A Yearly Mold Inspection For My House
Since the topic of MOLD has been quite common over the past twenty years, it’s safe to assume most of us know the potential problems it can cause to your home and your health.
Annual Mold Inspections are not only good for your property; they can also be good for your health. The longer mold has an opportunity to grow, the greater your health risks. Allergic reactions, asthma attacks, chronic sinus issues and more health problems can all be triggered by infestations of mold. It’s even believed that constant exposure to mold spores can also lead to mental conditions including depression. Children in the home, or the elderly are especially vulnerable to mold, so inspections can be extra important.
Most conscientious homeowners get their heating system checked every Fall, and their AC checked every Spring. You do this because you know preventative maintenance is a good thing. It can fix problems before they become serious and reduce overall repair costs. This same attitude should be used when considering an annual Mold Inspection for your home! The approach is “better safe than sorry.”
Mold has been given a great opportunity to start and grow in your home because of the significant amount of rain we’ve had this year in North East Ohio. Mold, however, is not that easy to spot because mold doesn’t just grow in the obvious places. You can easily see mold (sometimes called mildew) on your shower curtain or in the corners of your shower stall. It’s important to note that mold can also grow behind walls, under carpet, or even behind kitchen and bath cabinets.
Mold and mildew do build up (grow) over time in damp areas and is normal. Since mold and mildew are natural organisms, they will grow within two or three days in the right environment. It’s true that small amounts of mold and mildew are nothing to be alarmed about. Molds start to become a serious problem when it exceeds “normal” or acceptable levels. High concentrations of mold can become dangerous to you, your business, or your family. Here are a few of the more common places we find mold:
WHERE IT GROWS
Here is a short list for you to consider:
- Bathrooms and rarely opened rooms
- Basements and Crawl Spaces
- Window frames
- Ventilation systems
- Cabinets and furniture
- Wallpaper or Painted Walls
- Walls, Floors, Baseboard
- Closets and attics
- Any high humidity area
If your basement has 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. Many times, we “think” an area has dried after a water leak, but what we don’t see is the high levels of moisture hidden behind walls or under the carpet. Moisture meters and thermal cameras can quickly identify potential problem areas.
Very few homeowners are experts in identifying mold contamination in the home. It’s for this reason we recommend having a professional do an annual mold inspection. We can tell you what steps – if any – you need to take to fix the issue. Many times, on small mold areas, the homeowner can do their own cleanup quickly, safely, and completely.
You need an expert inspection because mold may also grow in places you cannot see, such as in your ducts or between your walls. Obviously, if you can see it, you have mold in your house, and a mold inspector can guide you on how to take care of the issue.
WHAT IS INVOLVED
A typical mold inspection involves an inspector (with Mold Certifications) interviewing the property owner about any areas where they have seen mold, or where there have been moisture problems or water damage in the past. A professional mold inspector will examine the house thoroughly, especially investigating places known to be prone to mold growth or water damage.
If there’s a chance mold is growing in “hidden” areas, the inspector may have to open a small section of drywall or remove paneling to get a better look. If mold is detected, the inspector will try to find the source of the moisture that is causing the mold and talk to the homeowner to develop a clean-up plan. You will be responsible for repairing the small area of drywall opened for inspection. Many inspectors use small flexible cameras to look behind walls, and only a small hole is required.
Inspection fees are nominal – ask your inspector for the cost.
Authors: Dick Wagner and Joe Keller