The Importance of Mold Testing

mold-testMold growth is a common problem inside homes, schools and business, with some estimates saying as many as a quarter of all homes in the United States suffer from mold infestations. Toxic mold can produce or exacerbate a number of serious health conditions, which is why detecting and treating it are so important. Mold in the home is usually found on walls and floors, or in the ceiling and under carpets−any place that is exposed to moisture. Sometimes it can grow inside ductwork associated with the central heating and air conditioning system.

Although home owners can sometimes identify a mold problem by the appearance of small black spots on porous surfaces in the house, in many cases it grows without anyone being aware of it. Mold behind walls, under the carpet, in the ductwork or in crawl spaces can go completely undetected. Sometimes a home is infested that otherwise looks completely clean. Unfortunately, mold that is allowed to grow unchecked can become a literal catastrophe for the property owner. If it gets into the structure of the building, it might even be impossible to treat. It is better to check for it and deal with it early.

Exposure to certain types of mold can cause residents to experience a whole host of health problems. Some of the more common conditions are sore throat and congestion, coughing, and eye and even skin irritation. If someone has an allergic reaction to the mold, these symptoms can be far more severe.

People who already suffer from respiratory problems or who have a compromised immune system can get a major infection in the lungs from exposure to mold, but even healthy people have been shown to suffer from coughing and wheezing after exposure. Some studies have linked mold exposure in children to the risk of developing asthma, especially those who are already genetically susceptible to it.

Five important things you should know about mold inspections:

  1. Mold inspections need to be performed by a qualified mold inspector who has formal training and experience with mold inspections.
  2. Mold inspections should look for evidence of past or current mold growth.
  3. Mold inspections should look for mold within the building, inside walls, and in other areas where mold growth is undesirable, including areas where mold growth could be causing structural issues such as wood decay in crawlspaces.
  4. Some mold growth in buildings may be perfectly normal. For example, Ceratosystis and Ophiostoma are two molds that grow on lumber and are frequently found growing on two by fours or other structural framing within buildings.
  5. It is very important (and some would say essential) that the mold inspection look for sources of moisture. Water is essential for mold growth. Without a source of water, you will not have mold growth.


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