How To Detect Mold In Walls
If there is an area of your home where you think mold may be present in the walls due to smell, a strange appearance of the wall, or any other factor there are a few ways you can test this.
The simplest way is to probe the area with a screwdriver. If the area is soft or the screwdriver easily pierces the drywall, mold likely has rotted the surface away, and youll be able to see it once a hole has been opened up in the surface. Be careful when doing this and do not do it near any wiring or electrical outlets.
You could also use a fiber optic camera to look around inside after opening a hole in the wall, but at this point, you may as well hire a professional inspector. A professional inspector has the tools required to examine the wall thoroughly, and ensure that its mold free or detect any potential issues.
Signs Of Mold Inside A Household
Bubble formation on walls is a common sign of mold infestation. Areas with the highest moisture content will mostly have these bubbles. Its important to examine the basement walls, bathrooms, and areas around the window to confirm the issue. Areas near a leaky pipe or window sill are a breeding ground for mold infestation.
In such a case, you might have to scrape down the paint, clean and dry the surface, and patch things up before repainting the wall to fix the issue.
Usually, a strong, musty, unpleasant odor is a dead giveaway that mold infestation is in progress. The smell is more prominent around damp and moist areas around the house like sink, bathroom, and kitchen.
This is another classic sign to watch out for. When theres excessive moisture indoor, it finds a way to latch onto all kinds of objects including metallic ones. Its only a matter of time before the metal starts to rust due to excess water content in the air.
Mold continues to release tiny spores in the air that you eventually inhale. Although the immune system is wired to fight off these harmful spores, many people contract the flu due to mold infestation.
Therefore, if you cant seem to shake off flu-like symptoms and allergies it might be a sign that you are dealing with mold inside the house. Other than flu, mold can also cause sneezing, coughing, skin irritation, sore throat, and a runny nose.
Visible Dark Patches
The Bottom Line On Testing For Mold
The cleanup procedures for treating mold are the same, whether it is black mold or another type, so it isnt always necessary to test for mold if you can see or smell it. But if you have a specific reason for identifying types of mold in your home or suspect you have mold but cant find the source, a do-it-yourself mold test is extremely easy to conduct.
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Is Mold Damage Covered By Insurance
Mold damage may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. It may be covered by insurance when an item already covered under your homeowners insurance breaks accidentally for example, if your plumbing suddenly ruptures and water floods your house, the homeowners insurance will cover part or all of the costs for the plumbing repair and any mold remediation costs necessary as a direct result of the water damage.
But you may not be able to get insurance to pay for your mold remediation costs if the damage is a result of your neglect for example, if youve had a slow leak under your bathroom sink for years and have ignored the issue. If the insurer can determine that the mold damage is a result of your negligence, they likely wont cover mold remediation costs.
Also, most homeowners insurance will usually not cover mold remediation costs after a flood unless you have a special insurance rider covering your home in case of a flood.
To help prevent mold damage, always keep humidity levels in your house between 30 percent and 60 percent, clean up water spills and damp areas right away, and ensure you have exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. And as soon as you suspect there’s mold in your home, contact the best mold removal experts near you.
Common Mold Hiding Places
All mold needs to grow is moisture, darkness, and warmth, but where exactly should you look when you suspect a mold problem? Here are a few familiar places around the house where mold is likely to grow :
- Behind appliances such as a refrigerator or dishwasher.
- Behind drywalls where plumbing pipes are located.
- Underneath cardboard or old newspapers.
- Beneath sinks.
- Under carpets, particularly in the padding.
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Previous Water Damage Event
Have you previously had the misfortune of discovering a water damage event like flooding or burst pipes in your home? If the water was extracted efficiently and properly, there is likely resulting mold growth.
Because fungus feeds on moisture, water damage often leads to mold problems which can be costly and can potentially harm the structural integrity of your home. To learn about how to manage a water damage event, clickhere.
Fungus and mold need water to thrive. If you have previously had the misfortune of experiencing a water damage event in your home, it is important to ensure that there is no resulting mold problem. At the first sign of mold, call the experts at ProClean at 484-8500.
According to the EPA, there is no simple way to eliminate all mold within a home, so it is important to stay diligent in detecting any possible problems.
If you notice any of the above warning signs, it is important to thoroughly and comprehensively remove mold colonies before they multiply even further.
Fungus In The Furniture
Mildew is attracted to moist leather and wood, and mold particles are more likely to be retained in porous materials like upholstered furniture and foam. Frequently inspect thefibers of your furniturefor any discolored spots, fuzz or spores.
Does your furniture seem a little funky? Mold particles are attracted to porous materials like upholstered furniture and foam. Be sure to inspect the fibers of your couches and chairs for any discolored spots, fuzz or spores.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Mold Problem
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:
Using A Mold Exposure Test
A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.
Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, youll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, youll be notified.
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When To Do A Mold Test
- You sense most often its smell mold.
- You or a family member begin feeling sick and you think it could be from mold.
- Testing indoor air quality because of a problem.
- To help find mold.
- To identify something, which maybe is mold, in or on or under your house.
- Test after a mold removal or treatment, to see if the mold is gone.
It Can Cause Serious Health Issues
Mold is bad news for the lungs. Studies have shown that people exposed to mold in their homes have a higher risk of developing asthma-like symptoms. Even short-term exposure can cause inflammation and irritation in the respiratory system, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and more. Mold can also cause infections in the bloodstream. If someone has an open wound and theyre in a humid environment, its possible for the mold spores to enter the bloodstream through the cut and cause a serious infection. Allergic reactions are also a serious concern some people are more sensitive to mold than others. If you live in a humid, moist environment, its best to wear a mask when cleaning. If you think you may have a mold problem, its important to get it checked out by a doctor.
