Mold Inspection and Testing

As soon as you start to suspect there may be mold growing in your home, you need to take action and investigate further. It doesn’t matter what kind of mold you think it might be – you should treat all mold as if it is dangerous to your health and get rid of it as soon as possible. Before you take action, however, make sure to take any necessary precautions, so you don’t endanger your health while trying to remedy the issue.

Mold inspection should be done carefully to avoid getting spores on your skin, in your eyes, or into your lungs. Professional testing and mold removal services may be your best bet when you have a large mold problem.

Over 30% of brand new homes built have a mold of some form in them. Construction teams do their best – but they are working on the homes in the elements where one home can sit for days or weeks, soaking up moisture before the next crew comes in for their part of the project. – www.cnn.com

The sections below will highlight some of the basics related to mold inspection and testing. Once you have a game plan in place for dealing with your mold issue, don’t wait around too long to act – the mold problem is only going to get worse the longer you allow it to grow.

Also, you could be living in a setting that is dangerous to your health, depending on the amount and type of mold that you are dealing with.

Mold Testing

Inspecting and testing for mold is the first step in dealing with this potentially serious problem. There are two ways you can go about testing – doing it on your own or hiring a company to do the work for you.

In fact, you might end up needing to take both of these steps, depending on the severity of your mold problem. You can start out with a DIY test, as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. If that test reveals that you do have some kind of a mold problem, it is a wise decision to then call in a professional for a more thorough analysis.

Home tests can be a good way to get started, but they are not nearly as accurate or reliable as professionals, so don’t rely solely on the results of a DIY test.

You will often find mold in the shower by the caulk or grout. It is easy to find.

A professional mold test involves both a visual inspection of the affected areas as well as a test of the air in the home. There also may be the need to send a sample of the mold that has been collected into a lab for further testing.

If you are dealing with a large-scale mold colony, you may need to leave home while the work is being done. Be sure to ask any company that you are considering using for a detailed list of exactly what they will do, how long it will take, and how much it will cost before getting started.

What Can a Mold Inspector Do for Me?

Hiring an inspector can help you get all of the information you need to decide how best to deal with your mold issues. A good mold inspection service will be able to track down any and all mold colonies in your home, analyze what they are doing to the air quality in your home, and recommend the best course of action moving forward.

If you are trying to decide whether to hire a professional mold removal company or just handle the problem yourself – an inspector is a good first step toward making the best decision.

The biggest advantage to hiring a service is the experience and expertise they have in the field. The knowledge they bring to the job is far more than you are going to be able to acquire by doing some reading and learning about mold.

The contractor will likely have years of experience in the field and will have seen many different types of mold along the way. They will know where to look for mold, and know how to spot signs that it may be growing out of sight.

Additionally, a service will have all of the specialized tools and equipment needed for the job – items that you likely don’t have around the house and don’t know how to use properly either.

The only notable downside to bringing in an inspector is the cost associated with retaining their services. While the most inspection cost should be significantly less than the cost to hiring a company to do the mold removal.

Mold inspection cost is still likely to be in the range of $200 – $400, depending on the size of your property and how much mold is it needs to be tested.

However, that money will be well spent when you know that a professional has inspected your home and tracked down any mold colonies that need to be treated and removed.

In most cases, it will be worth your time and money to hire a mold inspector to take a look at your property and analyze the situation. The experience they offer is something that can’t be replaced, and you want to be sure you have all the information you need to then take care of the mold problem and get back to life as usual in your home.

Mold Mitigation & Removal

Of course, it doesn’t do any good to inspect the mold in your home unless you do something about it after that inspection. Once you have the results and know exactly what you are up against, it is time to formulate a plan and get to work solving the problem.

Getting started on the mold remediation process means deciding if you are going to handle the job on your own or hire professional services to do the work for you. This is up to you and should be based on how comfortable you are working on the problem and how much mold you have to deal with.

Another part of the process that you need to consider is the mold restoration work that may need to be done after cleanup is complete.

For example, imaging that you have a mold colony that has grown behind the wall in your shower. In order to properly remove the mold and clean the area, that wall will have to be opened up.

Naturally, once the mold work is complete, the wall will need to be repaired and restored so you can once again use the shower. As you are planning how you are going to deal with the mold remediation process, make sure you build in a plan to deal with home repair work that may need to be done after the mold has been removed.

If you are going to hire a mold removal service to deal with the problem, make sure to ask them what other services they offer in terms of home repair and restoration. You may be able to find a company that can handle the whole job from start to finish, rather than having to deal with several different contractors.

Known Places Mold can Form in Your Home

Knowing where to look for mold in your home is a big step toward spotting it and eliminating it before it becomes a big problem. Since mold needs a proper amount of moisture to thrive, looking in places where water can be found is a good place to start.

This means bathrooms and kitchens, specifically. If there is a leak in a pipe or a drainage problem of some kind, you could be asking for trouble in the way of a mold colony.

According to the American Bar Association, there has been a 200% increase in defect mold litigation in construction over the past 5 years.

This is a dirty filter, but look at the part which has been cleaned, notice the mold on the filter element.

In the absence of a water leak, mold can also find the moisture it needs through condensation. Where areas of differing temperatures come together, condensation can form, and mold can grow. This makes basements and windows prime targets for mold formation.

Crawl space mold, and attic mold, are among the most common places, along with the bathrooms and kitchens mentioned above. Attic mold removal, as well as crawl space mold removal, can be tricky due to the tight space and may require a professional mold removal service to handle the job.

If you suspect that you might have a mold problem in your home, start your search in the places that are most likely to have enough moisture available to support mold growth. While mold can grow on a variety of surfaces, wood and paper products are likely locations due to the organic matter that can act as food for the mold as it grows.

Therefore, inside the walls of your bathroom or kitchen or on exposed wood in your attic or crawlspace is very common locations to find mold. As soon as you locate mold in any of these places, start forming a plan to deal with it as soon as possible.

After mold inspection and test, whether you are able to clean and treat it on your own or need to bring in a professional mold removal service to do the work, it is important that it gets done quickly to limit the damage and protect your health.

Worked in IT for 10 years, specialising in computer measurement, resource and performance management and complex problem solving. Changed careers to HVACr in 2015.

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