Saturday, November 26, 2022

How To Have House Tested For Mold

Now You Know How To Test For Mold

Home Inspection Mold Testing for Mold in Your Home

Mold is both visually unattractive and hazardous to health. The result?

Its a nightmare for any homeowner! Unfortunately, its also incredibly common around the country. Anywhere thats warm, moist, and dark can be a hotbed for mold and mildew.

Thats why knowing how to test for mold is so important. After all, knowing for sure that theres mold in your home is a key first step to getting rid of it. We hope this article will help in that regard.

Want to read more articles like this one? Keep scrolling our page!

Why You Might Need A Mold Inspection

A pre-purchase mold inspection can help you find out whether mold already exists in a house youâre looking to buy.

You can dig deeper if you have reason to suspect mold or you just want to rule it out, since some types of mold can cause serious health problems and structural damage to the home. For example, black mold can lead to chronic coughing and sneezing, eye irritation, fatigue and headaches. The problems worsen the longer youâre exposed, so itâs important to address the problem quickly.

If a mold test comes back positive, you can negotiate with the seller to order a mold removal, give you a credit to fix the problem or lower the selling price. The mold inspection contingencyalso allows you to cancel the purchase altogether.

The biggest issue is that mold grows, and it grows really fast, Gromicko said. Imagine a little mold in the corner of your basement one day. Then three days later, your entire basement walls and ceiling are covered in mold. It grows fast if conditions are right.

What Affects The Cost Of A Mold Inspection

There are two main factors that affect the cost of a mold inspection: the size of the house being inspected and whether or not the inspector has to remove or destroy parts of the property, such as drywall or paneling, to complete the inspection.

Quite simply, a large house with a lot of square footage is going to cost more to inspect because the inspection is going to take longer. An âinvasiveâ inspection involving digging through drywall or digging under a crawlspace is also going to cost extra because of the extra time and work involved.

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How Mold And Mildew Form

Mold and mildew need the right conditions for growth. To begin, they need mold spores as a type of seed. Spores grow with three factors: food , water, and oxygen. Increasing or decreasing any of these factors will cause mold and mildew to grow or die.

Spores land on the surface, germinate, and grow. Mold and mildew may start as early as 24 to 48 hours after the surface has been dampened. Mildews white-gray spots spread outward, not upward, remaining on the surface. Mold, though, eats into its baseâwhich makes it harder to removeâand sometimes grows upward.

Mold Poisoning Symptoms In Humans

A Look At The Importance And Benefits Of Testing For Mold In The Home

Mold poisoning can cause a number of different symptoms, depending on the age of the affected individual, the strength of their immune system, and whether or not they have a pre-existing mold allergy. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of mold poisoning in humans.

  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Sinus issues or infections
  • Worsening or development of asthma
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin itchiness, redness, or discomfort
  • Fever and shortness of breath
  • Rashes

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What If The Home Seller Or Builder Did Not Disclose A Known Mold Problem

If the prior owner of a house you bought knew of the presence of mold and was required to disclose this information under state real estate disclosure rules, but did not do so, the owner may be liable to you for failure to disclose. See the Nolo article, “Mold: Who to Sue” for more on the subject. Other useful Nolo articles include “Home Defects: Sue the Seller,” which provides useful advice on determining who’s legally responsible for home defects and how to file suit. For advice on dealing with problems in a new house, see “New-Home Defects: Holding Your Builder Responsible.”

How To Detect Mold In Your Basement Or Home

You won’t always know if there is mold in a house you’re considering buying, but you can take a few easy steps to try and find out.

Be on the lookout for mold. When you’re thinking about buying a home, look for the elements above to figure out if there are any obvious signs of mold or the potential for mold. Keep your eyes peeled for standing water in the basement, water marks on walls , or musty smells .

If you’re looking at a newer home, find out whether it is built with “synthetic stucco,” also called the Exterior Insulation and Finish System . This airtight barrier is supposed to improve insulation but, if improperly installed, may allow water penetration and mold growth on the inside of walls.

Ask your home inspector. If you have the home professionally inspected before you buy it, your home inspector may see obvious signs of mold or water damage. While it’s not the inspector’s job to look for mold, most home inspectors will mention obvious signs of water damage and the possible presence of mold. And, because the inspector will poke around in spaces you might not, he or she may see things you wouldn’t. For more information, see the Nolo article, “Getting a Home Inspection.”