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What To Do About Mold In Your Home
For areas that have already fallen victim to mold, there is hope. We cannot stress this enough â your first action should either be a mold test kit , or a call to a professional service. Do not simply attack mold with bleach and expect it to disappear, because youâre likely fixing the symptom and not the root cause. When you know what youâre dealing with, you can then take appropriate action.
In some instances, common household ingredients can rescue you home. Mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and scrub the mold off your walls, carpet or ceiling. This will kill the mold, and allow you to repair or repaint the impacted area . This is usually fine for areas where you havenât been allowing enough ventilation â simply remove the mold, repaint with a moisture or mold repellant paint, and remember to open doors and windows to prevent the area from getting stale.
If you have a windowless bathroom, mold will likely grow here. Having an air extraction fan fitted is relatively inexpensive, and can prevent moisture from staying within the room. Failing that, keep the door open as much as possible.
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How Can A Home Inspector Help Repair Issues Causing Concerns
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How To Test For Mold
You probably donât need to do mold testing or buy a mold test kit, especially if the fungus is visible. Because the health effects of mold vary from person to person, the CDC says that if you can see it or smell it, it should be removed, no matter what type of mold is in your home.
While itâs not possible to completely eliminate mold in your house, you can prevent a build-up by cleaning up any wet or damp spots and fixing any existing water leaks.
Neither the CDC nor the Environmental Protection Agency recommends doing routine mold samplingsboth organizations point out that there are no federal limits for mold in buildings, so people canât check their apartment complexâs compliance with the law, for example. Plus, the testing can be expensive.
How Is A Mold Test Done
Mold testing can help identify a mold infestation in your home or business. The EPA explains that if you have a visible mold problem, in most cases sampling and testing is unnecessary. However, if you have unexplained and potential mold-related illness or can smell mold in your house, mold inspection costs may be a good investment.
To avoid unscrupulous testers, the EPA recommends working with a testing agency that adheres to the analytical methods laid out by professional organizations such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
If you suspect there’s mold growing in your home, contact the best mold removal experts to get it tested.
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How Do You Test For Mold In The Air
Although there are many types of molds, and the effects vary from person to person, you should never ignore the chance that mold could be in your air. There are many ways to test for mold in the air, including using a microscope or a hyper-spectral imaging camera, but they’re not accessible to everyone.
There are also inexpensive ways to detect airborne mold without sophisticated equipment. These include using water droplets or smoke from burning a candle, because they both react differently with airborne molds than with other materials in the air, like dust particles and pet dander.
What Is Black Mold
When people say black mold, they refer to Stachybotrys, a greenish-black mold that grows on damp material with a high cellulose content. In our homes, that includes wood, fiber or gypsum board, paper, fabric, or green insulation. Just because mold is black doesnt mean its the dreaded Stachybotrys though, which by the way also manifests itself in blue and grey. But because Stachybotrys can off-gas dangerous mycotoxins, its the mold variety most feared.
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Option : Independent Testing Company
You can usually have a professional company do a multi-sample laboratory test on your home for around $300. They usually do a visual inspection as well, and since they are trained professionals they have more experienced than the average homeowner in detecting mold and discovering the moisture source.
Some companies will charge several hundred dollars for a mold test, and will then offer to apply that cost to their remediation service . Mold Badger dislikes this strong-arm tactic and believes that using an unbiased third-party is important to avoid conflicts of interest. It ensures that your problem has been solved and that no one is going to fudge your results. Accurate sampling is crucial.
You will most likely need remediation services of some kind, and it is best to have all the appropriate information before choosing a reputable remediation company. A few hundred dollars in testing and a couple hours of research go a long way in making you an informed consumer.
Selling A Home With Mold
Its obvious that mold will negatively impact the amount you can get for your property, but just how much might be shocking. In a study of properties with widespread mold infestations, nearly a quarter and up to half of the homes values were wiped out.12
But thats not the extent of the bad news. Even after remediation, these homes never fully recovered in value, even after they were bought and sold multiple times. The reason? In some states, sellers are obligated to disclose past mold problems, even if its been taken care of.13 A lot of buyers are concerned that mold will return, and are far less likely to pay full asking price for these properties.
So yes, wed say that mold can be a pretty big problem, no matter what side of the negotiating table youre sitting on. Whether youre buying or selling, you might be wondering if you can take care of the problem yourself.
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Culture Tests For Mold
Culture tests are the best way to identify the type of mold. Mold particles from a test sample are intentionally grown in a lab. This lets lab workers identify the species.
This is a good spot to say while live mold can grow, in a house or in a lab. Dead mold can still cause many health problems and allergies so dead mold in a home is still a significant problem that must be remedied.
How To Tell If You Have Mold In Your House
It can be hard to tell if you have mold in your house. Obviously, if you see mold somewhere, youve got a mold problem in your house, but mold can hide in walls, ventilation ducts, crawl spaces, and in other hard-to-see areas.
A common way to check for mold is to smell for it. A musty smell in an area of your home is often an indicator that there is some kind of mold present. Symptoms like a persistent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and throat irritation could also be indicative of mold.
In addition, anywhere that has been exposed to a significant amount of moisture such as water damage from flooding is a potential area where mold may be growing. Look for water where it shouldnt be, and check areas which may have flooded in the past.
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