How to Spot Mold Before It's Too Late
A big mistake made by many DIY property owners and even some restoration companies is not properly containing an affected area before mold removal.
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in moist environments. It is even more commonly found in Florida homes and buildings due to the moist and humid conditions. Still, it is not always easy to identify a real mold issue without experience.
Here are some of the most common signs of mold growth:
- Visible mold: Mold can appear as black, green, or white fuzzy or slimy growths. It can also appear as discolored spots or stains on walls, ceilings, furniture, and other surfaces.
- Musty odor: Mold has a distinctive musty odor. If you notice a musty smell in your home or business, it could be a sign of mold growth.
- Water damage: Mold needs moisture to grow, so if you see water damage in your home or business, it's a good indication that mold may be present. Water damage can occur from a variety of sources, such as leaks from pipes, roofs, or appliances.
- High humidity: Mold can also grow in humid environments. If the humidity in your home or business is consistently high, it's a good idea to check for signs of mold growth.
If you see any of these signs of mold growth, it's important to take action immediately. The longer you wait, the further damage to your property is likely to occur. Properly removing mold is an extensive process that can get quite costly, which is why many property owners defer to their insurance companies to cover remediation costs.
Here are some steps you can take to remove mold from your home or business:
- Identify the source of moisture. Once you've found mold, the first step is to identify the source of moisture that's causing it to grow. This could be a leaky pipe, a roof leak, or even just condensation from high humidity. Once you've identified the source of moisture, you can take steps to fix it.
- Remove the mold. Once you've fixed the source of moisture, you can start to remove the mold. Before doing so, it is recommended to properly contain the affected are so that mold spores released do not travel to other unaffected areas. You can do this yourself if the affected area is non-porous and small. Many online sources will recommend bleach, however, be cautious in doing so as using bleach on certain species of mold can cause a reaction that makes the problem worse. Instead, use organic mold treatments for cleanup.
- Ventilate the area. Once you've removed the mold, it's important to ventilate the area to prevent it from growing back. Many recommendations simply involve opening windows and doors or using a fan. A more effective method of doing so is to use a HEPA-filtered air scrubber to filter the affected air of mold spores. This should be done while containment is intact as well.
- Dry the area. Once you've ventilated the area, it's important to dry it completely. This will help to prevent the mold from growing back. You can dry the area by using a dehumidifier or by running fans.
If you're not comfortable removing mold yourself, you can hire a professional mold remediation company. These companies have the experience and expertise to remove mold safely and effectively. They also have the proper equipment to get the job done. Reputable and responsible remediation companies will require a written protocol from a licensed assessor to understand the exact mold issue in your property including, species, areas of the property affected, spore counts in the air, and proper steps for remediating the specific species of mold.
By following these steps, you can remove mold from your home or business and prevent it from coming back.
Here are some additional tips for preventing mold growth:
- Fix any leaks or water damage as soon as possible.
- Increase ventilation in your home or business.
- Use dehumidifiers to control humidity levels.
- Clean and disinfect regularly.
- Store damp items in airtight containers.
- Inspect your home or business for mold growth regularly.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your home or business mold-free.
When an Inspection for Mold is Necessary
Your mold assessor will send samples to a lab where they will test for the type of mold as well as the concentration of spores.
When you have a suspicion that your house has mold, it’s crucial to get an inspection from an expert mold tester. The signs of mold will be little spots that spread very quickly. The spots may appear velvety or powdery, and you won't also miss the earthy smell. But you should know that mold can also affect areas in your house that you can't see, and that is when you need an inspection for mold the most. Every home has potential for mold, so even if you haven't noticed any visible signs, you still have to be careful. Here are the tests you should expect from an environmentalist and the benefits of having a professional inspection.
Types of Tests
Air Quality Testing
Air sampling is the best test to decide if you have mold spores in your house. It shows the number of spores in the air and makes it easy for the mold testing professional to know if there is an indoor mold reservoir. You will get all the information you need to make remediation plans. Mold removal may require another professional company. The law in Florida requires two separate companies for inspection and remediation. So after inspection, you will have to find other professionals to get rid of the mold.
A surface sample is direct and will show you if there is any mold on different surfaces around the house. If there is a presence of mold on the sample location, chances are you have mold growing around the house. The test will be analyzed immediately; you won't have to wait for a long time to know if there are spores or not. The particulars of a testing protocol may differ, but surface sampling is one of the accurate methods. Sampling surfaces can show you an indoor reservoir of mold that has not become airborne yet. It’s best to catch a mold issue early before it causes a lot of damages.
You still need an inspection for mold after remediation. It's necessary because it confirms that the contactor was successful in getting rid of the mold. A mold issue is not good for your health and that of your loved ones. That is why you have to be more than sure that no spores are lingering around the house after the removal project. Mold grows very quickly; a small number of spores can be a big problem in a short time. Get the professional company that deals with an inspection to come back after the contactors are done with mold removal.
Benefits of a Professional Mold Inspection
It Keeps Mold From Spreading
As you already know, mold spreads very fast; an inspection is the best way to discover the spores early and prevent growth. It only takes less than 48 hours for the mold to colonize your house. Locating the mold is the first step to permanently getting rid of them. It’s important to hire a professional because DIY inspection may not be successful.
Reduce Structural Damage
When mold grows in areas that are not easily visible, it can cause structural damage. A mold inspection will help you maintain the structural integrity of your home. You will also discover moisture in your house that you never knew existed. You can work to prevent costly damages when you discover the issue early. Mold grows in damp areas, mold growth and water can cause severe damages to wooden structures. Electrical wiring and insulation around the home can also be affected.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
If you want to improve the air quality in your house, you need an inspection first to determine how bad the situation is. When mold in your home becomes airborne, the quality of air around the house will significantly decline. The spores can be dangerous to your help, and most people don’t know when they are exposed to mold. To be on the safe side, get a professional to perform air quality testing. Mold exposure will start causing minor symptoms, which can be severe if the air quality is not rectified. You may start coughing, experiencing headaches, and sometimes a runny nose and congestion. You need air filtration as soon as possible to return your home to where it was before the mold.
Prevent Health Effects
Mold has the potential to cause various health effects. To prevent health effects in your home, you have to ensure no mold grows anywhere around the house. The first step you need to take is hiring a mold testing professional to inspect different areas in your home. When you locate the mold, you can organize mold removal, also known as mold remediation.
It Helps You Get A Thorough Cleaning.
There is no need to put everyone at risk for medical problems by cleaning the mold yourself. When you leave mold removal to the experts, you will get a thorough cleaning. Once the inspection identifies the source of the mold in your house, the remediating team will have an easy time with the cleaning. The contractors have the experience and skills to get the job done better than you. They will help you prevent any future problems which will save you a lot of money. A proper mold assessment will determine how well the removal job is done.
It's no secret that mold issues can cause many damages and are also dangerous to your health. You need a regular mold inspection to determine if you have mold growing. The experts know where to look and can easily tell the severity of the problem. You will need two different professionals to perform the inspection and removal because of the Florida state laws. Inspection for mold is more of a necessity than a luxury. So get yourself a reliable company and request the services.