As you are possibly aware mold is a tiny living organism. You have most likely come across it on some forgotten bread or something lurking at the back of the refrigerator! However, this member of the fungi family will not just grow on rotten food. It produces spores which become air borne and will quite happily settle and grow on many different surfaces in particular if they are composed of cellulose so, items made from timber, natural fabrics like cotton, wool, leather, paper and cardboard.
The biggest cause of mold growth in homes is excess moisture created by leaking water which has gone undetected or elevated humidity due to inadequate ventilation. The obvious places for mold to germinate are the areas of the property which are most likely to be damp, like the kitchen and bathroom, basements and crawl space/attic are also common places associated with mold problems (mold will grow in glass fibre insulation.)
In many instances mold growing in your property is fairly harmless, whilst it may cause some irritation such as itchy eyes and is far from ideal for those already suffering from respiratory related illness for example asthma, it will do no real harm. However, there are other strains of mold which are very toxic and damaging to human health. For this reason, early mold detection and eradication in your home is vital.
MOLD DETECTION – it sounds very complicated and costly! The fact is that it does not need to be. You could employ a mold inspector and in certain instances this is the only option, and this will cost you some hard earned money but, it is possible to do it yourself. How? Purely by being vigilant!
1. Searching for Mold:-
Mold will bloom in a number of different colors, for example black, green, grey or white. Mold is regularly described as having a “furry” appearance and will frequently show up in patches for example on external walls, or in the grouting of tiles, on clothing or in closets – i.e. places which are or have been damp/wet. Routine mold detection inspections can often catch any problem before it gets too big.
2. Thorough Basement/Attic Inspection:-
These are places we rarely enter – usually only to chuck items we no longer want. Making them a haven for mold due to leaks or seepage of water which has gone undetected. Therefore, these areas must be inspected on a regular basis as part of your mold detection regime. Checking for leaks/damp areas as well as established areas of mold should be a priority especially before the onset of winter.
3. Moldy Smell:-
Mold gives off a distinct “musty” odour as it feeds on the surface on which it is growing. So, whilst there may be no visible mold, if, a room or area of your dwelling smalls musty or earthy and generally unpleasant it is undoubtedly time to carry out some serious mold detection work. Look, under carpets, behind pictures on walls, behind furniture, behind wallpaper (which if damp will probably be peeling at the edges anyway) behind baseboards etc. All of these areas can have hidden possibly toxic mold growing.
4. Unseen Mold:-
Regardless whether you undertake extensive mold detection searches it is possible that there could be hidden microscopic mold in your dwelling. Tell tale symptoms indicating that this may be the case may include regular problems with a stuffed up nose and irritation in the throat and the eyes. This kind of mold is often labelled as the most hazardous. Especially as the only clues to its presence are usually the physical symptoms it causes and the “musty” smell it gives off. In this instance it really is a job for professionals.
5. Mold Detection Kits:-
These kits can be purchased in various forms and for varied purposes. You can buy kits which merely detect the presence of mold, some others will allow you determine the strain of mold, whilst there are others which let you to check the air quality within your property. In some of cases you can obtain results from these mold detection kits within days or perhaps hours. For others however, you will have to package them up and send them off to a laboratory for analysis – probably at extra cost.
6. Mold Detection By Hiring A Mold Inspector:-
As I said before in some cases there is not another option other than to leave mold detection to the professionals, particularly where you have been unable to detect mold growth in your own inspection. A mold inspector should have the know how to locate hidden mold and will have the equipment essential to carry out the testing as needed.