If you’re on this page, you probably know what mold is. Basically, mold is everywhere. Most of the time, it’s all around us and we don’t realize it because it’s not harmful. But there are times when being in a moldy environment can create problems. Health issues are generally a byproduct of mold exposure, especially in people who suffer from allergies. In certain cases, mold can even be life threatening. Mold inspection and testing professionals will come to your home for a consultation. These companies specialize in mold abatement and provide top of the line service when it comes to mold removal.
So, now you understand exactly why you need mold inspections. In this post, we’re going to dive into all the details about how mold inspections work, how to know if you need one, and how to prepare.
How Are Mold Inspections Helpful?
An inspection team is specifically trained to find traces of mold throughout your home. It’s their job to locate mold and analyze it to see if it’s actually harmful. Mold inspection companies follow a long list of protocols designed by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and several other professional organizations. These protocols are intended to find the mold in your home, test it, and subsequently eliminate it.
When Should You Get An Inspection?
Many times mold can be easily spotted in your home. In these cases all it takes is a quick visual inspection, but other times mold can be hidden.
Below are some common instances when you may have mold problems in your home:
Recent Water Damage
Water damage is the main cause behind the growth of mold. It takes 24 hours for mold to start growing when presented with the right conditions. That’s why it’s important that repairs are done quickly. If you don’t have water damage repaired within 48 hours, the chances of a mold increase exponentially.
Be sure to notify your inspector of any locations that might have been damaged with water.
Mold can cause nausea, headaches, and allergy symptoms. Although it may be difficult to link these symptoms to mold, if you cannot find a definite cause, then you may have mold hidden in your house. If you experience two or more of the following symptoms, you should look for signs of mold:
- Skin Irritation
- Respiratory Problems
- Coughing and Wheezing
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Throbbing Headaches and Fatigue
Strange or Musty Odors
The smell of mold will generally spread through your house before it can be seen. Mildew smell is a definitive indicator of mold. The best way to smell for mold in your home is to first turn off all appliances such as A/C, fans, etc. After turning off all appliances, the next step is to close all windows and subsequently walk through every room of your home smelling for mold. If you have mold problems, they should be exposed.
Areas With High Humidity
As you probably know, mold thrives in areas of high humidity. More than 50% humidity in a room should be alarming. This typically happens in rooms with low ventilation. If there are multiple areas with high levels of humidity in your house, then this could be a definite indicator of mold.
Buying a New Home
It’s extremely important to have a mold inspector test the house you are planning to buy. Getting a mold inspection is the best way to determine if your potential investment is free from mold.
Pets have a weaker immune system than humans. Even a small amount of mold can have an effect on their health. If your pets seem weaker or more fatigued than usual, this could mean mold is growing somewhere in your home.
The Mold Inspection Process
Let’s talk about how a professional mold inspection team will do their job. The first step is to perform the investigation. To detect the presence of mold, they’ll use visual inspection, surface sampling and air sampling.
During a visual inspection, inspectors will look for leaks, water damage or water intrusions that could be the root cause of mold growth. If you have had any issues with water leakage or any recent water damage repaired, it’s a good idea to let the professionals know the exact location as well as the extent of the repairs.
Surface sampling is slightly more complicated as it requires the team to swab places in hopes of finding evidence of mold. But, it is mostly used after the mold has been discovered. The evidence is secured to avoid contamination and sent to a lab where it can be analyzed.
Air sampling is a more straightforward way of discovering whether or not there is mold inside your house. Mold particles are often distributed to the rest of the house through air vents. if this happens, the inspection team will easily be able to detect these particles and send them to a lab.
After an Inspection
After testing the mold samples from your home, the inspection company will send you their results. If the results indicate there are potentially harmful types of mold in your house, they will contact you about taking steps for remediation.
In most cases, a mold inspection company will also offer mold remediation services. If you were happy with their ability to inspect, you should use their assistance in the elimination process.
How Much do Mold Inspections Cost?
Mold inspectors are known as certified Industrial Hygienists. Depending on the size of your home and the severity of the situation, mold inspectors will typically charge anywhere from $300 to $500. Although they typically aren’t too expensive, because these infestations can vary in size, the full cost for inspection and remediation can climb up to $3000.
If you already know that your home has mold, it may be more cost-effective to find a free inspection service. There are many companies that offer free inspections in the hope of providing the remediation service.
Preventing Mold in Your Home
The best way to prevent mold spores from spreading in your home is to use an air purifier for mold. Air purifiers for mold use HEPA air filters to remove mold from the air. Mold spores range from 3 to 7 microns in size, and a HEPA filter is able to capture 99.97% of mold spores that are at least .3 microns in size. This means that a HEPA air purifier will dramatically reduce the amount of airborne mold in your house.
Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.