Friday, June 21, 2024

How To Check For Mold In House

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

How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

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.

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
  • Coils of HVAC air handlers or ductwork
  • Between the furniture and exterior walls, particularly in basements or concrete block houses

Professional Mold Testing Services In Florida

The only way to be certain if your property has mold or not is to have a free mold inspection performed by an expert mold testing and remediation professional atFP Property Restoration. We will come out to your property and do a fullthermal and moisture inspection to determine what issues exist and if there is reason to believe there is mold present. From there, we can recommend an air quality test to determine the type of mold your property has, as well as the amount present in the air.

Contact usonline or call today to book your appointment.

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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.

Molds Effects On Your Health

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Mold can cause many health effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . It can cause a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. People who are immune-compromised and with chronic lung disease may get infections in their lungs from mold. Interestingly, 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.

People without allergies and asthma arent immune to the effects. According to the CDC, 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.

The CDC also notes a potential link of early mold exposure to the development of asthma in some children.

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What Is Mold And What Causes Mold In Your Home

Mold is, by broad definition, a type of fungus that sprouts from microscopic spores floating in the air. When clusters of mold spores grow on surfaces, they start to reproduce and become visible to the human eye. If you have mold allergies, asthma, or another lung condition, even breathing in the microscopic pores can trigger an attack. If you dont, you may not even be aware that there is mold in your home until you see it or smell it .

All homes have the key ingredients needed for mold growth: the presence of mold spores, a surface for it to grow on, oxygen, warmth, and darkness. When you add moisture, whether from a water leak, stagnant water, or high levels of humidity, into the mix, thats where mold problems begin. Knowing where mold is commonly found in homes can help you prevent and treat it so you can keep your home and body healthy.

What Causes Mold In Walls

Water. Water causes mold in walls. Lets look at the most common ways it gets there.

  • Building materials were either already moldy OR were installed wet.
  • The house itself from not properly seated on the foundation which allowed rainwater, groundwater, and runoff to seep into the framing.
  • Windows and doors are not properly installed and sealed. Water is able to penetrate into the wall cavity.
  • Water intrusion from outside coming into your wall from rain or irrigation due to stucco, siding, etc on an exterior wall thats compromised.
  • A roof leak that runs into your home and behind a wall.
  • Pipes and plumbing connections fail and leak. Usually you will discover a burst pipe rather quickly. It is the slow water leaks that are the main culprit when plumbing failures cause mold in walls.
  • Wastewater line / sewer drain line has a slow leak.
  • Air conditioning condensation line breaks inside the wall.
  • Toilet overflows, bathtub overflows, washing machine overflows, hot water heater breaks, or any other accumulation of a large amount of water in your home that ISNT dried out promptly and completely.

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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.

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How Does Hidden Mold Happen

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In this case, there is, or was, a water leak. Maybe it was the roof and it dripped down between the walls, or perhaps a plumbing leak that went unnoticed for a period of time until it was fixed and subsequently painted over, perhaps even before the mold growth was visible.

Unfortunately, sometimes landlords and homeowners will paint-and-pretend, as properly dealing with a potential mold problem can be scary and expensive. Some states also have disclosure laws surrounding mold due to its health effects, which can also encourage owners to sweep it under the rug instead of disclosing it to tenants and homebuyers and raising red flags.

This is unethical behavior, but that is why the Badger encourages MOLD TESTING during all home inspections, as you never know what a previous owner might have intentionally or unwittingly covered up.

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Here’s How To Test If There Is Mold In Your House

A mold infestation is a homeowner’s nightmare. Homes inherently have four things mold craves: oxygen, darkness, warmth, and a surface on which to settle. Add a fifth water and boom, you have a problem, according to Molekule. The resulting telltale mustiness and discoloration are signs to call in a pro, or at the very least, a reason to run to your nearest home improvement store for a DIY test kit.

Mold can cause health problems ranging from mild to severe, Poison notes. Respiratory issues, headaches, and allergies are just some of them. In addition, the fungi may damage your home, impacting your quality of life. In any case, mold needs to be located, identified by type, and removed.

There are several schools of thought as to when and whether testing is indicated, if a home kit is sufficient, or if a mold pro is needed. A selection of do-it-yourself tests is available, ranging in price from $10 to as much as $250. MYMOVE asserts verifying the presence of mold only requires a home test kit and personal safety gear however, the EPA is skeptical of the test kits and recommends enlisting a certified inspector. Some experts even say the eye and smell test is all needed to find mold in your house.