In states where mold disclosure is not required, you can still ask for such disclosure. In addition, ask questions about things that could lead to mold growth, such as “Have any pipes ever burst?” or “Have any of the windows ever leaked?”

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Testing For Hidden Or Airborne Mold

  • 1Use an in-home mold testing kit. In-home testing kits come equipped with their own instruments and instructions. Follow the kit’s directions. Submit the sampling to a local lab.
  • If you see mold in a visual inspection, a testing kit isn’t necessary.XTrustworthy SourceUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practicesGo to source
  • These kits can be difficult to use, and their results can be unreliable. Use them only as a last resort if other options aren’t available.
  • 2Use a borescope. A borescope can be helpful for inspecting spaces between walls.XTrustworthy SourceUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practicesGo to source Drill a small hole into a wall recently affected by water or moisture. Slowly insert the fiber optic cable end through the hole. Check the monitor for signs of mold. Continue to move slowly as you probe deeper into the area.
  • Borescopes distort the size and color of mold on the monitor. If you find areas of discoloration inside the wall, contact a professional for a second opinion.
  • You can also use a borescope to inspect air ducts, but there are drawbacks. The instrument only lets you see so far into a duct. If the duct makes a sudden 90-degree turn, you won’t be able to see beyond that turn.
  • Schedule A Mold Test Today

    HouseSmarts “Healthful Home 5 Minute Mold Test” Episode 180

    Schedule a mold test today and allow our certified mold inspectors to verify the presence or absence of mold in your Charlotte area home. Call us at 551-3831 to schedule your inspection. We also provide termite and pest inspections, well/water quality testing, sprinkler system inspections, and more. Dont forget to check out our reviews and helpful resources.

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    When To Inspect For Mold

    One good thing about mold- if you can see it, you have mold in your house. Seeing mold in the cracks and corners of your walls definitely means it is growing and spreading more spores. Keep in mind that mold may also grow in places you cannot see, such as in your ducts or between your walls. It may also form colonies so tiny they escape the eye. A few situations should make you look for any mold problems in your house.

    • Water damage. If your basement flooded, roof leaked, or a broken pipe sprayed water all over the kitchen, you need to inspect for mold. Any place that got wet and was not quickly dried could become contaminated by mold.
    • Purchasing a new home. There is no way to know what kind of water damage may have happened in the house you are planning to buy. The only way to find out if mold is present is to do a mold inspection.
    • After a house has been unoccupied. If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity could have built up inside and caused mold to grow. This is especially a problem in warmer areas with high humidity.
    • After mold remediation. If you have gone through the often expensive and difficult steps to deal with a mold problem, regular mold inspections are a good idea to make sure you really got rid of it all.
    • You see some mold. If you notice some green, blue, black or white stuff growing in your house, do a mold inspection to make sure you find it all. It might not be restricted to one location.

    Is Mold Testing Necessary

    Mold inspections are only necessary if a mold problem is suspected within a home. Every home has a certain amount of mold. Mold testing will be necessary to determine how much mold is present and what species of mold. Mold testing may also provide information regarding a possible hidden mold problem within the walls.

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    Should You Buy A House With Mold Problems

    If you find a house and discover it has mold problems, should you buy it anyway? If you or a family member has asthma or if a baby or an elderly person will live in the house, you’ll want to be especially concerned about limiting exposure to mold. You’ll have to decide whether the cost of removing the mold and fixing the source — both in time and money — is worth the price you’ll pay.

    If you have an inspection contingency and the mold is revealed as part of the inspection, or if you have a specific mold contingency, you have a bargaining chip. You can ask the seller to reduce the asking price, to fix the problem, or you can choose to walk away from the deal.

    The Trouble With Mold In The Home

    How to Detect Household Mold

    Mold is a fungus that comes in various colors and shapes. While some molds are visible and even odorous, mold can also grow between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics. Mold does best in water-soaked materials , but can survive in almost any damp location. Mold can grow in houses situated in the desert, and it can grow in homes in hot and humid climes.

