Mold is all around, indoors and outdoors. In nature, mold helps with the decaying process. When mold grows in your home, it can cause a lot of problems for you and your family. So, how do you know if you have mold? While some mold is visible, other times it can be hiding. That is why an inspection performed by Precision Environmental Services accredited inspectors can help you determine if mold is present and how to take care of the issue.
As a fungus, mold can grow and thrive almost anywhere. It only takes a small amount of mold to begin causing problems. Molds release tiny spores into the air, which can then land on moist surfaces and begin to grow. Of the hundreds of thousands of types of mold, many are not harmful. However, there are some that can be toxic to human health. Most molds fall into three categories: 1) allergenic, 2) pathogenic, or 3) Toxigenic.
Ranging from molds that cause allergic reactions, to molds that can aggravate symptoms of existing conditions, to others that can lead to serious, life-threatening conditions there are many ways that mold can affect the health of your family.
Is mold testing necessary?
If you have already spotted visible mold, testing may not be necessary. You simply need to have the mold removed following standard guidelines. But what if you only suspect there is mold in your home? There are several telltale signs that mold may be present, including:
- Buildup of Condensation:Condensationprovides a couple of signs of potential mold growth. Because condensation can build on almost any surface, it can create a perfect place for mold to grow. It may also be the main issue causing mold to continue spreading.
- Water Damage: Mold is attracted to moist environments, so water damage that is visible could be a sign of a longtime problem in your home. Signs damage include peeling, discoloration and dampness.
- Unusual Smells: Mold often has a damp, or musty, scent. If you have not noticed any visible mold or water damage in your home, this may be a good clue that there may be mold growing somewhere in your home. Typically, the worse the smell, the more likely it is that you have a mold problem.
- Decaying Conditions in Your Home: Moisture and mold can cause all kinds of problems once it is growing in your home. You may notice drywall and wood beginning to warm. The moisture can also cause paint to chip or your wallpaper to peel. These are all signs that your home may have mold, and a professional may need to be called.
- Health Problems: As you know, some molds can be harmful to humans. When people are exposed to it, they may experience a variety of symptoms that seem like they could be a cold, or flu. Those symptoms include itchy or watery eyes, congestion, sore throat, breathing problems or more frequent headaches.
One thing to keep in mind is that even if you can see mold, and choose to move straight to remediation, an inspector will likely need to survey the damage anyway to determine the extent of the issues. This also is considered a mold inspection.
How are mold inspections done?
In most cases, mold inspections are a visual inspection of a home or other property. Aside from a good flashlight, and possibly some tools to access more restricted areas, there is no special equipment needed for an accredited inspector to perform the task.
A typical mold inspection will usually begin with the inspector speaking with the property owner about areas where mold has been seen, or where there could be problems with moisture or water damage. They may also ask about areas that have had issues with mold in the past. This helps the inspector which areas of the property are prone to mold growth. If you think mold could be growing behind a wall, or another hard-to-reach space, the inspector may need to damage a section of drywall or remove paneling to get a good look. If the inspector finds mold, they will attempt to find the source of the moisture that is causing problems.
What does a mold inspection cost?
As with other home services, prices can vary from region to region. However, when it comes to mold inspections the difference is usually quite small. There are two things that affect the cost of a mold inspection. Those are:
- Property Size
- Invasiveness of Inspection
As you might expect, the larger a home is the more it will cost to inspect. As a general guideline for mold inspections, a small to medium-sized home (below 4,000 square feet) will typically cost between $300 and $400. The price for inspecting a home larger than 4,000 square feet typically runs between $700 and $900.
The price of an inspection will also increase depending on how invasive the inspection needs to be. If the inspector needs to dig through drywall or go under a crawlspace to check for mold, the price may go up because of the extra time and work involved.
Hiring a professional to perform a mold test
Receiving a professional assessment will give you a better understanding how mold in your home is affecting your everyday life. Once you have a clearer picture of the damage mold is doing to your home, most inspectors can also perform, or help you plan, for the mold removal services.
If you need assistance evaluating and removing the mold in your home, contact Precision Environmental Services and their accredited inspectors at (940) 597-2673.