Mold is a common fungus that is almost everywhere! It’s an important part of nature, but when mold grows in your home in elevated amounts, it’s important to identify and remediate it as soon as possible. Don’t worry- not all mold is dangerous, and we can help you figure out what you’re looking at or what you may be smelling. New construction products and ever-changing conditions of older homes contribute to the destructive and possibly toxic dangers of hidden mold spores that could affect people living in that space.
There are three things that mold needs in order to live: air, food and moisture. This makes homes and buildings, especially in a humid climate, very ideal environments for mold to thrive in. Fortunately, there are ways to test if you have mold growing in your home to give you information about: what kind of mold it may be, if it actively growing, and what kind of remediation you may need.
Types Of Mold Testing
If you see mold growing in your home or building, we would recommend have a direct swab test taken. This can identify the kind of mold growing and tell you if the mold is still actively growing.
Maybe you smell something musty in your bathroom or basement or maybe you just want the peace of mind that the air you are breathing does not have elevated mold spores. In these cases, we would recommend doing an air quality test. It is recommended that one indoor air sample be taken for every 500-1,000 square feet of livable space.
We offer a variety of affordable and reliable mold and air quality testing. Our inspectors have the skills, equipment, and knowledge to properly conduct a mold assessment of the home, sample the air, or take direct swab tests of suspicious growth in order to properly identify potentially high levels of pollutants.
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How does mold testing work?
One of our trained inspectors will come to where ever your concern of mold is, whether that is your home or place of business. If we’re testing the air quality, the inspector will bring a specialized air pump to collect spores in the air. If there’s a surface mold swab test being done, the inspector will have a swab to wipe directly on the fungus growth and then contain that swab before it is sent off to our lab.
Where is Mold Usually Found?
Most often, mold cannot be seen since the spores are floating in the air. However, sometimes there is visible microbial growth on surfaces. Here are some examples of places where mold can be found inside the home:
- Kitchens (Under sinks, bottom of refrigerators, etc.)
- Underside of Carpets & Pads
- Surfaces of Walls Behind Furniture (Where Condensation Forms)
- Ceilings & Top Side of Ceiling Tiles
- Front & Back Sides of Drywall
- Wall Paper or Paneling
- Inside HVAC Systems & Duct Work
- Improperly Vented Attics/Crawlspaces
- Anywhere previous leaks occured
Why should you test for mold?
Molds can affect people in various ways. For some, it can pose a significant health risk, but for others, it may not even affect them. There are some instances where a property’s mold infestation is too severe for people to live in it.
Besides health reasons, some types of molds, especially black molds can significantly ruin the aesthetics of your home and furniture. Detecting mold infestation on its earliest stage can prevent it from growing to a point where it becomes a serious issue. For this reason, it is essential for people who live in mold-prone areas to occasionally perform mold testing on their properties.
When should you test for mold?
It is wise to test the air quality in a home you may be buying or selling, especially if there is a musty order or if there have been previous leaks/water damage. Some of the symptoms of mold infestation include:
- Some parts of your home are often wet or flooded
- Your home has a history of mold infestations
- Random spots of molds appear on your property
- A slight musty odor is present within your property
What is black mold?
Molds can be green, yellow, blue, black, white, and more. Contrary to popular belief, “black mold” is NOT a species or specific kind of mold, and neither is ”toxic mold”. People sometimes use the terms “toxic mold” or “black mold” to refer to molds that may produce mycotoxins, or for a specific mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum. Molds that produce mycotoxins are often referred to as toxigenic fungi. Not all black molds can produce toxins, and not all toxic molds are black. Because of this, it is a good idea to eradicate any type of mold in your home. The only way to know which kind of mold you may have growing in your home is to have it tested.
More about Mold
Molds can be found most anywhere – indoors and out. There are thousands of types of mold all over the world, many of which produce spores. Spores spread easily through the air and can form new mold growth on surfaces when conditions are right. As mentioned above, molds need moisture to live and grow. If there is mold growing in your home, there must be a source of moisture or a water problem. After remediating any mold, it is wise to correct the water/moisture issue so the mold does not return.
Since mold is so common, there is already mold in your home. Mold is typically not a problem indoors unless it finds a damp environment and starts to multiply. Molds can produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, mycotoxins (toxic substances produced by a fungus).
You may have no reaction to mold however, allergic reactions and irritation are the most common health effects for people sensitive to mold. Asthma attacks can also be triggered by mold in people with asthma.