    Here are some common places in a home where mold is likely to take hold:

    • around leaking pipes, windows, or roofs
    • basements or other places that have flooded and haven’t been thoroughly dried
    • tightly sealed buildings , which trap excess moisture inside, and
    • homes with poor ventilation, numerous over-watered houseplants, and housekeeping habits that ignore obvious dampness and don’t include airing the place out.

    Besides presenting an ugly appearance and, sometimes, an unpleasant odor, mold can cause health problems. In the worst cases, a few types of molds produce mycotoxins, which can cause rashes, seizures, unusual bleeding, respiratory problems, and severe fatigue in some people. Fortunately, most molds are of the non-toxic variety.

    For more on the hazards of mold, see the article on this site: Toxic Mold Health Risks and the resources listed below.

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    Cleaning Up Small And Medium Mould Problems

    Bleach is not necessary to clean up mould.

    You can clean up small areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Unless the mould growth is on smooth surfaces such as bathroom tiles, surface cleaning will not eliminate the problem.

    In most cases you can clean up medium areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Materials damaged by mould must be physically removed and disposed of under safe conditions. However, it is important to seek professional assistance if there is a large mould problem or if mould comes back after cleaning.

    Susceptible individuals such as pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and occupants with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in or near the area where the mould is being cleaned up.

    Minimum protective gear needed:

    • a disposable N95 mask and
    • household disposable gloves.

    You can purchase an N95 mask from a hardware store. Make sure that the label says “N95”. Other masks are designed to provide limited protection against dust and are not suitable for protecting against mould exposure. Make sure that the mask is properly fitted and you can breathe through the mask.

    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:
  • Baseboards
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    How To Get Rid Of Mold

    There are plenty of DIY mold removal options for you on the web some more effective than others. These may suffice if the problem is minor. After DIY treatment, it may be good to have an air quality test taken to determine the effectiveness of your work.

    If the problem is more than minor, DIY methods will likely only remove the appearance of mold for a short time. If the problem is more serious, the best approach is to hire a certified and reputable local mold remediation company.

    Most mold remediation companies will recommend demolition of the infected part of your home to get rid of mold, so keep in mind that you might have additional expenses to restore a portion of your house. Besides that, the process might take several days.

    If you are looking into demolition-free mold removal, then look into the companies that use a dry fog technique. When properly done, this method not only kills mold without demolition to your home, but it also takes less than a day to complete.

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    Common Types Of House Mold

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    Wondering what types of mold are the most common in houses and which ones you should be concerned about? Lets discuss a few of the most common types of household mold now.

    • Cladosporium Cladosporium is one of the most common household molds. It usually grows in a greenish-brown colony, but can also be nearly black in color. It is rarely harmful unless you have a mold allergy, but may cause minor issues like toenail or fingernail infections.
    • Penicillium Penicillium is sometimes called green mold, as it is usually dark green in color. It tends to grow in large, consistent patches on the walls. As the name suggests, penicillin is derived from some kinds of this mold. However, some kinds of penicillium mold may be toxic to humans and animals.
    • Aspergillus This type of mold is usually greenish-white in color, and may be more raised with a more cloudy appearance than other types of mold. It is not harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system, in which case it could infect the lungs or sinuses.
    • Alternaria Alternaria mold is usually greenish-white, but can also appear in black patches, so its sometimes confused with black mold. Alternaria can be a factor in exacerbating asthma, particularly for those who may have mold allergies.

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    When Is Mold Detection Needed

    Most home owners or business owners contact us to test for mold for one or more of the following reasons: Strange or musty smell Unexplained health complications and symptoms Recent water damage Real estate transactions / new property purchase Looking for peace of mind When Mycotoxin exposure is a concern

    Any inspection for mold that is done without testing is simply a guess at what is going on with your indoor air quality. Our service is so valuable because we offer hard evidence about what is going on and if the mold in your home or business is dangerous.

    What Affects The Cost Of Mold Inspection

    The cost of mold inspection can vary based on the size and age of the house, as well as location of the home. Larger homes will cost more to inspect, but full-service home inspectors who offer mold inspection and mold testing often have package options available. With a package, homeowners and homebuyers can bundle multiple home inspection services together for a discounted price. If you have questions about the cost of a mold inspection for your home, or packages, contact your local home inspector to learn more.

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