished apartments in many cities throughout the world.

    From Boston to Istanbul, all of the modern apartments come with optional weekly cleaning. Through scheduled cleanings and deep cleans between tenants, Bluegrounds professional cleaners can spot and prevent mold in its tracks.

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    Condensation On Windows Window Frames And Sills

    • Promptly repair any leaks.
    • Lower the indoor moisture levels.
    • Use exhaust bathroom fans and a kitchen range hood.
    • Keep window coverings open to move the warm air over the windows .
    • Keep baseboards or heating vents clear of furniture to make sure the heat flows.
    • Dry your window frames and sills daily to keep water from dripping and causing mould to grow.
    • Leave interior doors open for good air and heat flow.
    • Unplug and remove humidifiers.

    What Are Signs Of Mold In Your House

    How To Test For Mold In Your Home | Best DIY Mold Test Kit to Use | Mold Testing
  • Signs that your home may be suffering from a mold infestation Smells like rotten eggs. If you look at your floors or walls, do you notice a musty, damp stench that reminds you a little of the smell of old books?
  • Clothing with stains.
  • Carpets that have been contaminated.
  • Hideaway for the Water Heater.
  • Flare-ups of allergies or asthma.
  • The presence of fungus in the furniture.
  • Walls that are warped.
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    Allergy Or Asthma Flare

    Certain species of mold release a harmful substance calledmycotoxin, which can trigger respiratory issues for those with allergies and asthma . Have you found yourself sneezing, coughing, feeling fatigued or blowing your nose no matter the time of year? It may be time to give the home a thorough inspection.

    Have you been experiencing an increase in your allergy and asthma symptoms? Mold in your home may be the culprit. If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, it’s critical that you act fast. Trust the Experts. Trust ProClean. #MoldRemediation#MoldAssessment#MoldRemoval

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    Mold Inspection And Testing For Homebuyers And Homeowners

    Are you a homeowner? Are you looking to buy a home? Did you know that mold can be extremely harmful to health if left undetected or untreated. Mold inspection and testing can help homebuyers and homeowners make an informed decision about best options to avoid the health and safety issues that mold can cause.

    When you are purchasing a home, it is standard practice to get a home inspection. During the inspection, the home inspector might notice a buildup of moisture or other indicators that could indicate the presence of mold. Due to increasing awareness about the potential hazards of mold, home inspectors have the training to perform a thorough mold inspection.

    You may also want to consider a mold inspection and testing if you currently own a home. If there has been water damage, a leaky roof, or broken plumbing, there may be mold in the house.

    Read Also: How To Clean Mold Around Air Vents

    Dont Want To Use Chemicals Heres How To Test For Mold In Your Home Naturally

    If youre concerned about the effects of harmful chemicals when testing for mold in the house, worry not. Testing for mold doesnt use any chemicals, and kits are non-toxic.

    In fact, the main thing you should be worried about when testing for mold is the mold itself. If you are collecting direct samples of mold using the swab technique, wear gloves and a mask to reduce your exposure to the mold.

    Know Where It Spreads

    How to Find Mold in Your House: 5 Uncommon Spots You Should Check

    Have you ever smelled a musty aroma in a damp room? Mold is a type of fungus, and it can grow on just about anything. It thrives in humidity and warmth, making the bathroom and kitchen ideal environments for growth. Potential hotspots are the bathroom, the kitchen, and even the bedroom.

    A common myth is that it can only grow on certain materials. Spores can spread on fabric, glass, paper, wood, and plastic in your home. They can even start to digest the material that they grow on.

    Each mold type has preferences for where they like to grow:

    • Aspergillus tends to grow on powdery substances. This includes food, dust, and drywall.
    • Alternaria shows up where its damp. This could be a leak, a shower or bath, or under the sink.
    • Cladosporium ends up on fabric and wood in cool or warm climates.
    • Penicillium shows up in water damage with a blueish greenish hue.

    Fungi like this can be of various colors, textures, and forms, so dont rule something out as safe just because it doesnt look like what youre used to.

    Know How to Spot It

    Its important to realize that mold is not always visible. This fungus can be detectable by smell, and symptoms, as well as appearance. It can smell musty and stale and cause respiratory symptoms and flare-ups like triggering asthma attacks. Sometimes, these symptoms may be the first sign to you that you could have mold.

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