Justin H. Joe, PhD, CIH, CSP, CPE, and Paula Shearer
Have concerns about the growth of mold in your home? You are in good company. Many homeowners and renters have that same concern with warmer weather approaching.
Where to Look For Mold In Your Home? Check these ten common places:
All walls and ceilings - including closets and surfaces behind furniture
Kitchen - under appliances and around sinks
The opposite side of ceiling tiles
Underneath carpets and rugs
All areas near pipes
Air ducts and HVAC systems
Attic, Roof Decking, and Collar Ties
Let's be honest...no one enjoys finding mold in their home because of the effects it can have on your health and wallet. However, it is imperative to thoroughly examine these ten areas as all mold inspections begin with a visual examination. Make it a point to note any areas that appear discolored or are moist, as these could indicate the presence of mold growth.
What Are Signs of Mold In Your Home
Odors: Mold does not always smell but is often described as musty, earthy, damp, or rotting, with the odor becoming more intense with larger mold colonies.
Water stains, discoloration, or stains on walls, flooring, or ceilings: All are common signs of water damage meaning the color you see could be mold. Molds can appear
white, black, gray-brown, gray-green, orange, pink, or purple.
Bulges or soft spots in walls and ceilings: Recurring or ongoing leaks can cause wallboard and plaster to sag or bow.
Bubbling, cracking, or peeling of paint or wallpaper: Excessive moisture within a wall or wall cavity can cause these undesired effects on the other side of the wallboard or plaster.
Past flooding: Excess moisture and standing water from flooding often contribute to mold, which can stay with a structure long after the floodwaters recede. Floodwaters can also introduce new hardier fungi that can survive in drier spaces with lower humidity levels.
Health Symptoms: Allergy-related symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, itchy throat or eyes, sinus headache, irritated skin, wheezing or difficulty breathing, as well as respiratory infections, can be related to mold exposure, especially if they disappear when you leave home or open windows.
All of these signs could spell trouble for your home. You may not think you have mold if you cannot see it, but many of these signs could be pointing to undetected hidden mold in your home.
How Do I Find Out Where My Mold Is Coming From
Finding a source of excess moisture could lead to the discovery of mold growth since mold is a fungus supported by dampness. Become a super sleuth during your mold inspection. Take extra time to visually examine the integrity of seals around doors and windows and the current conditions of any visible plumbing. Ensure exhaust fans are venting to the outdoors and your ductwork is properly sealed. Check for standing water in HVAC and washing machine pans. Look
for condensation, active leaks with water intrusion, or high humidity areas, especially when inspecting your attic, basement, and crawlspace, as mold loves dark and moist places. Take notes on everything you find and dry the wet areas as completely as possible. Keep an eye out for constant dampness…mold can form in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Mold can severely damage your property and health by creating an unhealthy living space if it is not removed. It is essential to seek a professional mold inspection should you see mold or think you have a mold problem. BNF Consulting offers safe, professional, and thorough mold inspections by a company with licensed and certified industrial hygienists. Our detailed and comprehensive reports are top quality and efficient, providing peace of mind. Contact us today at 914-297-8335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Author
Justin H. Joe, PhD, CIH, CSP, CPE, is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and a principal consultant of BNF Consulting, Inc. Dr. Joe graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Ph.D. and MS degrees in nuclear engineering. Dr. Joe has provided industrial hygiene consulting as a core function with his diverse background of experience and education.