As a homeowner or occupant there are things you can do prior to calling in professional help. In many cases inspecting for mold initially involves common sense. Check for musky odors, look for discolored areas on wall, baseboards, ceilings, cabinets, attic and basement areas.
In some cases you may find no physical evidence of mold growth but still suspect mold spores due to having or suffering conditions such as allergies, respiratory irritation, skin rashes, etc.. In those instances you might want some testing done.
An air sample test for mold spores can be taken to indicate the level of indoor airborne mold spores or perhaps a carpet test for allergens. For the testing or sampling for mold, you should seek the help of professionals who have specific experience in mold sampling protocols and the appropriate equipment. For an appointment today, call Toledo Home Inspections, LLC – Toledo Home Inspection Services at (567) 377-4152.
Is sampling for mold needed?
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Unless there is a specific agent is in question; an example among others might be perhaps certain allergens in which your physician might have some interest. Additionally, surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately remediated. At Toledo Home Inspections – Toledo Home Inspection Services, our professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results should conduct sampling for mold. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
Toledo Home Inspectors Can Detect Mold In Your Home
Molds (Fungi), are everywhere on our planet, both indoors and outdoors. Fungi are found in every ecological niche, and are necessary for the recycling of organic building blocks that allow plants and animals to live. Included in the group “fungi” are yeasts, molds and mildews, as well as large mushrooms, puffballs and bracket fungi that grow on dead trees. Fungi have to have an external organic food sources and water/moisture to be able to grow.
Mold cannot use inorganic materials such as concrete or rock for food, but it can consume anything organic, or carbon-based, that lands on these surfaces. Mold can grow on dust, fruit, paper, cotton, soap, oil, paint, and wood. In buildings, many of the materials mold grows on (such as wood framing, wallpaper, fabrics, drywall, and cardboard boxes) contain cellulose, a plant substance.
An example is, when a mold spore lands on damp wood, the hyphae elongate and grow through the hollow tubes of the wood structure, breaking down the cellulose, metabolizing the sugar, and destroying, or “rotting” the wood. When the wood dries out, the mold stops growing and may even die. What is left behind consists of, among other things, mold growth (including spores and hyphae), partially digested cellulose, and the undigested lignin. When the wood gets wet the mold may start to grow again.
Should I Be Concerned About Mold In My Home?
Yes, if indoor mold contamination is extensive, it can cause very high and persistent airborne spore exposures. Persons exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized and develop allergies to the mold or other health problems. Mold growth can damage your furnishings, such as carpets, furniture and cabinets. Clothes and shoes in damp closets can become stained and soiled. Unchecked, mold growth over a period of time can cause serious damage to the structural elements in your home. Toledo Home Inspections can help detect your mold problems. Call us today at (567) 377-4152 to make an appointment.
Do you suspect mold in your home?
You may suspect that you have mold if you see discolored patches or cottony or speckled growth on walls or furniture or if you smell an earthy or musty odor. You also may suspect mold contamination if mold-allergic individuals experience some of the symptoms listed when in your house. Evidence of past or ongoing water damage should also be a trigger for a thorough inspection. A complete inspection may find mold growth underneath water-damaged surfaces or behind walls, floors or ceilings.
Toledo Home Inspections can detect some common sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold problems:
- Leaky roofs
- Damp basement or crawl space
- Plumbing leaks
- Overflow from sinks or sewers
- Sprinkler spray hitting the house
- Steam from shower or cooking
- Wet clothes drying indoors or clothes dryers exhausting indoors
Warping floors and discoloration of walls and ceilings can be indications of moisture problems. Condensation on windows or walls is also an important indication. You should have fuel-burning heating equipment or appliances routinely inspected by your local utility or a professional heating contractor.
Toledo Home Inspections can help you prevent mold problems in your home
Inspect your home regularly for the indications and sources of indoor moisture and mold listed above. Take steps to eliminate sources of water as quickly as possible.
If a leak or flooding occurs, it is essential to act quickly:
- Stop the source of leak or flooding.
- Remove excess water with mops or wet vacuum.
- Whenever possible, move wet items to a dry and well ventilated area or outside to expedite drying.
- Move rugs and pull up areas of wet carpet as soon as possible.
- Open closet and cabinet doors and move furniture away from walls to increase circulation.
- Run portable fans to increase air circulation.
- Do NOT use the homes central blower if flooding has occurred in it or in any of the ducts.
- Do NOT use fans if mold may have already started to grow usually more than 48 hrs. since flooding.
- Run dehumidifiers and window air conditioners to lower humidity.
- Do NOT turn up the heat or use heaters in confined areas, as higher temperatures increase the rate of mold growth.
- If water has soaked inside the walls, it may be necessary to open wall cavities, remove baseboards, and/or pry open wall paneling.