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How to Test Your Home for Mold Problems

Does your home have mold?

The answer is probably. Should you worry about it? It depends. There are several thousand strains of mold in existence, and each of us encounter many of them in our daily lives.

Most experts believe that except for those with asthma or other respiratory problems, these daily mold encounters are harmless. The problem arises with a particular mold called Stachybotrys.

Stachybotrys also goes by the name of black mold or toxic mold.

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This type of mold is thought to be responsible for a decrease in memory and worsened lung capacity in the very old and the very young, but may even cause health problems in healthy median-aged individuals as well.

Besides health problems, black mold also causes damage to a home’s structure. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for black mold in your home.

Mold & Moisture

Because mold reproduces in moist places, be sensitive to signs of mold especially after you have had any water damage in your home. You may see mold growth dotted on the walls, ceilings or furniture. Also, check underneath surfaces and in dark places.

Even if you aren’t able to see the mold, it could still be there behind walls or in the ceiling. If you become aware of a musty, dank smell or if mold-sensitive people start to complain while in your home, have your home inspected for black mold.

Hire a Mold Inspector

Hire a contractor to check the air quality in your home for evidence of mold. Although black mold is a health risk and a home safety risk, don’t expect your health or home insurance to foot the bill.

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If you own your home, you’ll be expected to cover the costs of mold inspection and cleanup on your own. If you rent, you’ll most likely be able to get your property owner to take care of the problem for you.

Do-It-Yourself Mold Remediation

It is possible to remove mold from your home by yourself, but if you don’t have several days to devote to the process, hire a professional to do it for you. Expect to have to evacuate your home for a period of time so that you won’t be exposed to the cleaning chemicals and disrupted mold spores. If you’re removing the mold yourself, invest in a good respirator to keep you safe during the cleaning.

Have Your Home Inspected For Early Detection

Even if you don’t suspect mold in your home, have it inspected before you put your home up for sale. If mold is discovered during the buyer’s inspection, the deal will probably fall through and you’ll be delayed in selling your home or have to settle for far less than your home would be valued at otherwise.

If your home is sold and mold is discovered shortly afterwards, you could still be responsible for the cleanup.

Early detection of black mold in your home can drastically reduce the time, effort and cost associated with mold cleanup. Have your home inspected for mold as soon as you suspect you might have it growing in your home.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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7 thoughts on “How to Test Your Home for Mold Problems

  1. For those doing a DYI testing first, know that it is totally worth the investment of a few dollars for the kit. If you have a bit of growth in your test dish, then send it in to the lab. Again, it is worth seeing what you have for your next steps or just peace of mind. There’s an example of a lab report with photos I saw here: http://homerepairgeek.com/home-mold/mold-in-house/mold-in-house.html

    Don’t live with this nasty stuff if you can help it. Find out what you have if you can.

  2. I really like this article…if you’re observant, you can probably identify the signs of black mold growth and water damage.

  3. I moved into a new apartment damp Oder smell knats all over . I have asthma and allergy since I moved in her they have been set off.. Also I suffer from migraine and since I moved here they are every day. I keep buying odor eliminaters because of the smell of damp but cannot find mold.. But they told me they had a problem with mold and bed bugs here before.. Also I just discovered they reprinted this whole apartment because of mold….what can I do to check for mold inside the walls or rugs?

  4. Went to doctor with sneezing, coughing, and waking up with a sore throat that went away after leaving the house. As soon as I finished describing my condition the doctor said I have mold or should I say the house has mold, my doctor is genius! Singulair got rid of symptoms in 4 days, still trying to find the mold, any tips.
    Thanks,
    Bruce

  5. So let’s start off with all the messed up stuff, so my door leaks whenever it rains which has rotted and started to deteriorate the door farm and trim and causes the carpet to look black I can only imagine what it looks like under the carpet… the sink leaked which hand strong smelling black mold, the office replaced the piece of wood but left the molded with black and white molded spores. Now I take you into my bathroom, the floor introns of the tub was rotting which they fixed but did not replace the wood under the tub nor fixed the rotted trim nor sheetrock where black mold is also growing. And they never came to replace the lonulium and may I also throw in that I have a 11 month old son which crawls around the house. I started telling the two months again and I had to stay on them to get the wood under the sink fixed and just for them to fix my bathroom floor a little bit. I need to know if I have a case and how do i go about it. Because two months later I am still around the mold. They don’t seem like it’s important.

  6. Me and my pregnant girlfriend recently moved into our flat and ever since she has been more unwell than usually exspected with pregnancy. we discovered some surface mold on the walls in our bedroom and water all over the windowsill, we got into contact with our landlord and she came along with her “qualified” builder. they said it was just surface mold and that we should just wipe it away when it comes up….. am i being stupid for just going along with this or should i just put my foot down with them?

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