Will You Inspect My Home Or Apartment
IDPH does not perform inspections of residential environments for mold. We primarily respond to requests for assistance by providing information by telephone and providing recommendations for homeowners, landlords or tenants to take to alleviate conditions that may represent a potential health hazard.
Does The Home You Are Buying Or Selling Have Past Or Current Water Damage Or Possible Mold
Mold Air Sample Testing Is Also Offered As An Add-on To Our Essential Home Inspections:
We offer mold air sample testing as an add-on service that can be combined with a general home inspection with INFRARED scan.
Air samples can be taken roughly every 600-800 sq. feet throughout the home along with a required outdoor control/baseline air sample.
We can also air sample just problem areas that may be discovered during the inspection .
Products And Tools Youll Need To Test For Mold In Your Home
The only thing you need to test for mold at home is a test kit. In addition to the ones previously mentioned, there are several options available:
- Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit: This kit includes three tests. Your sample can be tested for an additional $40 fee, with results delivered by e-mail or via the companys app.
- MoldCheck Multi-Test Kit: This kit includes supplies to perform ten tests, which is great for an entire home or monitoring an ongoing infestation. However, there is no lab testing option, so you will need to find your own if you need identification.
- ImmunoLytics Mold Screening Test Kit: Perform eight tests with this kit. Each plate can be tested for $33 each.
- My Mold Detective: If you are looking for a more advanced mold monitoring option, the My Mold Detective is a reusable air sampling pump that collects samples in just five minutes. The device comes with four sampling cassettes that can be tested in a lab for $35 each.
- My Mold Detective Additional Samples: The My Mold Detective can be used again and again, so order as many samples as you need to keep tabs on your mold problem.
Recommended Reading: Clean Mold Off Of Leather
How To Know If I Have A Mold Problem In My Home
Your health can be a telling sign if there is mold in the home. Symptoms of a mold allergy include a consistently runny nose , watery eyes , sneezing , dizziness , headaches and even memory loss . On their own, these symptoms could just be a sign of an oncoming cold, but if you are only symptomatic within your home, mold could be the culprit.
The Process For Checking And Testing Mold
Checking and testing for house molds begins with identifying places indoors where moisture may exist more than you want.
Once you find mold if youre concerned, move on to a mold test to find out what youve got and if its harmful.
In all cases, always eliminate any water problems.
Ok, heres where to check for mold indoors :
Also Check: How To Clean Mold From Ceiling In Bathroom
Pick Up At Least Two Diy Mold Test Kits
One of the most highly rated is made by Mold Inspection Network You can pick one up here for a little less money than what Home Depot or Lowes sells test kits for.
It comes with three surface testers. This is usually enough, but they can quickly be used up say if youre testing your bathroom, kitchen, the air inside your home and the air outside your home.
If you can swing it, pick up two of these mold testers and youll be able to do a complete check of your immediate living environment. Trust me, this lets you rest easier.
Protect Others And The Building
If you decide to clean the mold yourself, it is important to protect yourself and the other people in the building. When cleaning a large amount of mold, consider the following:
- Remove furnishings and items from the work area.
- Enclose and seal mold material in plastic before carrying them through the home.
- Cover air supply and return vents in the work area.
- Use a fan to pull contaminated air out of the work area and exhaust it outdoors.
- Consider renting an air scrubber to operate in the area .
- Remove the outer layer of work clothing inside the work area and wash separately, or bag and discard the clothing.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold Spots Off Bathroom Ceiling
Does Your Home Have Mold
The answer is probably. Should you worry about it? It depends. There are several thousand strains of mold in existence, and each of us encounter many of them in our daily lives.
Most experts believe that except for those with asthma or other respiratory problems, these daily mold encounters are harmless. The problem arises with a particular mold called Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys also goes by the name of black mold or toxic mold.
This type of mold is thought to be responsible for a decrease in memory and worsened lung capacity in the very old and the very young, but may even cause health problems in healthy median-aged individuals as well.
Besides health problems, black mold also causes damage to a homes structure. For these reasons, its a good idea to be on the lookout for black mold in your home.
Because mold reproduces in moist places, be sensitive to signs of mold especially after you have had any water damage in your home. You may see mold growth dotted on the walls, ceilings or furniture. Also, check underneath surfaces and in dark places.
Even if you arent able to see the mold, it could still be there behind walls or in the ceiling. If you become aware of a musty, dank smell or if mold-sensitive people start to complain while in your home, have your home inspected for black mold.
Hire a Mold Inspector
Have Your Home Inspected For Early Detection
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How To Prevent The Growth Of Mold
Keeping the interior of your home dry can help prevent mold. The home inspector can discover leaks, issues with plumbing, or problems with the HVAC system and ventilation, which can lead to the growth of mold. This is why a professional home inspection is so important.
High humidity levels can also cause mold to form on wood, drywall, and other materials the mold considers food. Using a dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels can help to prevent mold.
Common places you might find mold include:
- Areas where pipes have been leaking
- Areas beneath roof leaks
- Basements where there has been water damage or flooding
- Areas where you see a buildup of moisture
- Homes with poor air circulation and ventilation
How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
When Should You Test For Mold
If you notice any evidence of mold growth in your home, say, in the corners of walls or cracks in the ceiling, then you definitely have mold growing and spreading. But just because you dont see any doesnt mean youre mold-free. Mold can often grow in places that you cant see, like between your walls or in your air ducts. It can also grow in insulation, drywall and carpet.
