Sometimes, mold problems are immediately apparent. If you've recently experienced a major flood, there's a good chance you'll spot mold growing on walls, ceilings, fabrics, and other affected areas. While these situations require immediate professional remediation, many mold problems won't make their presence known quite as clearly.
In these cases, you may only suspect that you have a problem based on unusual odors, or you may discover some mold when cleaning damp areas, such as under a sink. How serious are these problems, and how concerned should you be? To help answer these questions, follow these three steps whenever you notice mold in your home.
1. Evaluate the Problem
Not all molds are harmful, and there are a few places where you can expect to find mold in your house. For example, old food growing mold doesn't mean that there's a larger issue, and there's unlikely any safety concern as long as you discard the food. Likewise, mold can often grow in consistently wet locations, such as the tracks near shower doors. It's usually safe to simply clean these areas thoroughly.
On the other hand, mold on porous, organic surfaces such as drywall or wood is a much larger concern. If you notice mold growing on walls, inside cabinets, or in other areas that shouldn't be particularly wet, you may have a larger problem. Cleaning these areas without professional help will rarely be sufficient since the mold can grow under the surface.
2. Schedule Professional Mold Testing
If you believe your mold problem is more than a minor annoyance, it's crucial to schedule a professional mold test and inspection. While many do-it-yourself products exist, these simple solutions are often ineffective for various reasons. In addition to being challenging to collect samples yourself, do-it-yourself kits often can't identify specific species or provide effective methods to avoid cross-contamination.
A professional mold tester will use commercial-grade equipment to sample mold in your home and collect air samples for spore testing. These samples will then go to a specialized laboratory to determine the extent of the problem and help you determine if the mold in your home poses any health hazards. These methods are far more reliable and effective than testing the mold yourself.
3. Develop a Remediation Plan
Once you have the result of a professional test, you can begin to develop a plan of action. Remember that not all mold is harmful, so testing can save money by determining that your mold problem isn't severe. In these cases, you may be able to resolve the issue by cleaning the affected areas and identifying and removing the source of the moisture.
Of course, professional testing is also important because it can reveal the presence of dangerous mold in your home. Once you know that this mold is present, you can work with a professional remediation company to identify the root cause of the problem and thoroughly remove the mold in your home.
Contact a professional for more information about mold testing.Share