Mold can be a major issue in almost any home if the conditions for its growth are right. Mold inspections and testing are steps that can help you solve this problem.
When is mold a concern?
When mold is growing in your home, you have a reason to be concerned. Mold is often a side effect of a moisture issue, such as flooding, roof and plumbing leaks, high humidity, or water damage from extinguishing a small fire. If you find water damage, then mold is probably a concern. Musty odors and visible mold stains, even if it's just a small area, should also be taken as a sign that mold is growing within the home. This is especially true if the mold keeps coming back even after you have cleaned it up with bleach.
Is a full inspection necessary?
A full inspection that includes mold testing is a must if you have evidence or concerns about mold. The inspection will trace the mold to its origins, which could be in hidden areas such as behind wallboards or in the ceiling. Your inspector will be able to determine the extent of the problem in the actual area, as well as find the cause of the mold growth in the first place. It's necessary to know the cause so it can be repaired before mitigation takes place. The mold test will determine what type of mold is in your home. The reason this is necessary is that some types of mold are highly toxic. If you have toxic mold, then extra steps will be necessary to properly and safely remove it.
What are the remediation options?
There are DIY and professional options. DIY should only be considered if the mold test determines that there is no toxic mold and if the area affected is relatively small. Once the cause of the moisture and mold is addressed, any soft, porous surfaces must be removed and disposed of. This includes but is not limited to rotting wood, moldy drywall, and carpets. Hard surfaces, including undamaged wood, are cleaned with a high bleach solution so that any remaining mold spores are destroyed. It's also a good idea to have the HVAC system and ductwork fully cleaned, as mold spores have likely circulated in the air and into these systems. A second mold test is then performed to make sure there is no more remaining mold hiding in your home.
Contact a mold testing service if you are worried about mold growth in your home.