Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. This website provides guidance about mold and moisture for homes, schools, multifamily and commercial buildings. Molds can have a big impact on indoor air quality.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus, and like all fungi, it thrives in moist places. Mold spreads by emitting spores, microscopic particles often as small as a single cell. Spores float around in the air until they land on a surface. Mold spores are everywhere, outdoors as well as inside your house. It would be practically impossible to remove all mold spores from a house without installing some kind of massive industrial clean room filtration system.
Luckily, mold spores only form mold when they land on a moist surface. That means that if you can keep the interior of your home dry, you can avoid having any problems with mold. The best way to prevent mold in your home is to clean up spills, repair leaks in your roof, plumbing or HVAC system and make sure your kitchen and bathroom are properly venting moisture out of the house.
When to Inspect for Mold
One good thing about mold- if you can see it, you have mold in your house. Seeing mold in the cracks and corners of your walls definitely means it is growing and spreading more spores. Keep in mind that mold may also grow in places you cannot see, such as in your ducts or between your walls. It may also form colonies so tiny they escape the eye. A few situations should make you look for any mold problems in your house.
Testing Your Home for Mold
During the mold inspection, we will visually examine the most likely areas around the home that have a tendency to grow mold. We will take an air sample from inside the home as well as an outdoor sample. Those two samples are compared at our lab to determine if the mold levels inside the home are higher than what is naturally occurring outdoors. If the indoor mold levels are high, remediation will be necessary.
If your basement flooded, roof leaked, or a broken pipe sprayed water all over the kitchen, you need to inspect for mold. Any place that got wet and was not quickly dried (within 24 to 48 hours) could become contaminated by mold.
There is no way to know what kind of water damage may have happened in the house you are planning to buy. The only way to find out if mold is present is to do a mold inspection.
If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity could have built up inside and caused mold to grow. This is especially a problem in warmer areas with high humidity.
If you have gone through the often expensive and difficult steps to deal with a mold problem, regular mold inspections are a good idea to make sure you really got rid of it all.