Look For Signs Of Moisture Or Mold

  • Mold can have a cottony, velvety, granular or leathery texture
  • The color of mold can vary from white, gray, brown, black, green or other colors
  • Mold damage may look like discoloration or staining on the surface of building materials or furnishings
  • Noticeable mold odors are described as musty or earthly

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How To Detect Mold In Your Home

If you strongly suspect a mold infestation in your home or office, youll need to do a thorough visual inspection. Once youve discovered the infestation, youll need to take a sample for laboratory testing. Given its microscopic nature, mold is impossible to properly diagnose without a laboratory mold test. If you have any health symptoms, in addition to building damage, it is helpful to know the specific mold so your doctor can help you treat your symptoms and detox the mold from your body.

Seek A Professional Opinion

Mold Testing: How to Test for Mold in the House

The most efficient way to check mold levels in your house is to seek a professional opinion. If you can see or smell something that you believe is mold, its the right time to bring in experts to take swabs and air samples that they have the resources to test. A local team of professionals will prioritize your results and deliver them to you with a solution in mind.

Our team of professionals at Mold Only proudly focuses on testing and remediating mold situations for South Florida residents. If youre concerned about mold growth in your home, look to our mold testing services for mold identification and advice on the steps you can take to protect your family and property.

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Are You Experiencing Symptoms Contact Dr Hagmeyer Today

Excessive mold exposure can compromise the bodys immune system and put you at risk of various illnesses, diseases, and conditions. If you believe youre experiencing symptoms due to toxic mold contamination, dont hesitate to contact Dr. Hagmeyer for a 15-minute consultation.

Well help you get to the bottom of your symptoms, determine a treatment plan to help you recover from those symptoms, and help you make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent those symptoms from finding their way back. Together, well get your body back in working order.

Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation with Dr. Hagmeyer to discuss your symptoms and current health status.

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.

ProClean Pensacola

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.

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How Can Mold Be Prevented

Rather than taking action after the mold is already a problem, you can do several things to prevent mold from ever growing in the first place. Keep things dry. If large quantities of liquid are spilled, dry off the damp surfaces within 24 hours using whatever means necessary. A little elbow grease now could save you a lot of effort, time and money later.

Remodel your house using materials that are mold-resistant. They may cost more initially but they will save you a headache later. You can find paints that prevent mold from growing. This will prevent mold from growing on bathroom walls that are often humid and covered in condensation.

Invest in a dehumidifier. Regardless of the climate you live in, your home will inevitably have excess moisture in it at some time. You can find basement dehumidifiers for large and damp areas, portable dehumidifiers for smaller spaces and bedrooms, energy-efficient dehumidifiers to help you save and quiet dehumidifiers for use in bedrooms. You can find a dehumidifier for almost any purpose you just need to find the right dehumidifier for your home.

You could also call a mold specialist in to assess your home for issues. Poorly planned piping, holes in your brickwork, soil build-up against walls these can all cause damp and mold issues, and a professional survey will note them and advise on how to stop issues before they arise.

The Bottom Line On Testing For Mold

How to search for hidden mold in your home

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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Checking For Visible Mold

  • 1Look for telltale characteristics. Mold often has a fuzzy appearance but can also look like a stain if it’s growing on a wall or furniture. Its most common colors are black green, brown, or white. Mold can feel like cotton, leather, velvet, or sand paper. It usually gives off a musty or earthy odor. Also look for visible signs of possible water damage such as stains or paint bubbling. This could mean there is mold growth within the wall cavity.
  • 2Check the basement. This should be the first place you look. Its underground location makes it especially vulnerable to moisture and humidity buildup. After each heavy rain, look for and immediately treat any water seepage.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Check the following spots:
  • What Causes Mold Growth

    When you first spot mold growing in your home, or start suspecting that itâs growing, you might think something like, âHow did that get there?â or âWhat did I do to cause mold growth in my house?â

    There are plenty of ways that mold can find its way into your house. For example, spores can enter through open windows, doorways, or your ventilation system. They can also attach themselves to shoes, clothing, or pets and find their way in through these different vehicles.

    Itâs important to note, though, that mold will only grow and spread in areas that are favorable. This includes areas that are very moist and provide the mold spores with a steady supply of nutrients.

    If you have a leaky pipe or flooding in your home, for example, that will create a prime area for mold growth. Places with excessive window condensations might be prone to mold, too. The same goes for spots that donât get a lot of air circulation.

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    Know Where It Spreads

    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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