WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT MOLD IN YOUR HOME
When it comes to mold, the best defense is a thorough and proactive offense. Mold testing can help identify problem areas and diagnose potential issues in your home before they become a health or structural hazard.
Once mold gets into your home, it cannot be completely removed unless the source has been mitigated. Learn more about what you can do to protect your household and health from mold below.
WHAT IS MOLD
Mold comes in an array of colors and is a byproduct of the breakdown of organic matter. Mold is persistent and can germinate (produce spores) and grow within 24 hours in the proper environment.
There are four factors which allow for mold to thrive; temperatures between 40º and 100º, the existing presence of spores, a nutrient base, and the main culprit – moisture.
If the conditions are right, mold continually grows and releases spores into the air. These spores commonly cause allergic symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and headaches. The presence of mold can also compromise the respiratory health of those who are more susceptible to serious illness.
While some people have an immediate reaction when exposed to mold, others may have a delayed reaction weeks after exposure.
MOLD IN HOMES
Homes can retain moisture from a variety of factors such as dew, rain, and snow. Homeowners should be vigilant about checking their homes, inside and out, for the presence of moisture and mold. When left unaddressed, mold growth in homes can spread quickly, resulting in rot and potential structural damage.
There are a few easy habits you can adopt to prevent excess moisture in your home. For example, monitoring the indoor humidity levels by turning on the bathroom fan when the shower is running, or ensuring appliances such as the dishwasher and clothes dryer are properly ventilated. Additionally, the use of dehumidifiers is a great and effective way to remove moisture from areas in your home that are prone to retaining excess moisture.
Lastly, basements and crawlspaces are notorious for holding moisture and breeding mold. Leaky foundations or condensation from appliances are often the culprits for damp, humid basements. Leaks of any kind should be remedied promptly to avoid further moisture intrusion or potential damage to the home.
Mold testing can identify areas of concern in your home before they become larger issues. Noticing musty odors or noting moisture intrusion even without the evidence of mold can warrant having a mold inspection done.
TESTING FOR MOLD
Mold testing is the process of assessing the presence of mold and airborne particles in a given environment. A professional inspector will start by inspecting the moisture levels within your home, looking for visible mold growth and performing a visual examination of your home’s exterior.
After a visual inspection is performed, mold sample tests are taken and sent to a certified laboratory. The lab’s analysis can determine the concentration, type, and the distribution of mold spores in your home.
There are two main testing methods used to collect the lab samples, air sampling and surface sampling.
- Air sampling takes spore samples from inside and from outside of the home. The outdoor sample is used in comparison to determine the level of contamination indoors.
- Surface sampling is the easiest method for testing indoors for mold. The inspector collects several samples of visible mold from different parts of the home with a tape sample or a swag for lab testing.
One of the benefits of mold testing is that it can detect the presence of mold spores which is not as obvious as visible mold and identify issues before they get worse.
If you suspect any issues with mold in your home, contact Platinum Home Inspections for a consultation and professional mold testing.