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Mold is a topic that causes great concern to homeowners.  When we see or suspect mold growing in our home, we worry about if it will make us sick and then try to either “clean” the mold ourselves or expect the worst and want to find out what kind of mold it is and how dangerous it might me.  Today, I want to look at when you need to have a mold inspection conducted in your home.

The first thing to note is that if you see visible mold, then you do not necessarily need a mold inspection.  You need to contact a mold remediation company as quickly as possible.  You also have to find the moisture source that is causing the mold to grow.  If the problem is not addressed, then the mold will continue to grow back.

The Environmental Protection Agency says:  “Is sampling of mold needed?  In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary.  Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a buildings compliance with federal mold standards.  Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.  Sampling for mold should be conducted professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results.  Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”  (Source:  EPA)

When should you consider a mold inspection or testing?

  • When you can’t see mold but you can smell it–testing can show elevated mold levels and where it is located
  • If you’ve experienced a plumbing leak or water issue and you suspect mold could be growing behind the walls
  • To ensure the mold levels are back to normal after mold remediation has been completed
  • You have an allergic reaction (runny nose, sneezing, or itchy eyes) associated with being in a certain room
  • Settle any landlord or tenant dispute
  • When buying a new home

What you should know about a mold inspection

  • should be conducted by a qualified mold inspector
  • should look for mold within the building and inside walls
  • should look for sources of moisture
  • should look for evidence of past or current mold growth

Self Inspection

Mold needs moisture to grow.  Three signs of water damage in your home include discoloration, cracked or peeling paint, and bulging or warped flooring.  Mold can also be found in hidden places in your home such as behind wallpaper and paneling, the underside of carpet, inside walls around pipes, inside duct work, in roof materials and the surface of walls behind furniture where condensation forms.  These are a few places and things you can look for while doing a self inspection.

Things to remember:  Bathrooms and other places that are often always damp can be hard to keep completely free of mold.  If mold in the shower tends to reappear, increase the ventilation.  Fix water problems and plumbing leaks as soon as possible and make sure the whole area is completely dried.  If you see mold, call the mold remediation experts at PHC Restoration at 919-834-6523.