Mold Inspection 101: What To Look For And Why It’s So Crucial

mold inspection

You may think a mold inspection is only necessary if you can already see mold growing in your home, but you’d be wrong.

Sometimes mold makes its presence known, but other times it likes to hide in dark, damp, out-of-the-way places, which is why you should consider a professional mold inspection. It’s always a good idea to catch any problems early, as this can help save thousands of dollars during the mold remediation process.

Think of mold as a type of fungus that prefers to break down organic material, and guess what? Your home is full of organic materials. Mold starts out as microscopic, airborne spores, and the spores become mold once they find a hospitable place to take hold.

Don’t wait until it becomes visible; proactive steps today can save costly repairs tomorrow. Visit Free Mold Inspections New Mexico to get started!

Why Is Mold Bad for Your Health?

Two common types of mold found in homes are aspergillus and penicillium.

These molds thrive in moist environments, often developing in bathrooms or around leaky pipes and appliances. Mold spores can also spread throughout the house via the HVAC system, highlighting another potential area of concern.

Aspergillus alone includes over 250 different species, making it challenging to identify without testing. Testing the entire house, including the HVAC system, is advisable to accurately pinpoint the presence of these molds.

Is Black Mold Really Dangerous?

The most dangerous mold type is stachybotrys, commonly known as toxic black mold.

During a home inspection for a young couple planning to start a family, I discovered black mold growing extensively in the crawlspace beneath their floor.

Black mold not only damages home structures but also releases mycotoxins, leading to serious health issues such as fever, headaches, breathing difficulties, vision problems, and neurological issues. Vulnerable individuals like children and those with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk, but even healthy individuals can experience severe reactions.

Black mold, like stachybotrys, is notoriously resilient and often requires drastic measures for eradication. Mold removal professionals may need to remove sections of sheetrock or even tear out entire flooring to reach its roots.

After black mold infestation, regular inspections are essential to ensure complete elimination and prevent it from lurking in unnoticed corners.

What if I See Mold? Should I Conduct Mold Testing?

A professional home mold inspection can reveal various mold species and uncover hidden issues that might not be obvious with a DIY spot check.

While some experts suggest mold testing isn’t always essential if mold is visible, improper testing can be costly and ineffective. It’s wise to seek a second opinion to ensure thorough and accurate assessment.

Why Would I Conduct a Mold Inspection? why-would-i-conduct-a-mold-inspection

Mold is one of those unpleasant surprises that’s incredibly hard to plan for, but it’s vital to address mold remediation as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind, mold can grow anywhere if there is ample moisture, poor ventilation, and food. With that in mind, there are a few red flags to consider.

Things to Look For:

  • You’re having unexplained health problems. Chronic sore throat? Cough? Sneezing and headaches with no known cause? That could be mold. Spores drift in the air, making them easy to inhale.
  • The prior tenants suffered from similar allergic issues. Some people aren’t as easily bothered by mold. Don’t take chances, especially when dealing with younger children.
  • There’s been recent flooding. This could be something simple, like your kitchen sink constantly backing up. I once found massive mold growth beneath a shower due to a slow, nearly unnoticeable leak.
  • You notice unexplained, recurring moisture issues. Mold needs water to grow.

How Do I Detect Mold Before I See It?

It’s common for me to notice a variety of signs of potential mold growth long before we’ve discovered the actual colony.

Keep in mind that while many people can recognize mold by smell alone, some lack a particularly discerning olfactory system, so always double check your hunches with the other senses.

Things That Might Not Seem Like Signs… But Actually Are

Signs You See Where It’s Lurking
Unexplained stains or discoloration on the ceiling. It may look dark brown and wispy or more green and moss-like. Mold is probably lurking above the ceiling tile, behind the wallpaper, or between your walls.
Warping and bulging cabinetry in the kitchen. Mold really likes the moist darkness behind the fridge and sink, so keep a wary eye on the state of the adjacent cabinets. Mold is almost certainly growing on or near your water fixtures or perhaps hiding in plain sight on a dank wall or under a leaky garbage disposal.
Buckling drywall. I’m not talking about a teeny bend due to a bad mudding job – real warping is almost always a sign of water damage behind the paneling. Wherever you have a warped wall, you almost certainly have a water issue… and this will nearly always be accompanied by mold growth.
Tile grout. If your shower grout keeps changing to darker and darker colors after a deep scrub, don’t just grab bleach again – there’s a very real chance of an unseen mold problem. Your problem might only involve surface contamination on the grout itself… but the mold may be sneaking down deeper beneath your tub to form colonies that are tough to eradicate without expert help.
Floors that “squish” when you walk. A small bit of bounce is nothing to panic over, but a significant, deep squish under your flooring should make you really wonder what might be causing this unpleasant occurrence. If it seems unusually wet or saggy underneath your flooring, don’t delay in getting this inspected by an expert, as your issues likely stem from a slow leak or condensation damage on your underflooring.

What Do I Do if I Suspect Mold?

The first step should be finding a qualified professional mold inspector to check things out.

There is even an updated list of procedures for mold remediation, so always check that your professional is aware of and following the latest guidelines outlined in S520 by the IICRC.

FAQs about Mold Inspection

How do they test for mold in a house?

Mold is tested using accurate techniques, including spot-tests with swabs and comprehensive air-cell tests to sample airborne spores. Staining swabs help technicians identify the species, toxicity levels, and amount of growth precisely.

Are home mold tests worth it?

At-home mold test kits can indicate if you have a mold issue, but they won’t identify the type, toxicity levels, or proper remediation strategies. While professional mold inspection cost may cost a few hundred dollars, it’s essential for accurate results and effective treatment.

What are the signs of mold in your house?

Some people can smell mold at the first sign, while others may notice it only when cleaning spores off surfaces. Mold comes in various colors like white, black, pink, and green, sometimes appearing harmless. If unsure, a quick bleach test can help confirm its presence.

Take Control of Your Home’s Health with a Mold Inspection

A mold inspection will help put your mind at ease because it gives a clear and unbiased picture of what might be lurking beneath your shower. In many cases, you can successfully eradicate minor problems on your own by treating affected surfaces and drying out the affected area.

But if you don’t address whatever caused the mold, like leaks or ventilation issues, the colonies will quickly reestablish a home in a different corner, so keep up on preventative maintenance.

If you suspect a mold issue, don’t wait. Call Free Mold Inspections New Mexico and get the help you need.

505-349-0074 | Free Inspection