Mold is a common term referring to a wide variety of fungi that live off of decomposing organic matter. There are thousands of different species of mold, and some can have a detrimental effect on your health. Others are less harmful, but can still trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.
Mold spreads through the production of microscopic particles called spores. Some people can develop respiratory problems when they constantly inhale these spores, leading to chronic ill-health. Other mold species can produce toxins that can cause severe disease symptoms such as liver failure and even death.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
Mold needs a warm, humid environment to grow. It also needs organic matter, such as wood, fabric, or paper, to grow on, though scientists have also found mold that can grow on bricks and synthetic building materials.
It’s almost impossible to completely stop mold growth, especially if you live in a humid climate. The best you can do is control the spread and ensure that you and your family aren’t affected. While dehumidifiers can help, you may need to call on an expert to restore your home to a healthy standard.
When is Mold a Problem?
Mold becomes a problem when it starts affecting your health or your family’s health. It’s also unsightly and can leave your home smelling musty and dank. Since most molds eat organic matter, unchecked growth can result in structural issues as the fungus grows and spreads through your drywall and wooden timbers.
Mold growth occurs mainly in dark areas, so it can be difficult to detect in the early stages. Once you notice discoloration or growth on your walls or ceiling, you can rest assured that it’s only the tip of the iceberg. That’s why it’s so important to arrange a mold inspection as soon as you see any evidence of mold in your home.
Red Flags to Look For
Mold can remain hidden for a long time, which makes it a good idea to schedule an inspection ahead of time. Here are some factors that may necessitate the need for a mold inspection:
- Living with a person with respiratory problems or allergies
- Musty smell
- Evidence of water damage
- Dirty or unmaintained HVAC system
- Plumbing defects that result in damp spots, especially in the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom
- Leaking drains
- Carpet, especially if it’s directly in contact with concrete
- Evidence of a leak, either in the roof, walls, or foundation
The Process of a Mold Inspection
Mold inspections are more complicated than just looking at a particular patch of fungal growth. Our inspectors will start with a visual inspection, looking for areas of damp or leaks. If we identify any signs of mold growth, we’ll follow strict sampling procedures and send the samples to a lab for analysis.
We use a wide array of sampling techniques, including air sampling, tape lifts, and swab sampling. Air sampling is an excellent tool if we can’t see any visual evidence of mold, but we find leaks or water damage. Our technicians will use tape lifts to directly sample any discoloration or growth they find, especially when the mold is relatively dry.
Once we’ve completed a visual inspection and taken a variety of samples, we’ll send the samples to the lab for testing. Once we receive results, we’ll forward you a detailed report that details what we found, our recommendations, and photographs of defects.
Contact Alban Inspections Today
If you have a severe mold infestation that poses a danger to your health or your home, we’ll provide you with the expert assistance you need. Our trained mold removal experts will provide you with a multi-faceted strategy to control existing growth and stop new spots from forming.
If you suspect mold in your home, give us a call at 301-679-3573 to schedule an inspection today!