You should have a professional test for mold any time youre planning on purchasing a home, but also if youve ever experienced water damage of any kind. If youve had a leaky roof, a broken pipe or had any standing water in your home for an extended period of time, you should definitely consider testing for mold in the house.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Mold On Ceiling
How To Identify Black Mold In Your House
The simple way to discover whether you have black mold is to look at it and wipe it with a rag. To test for mold and mildew and how to tell if your house has mold, simply dab a few drops of household bleach on the blackened area.
How To Identify Black Mold Top 3 Indications You May Have A Problem Mold Inspection Mold Remover Molding
- To determine if the mold you find in your home is black mold, look out for a distinctively musty odor.
Consider Inside The Walls
In warm, moist environments, impermeable vinyl wall covering can trap most air inside walls as the air moves from the warm outdoors to the cool interior.
This degrades the drywall and the adhesive behind the wall covering.
This is hard to check unless you remove the wall covering. If you can, replace with permeable material to allow these areas to dry.
Read Also: Cleaning Mold In Shower Grout
How Can I Test For Toxic Mold
If you suspect or fear toxic mold is growing in your home, you wont need any special tests. A test such as the viable test kit we learned about above will detect all kinds of molds present. By sending your petri dish to a lab, you can get a better idea of which types of molds that are growing and then take the correct actions.
The next step should always be to consult a professional for further tests and investigations. Test kits are more of a guidance than something to fully rely on.
Its also important to understand that simply because its called toxic mold, it doesnt mean its toxic to you. As we mentioned above, molds that produce mycotoxins can affect some individuals, while others wont be affected.
However, if you suspect that you have been exposed to toxic molds, your doctor can run a few tests. A blood test can help to determine if youve been poisoned by checking biotoxins in your blood .
Are Home Mold Test Kits Accurate
10 Reasons Why Do-It-Yourself Mold Test Kits Are Not Accurate or Advised. In one, an unopened kit was moldy. No expiration dates on the kit old media could affect the accuracy and reliability of the results. Label claims that kit can identify toxic mold, but the report the lab sends cant tell you this.
Also Check: Spray Paint Mold Killer
How To Test For Mold
This article was co-authored by Bridgett Price. Bridgett Price is a Cleaning Guru and Co-Owner of Maideasy, a maid service company that services the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. She holds a Master of Management from the University of Phoenix, specializing in digital and traditional marketing.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 275,516 times.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist environments and reproduces by microscopic seeds called spores. Even if you’re healthy, you can suffer from respiratory issues, skin irritation, and headaches if you’re exposed to dangerous forms of mold.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source If you share your home with children, elderly loved ones, or anyone with respiratory problems, they’re at an even greater risk. Therefore, it’s very important to learn how to find, test for, and treat mold. This knowledge could improve your health and even save your life.
Search For Leaking Pipes
Since mold requires moisture to be able to survive, it is important that a tenant reduces the amount of moisture that lingers in their apartment.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that there are no leaky pipes located anywhere in the home. The two most obvious locations to check for this would be the bathroom and the kitchen.
If the bathroom sink and tub do not appear to be leaking, then the tenant should check their kitchen sink as well.
If they run the water and do not see any of it leaking out of the pipe at any point, then they should be all clear of leaks.
While they are down there, they should also be sure to check for any visual signs of mold near the water pipes.
If any of them have leaked and caused mold to develop, the mold would not necessarily be right beside the pipe.
Moisture can travel incredibly far, depending on what type of material the wall is made of. The early symptoms of mold may be located several inches or even an entire foot away from where the pipe is located.
Also Check: How To Remove Mold From A Bathroom Ceiling
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.
Extent Of Mould Growth
It is important to determine the extent of the mould problem in your home to help you decide on the clean-up procedure. An area of mould is considered small if it covers one square metre or less. There should be no more than three patches of mould, with the total area staying within one square metre. Many small patches of mould in one area or throughout your home are a sign of moisture problems that need to be investigated and corrected right away.
If ignored, small mould areas may become larger over time, so it is important to clean them up before the problem gets bigger. A small amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment.
The area of mould is considered medium if there are more than three patches of mould , but the total area is less than three square metres. In this case, assessment by a qualified professional is recommended but in most cases a medium amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment .
An area of mould is considered large if a single patch of mould is larger than three square metres. Health Canada does not recommend that an unqualified person clean up large areas of mould. You may need a professional assessment to determine why the mould is there in the first place and how to clean it up.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold From Shower Grout
Send It To The Scientists
Imagine that youve just used a DIY testing kit to gather a sample.
A perk of these kits is the option to send them to a lab for follow-up testing. Once again, the packaging of the test should reveal how this is done. In general, though, you ship the sample in the post and let the scientists to their stuff.
They take the suspected mold and use official lab tests to confirm/refute your suspicions. Better still, theyll identify the nature of any mold in evidence and recommend the best route forward in terms of treating it.
Be wary of extra fees though. Sometimes the cost of lab testing is included in the products purchase price but not always!
When Should I Check My House For Mold
It is recommended to check for house mold if you:
- See growth somewhere in your house
- Smell musty or or mildewy odors
- Have a situation where you or someone shows signs up allergies indoors
- Suspect regularly occurring moisture somewhere in your house.
View an actual mold in house report to see what comes back after you analyze your house mold.
Recommended Reading: Cleaning Mildew From Boat Seats
What To Do If You Have Mold In Your Home
What should you do if you see mold in your home? The first thing is to do some investigation. Mold is a sign of excess moisture. You need to determine the source of moisture and control or eliminate it. Moisture can come from many sources, including leaks, condensation, and ground water. Once you determine the source, take measures to correct the problem.
The Minnesota Department of Health created a fact sheet explaining why it does not support mold testing as a first response to indoor air quality problems. For more information about MDH’s stance on testing, visit Testing for Mold.