Why an Inspection for Mold is Crucial When You Suspect It
Contrary to popular belief, molds are a natural, helpful aspect of our environment!
Environmentally, certain molds can be quite helpful—for instance, blue cheese and penicillin. Some wood molds, such as Ophiostoma, are harmless to the building structures or their occupants. And so, a mold inspection for this form of mold would be unnecessary and costly.
Still, there are many more mold strains that can wreak havoc on your house and health. Some common examples include Aspergillus, which can affect people with severe allergy issues. Thus, if you're suspicious of mold, be sure to contact an expert mold remediation company as soon as possible. Your health and that of your friends, or family could be dependent on it.
Do you need an expert inspection for mold?
Fear of "black mold" infiltrating their houses and causing health and structural issues is quite common in Florida. Yet, we cannot deem all black mold "hazardous" based on its color.
Mold spores are always present in Florida homes; they are everywhere in Florida, and it's hard to keep them out. The issue comes when indoor air contains more mold spores than outdoor air.
You should call a mold inspector:
- If you have been suffering from severe allergies in your home or business.
- When there is no visible mold but a strange odor is present. Inspections for mold and mold tests can disclose whether or not mold is prevalent in this area.
- And lastly, if you've been experiencing plumbing or water damage concerns and suspect widespread mold behind the walls or in the air.
If you suspect mold in your Florida home, call a certified mold inspector right away to test the interior air quality and confirm the presence of mold.
How Inspectors Conduct the Mold Testing
Environmentalists specialize in performing IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) or MAS (Mold Air Sampling) tests. The purpose of this test is to identify irritants or probable mold strains present in your home or commercial building.
As we mentioned previously, despite its dark hue, not all mold is dangerous to black mold. A visual assessment alone cannot assess a mold growth's threat. Only mold testing can determine the mold strain in your home.
An inspection for mold will also look for historical mold growths that may reactivate or areas with signs of moisture that may contribute to future mold issues.
Then, the inspector will forward any samples taken during the inspection for molds or mold testing to a qualified lab for analysis and identification. In this manner, they can determine the exact nature of your mold issue.
One common technique employed in identification includes thermal imaging. It identifies water that could contribute to mold growth. If you have a musty odor but no recent water damage, thermal imaging can find a concealed leak behind your walls that generates mold growth.
A mold inspection usually follows precise guidelines to measure indoor air quality in Florida accurately. Reputable mold testing companies also write a written protocol that remediation companies like SERVPRO of Winter Park use for properly removing the mold.
Don't Get Tempted to Purchase A DIY Mold Test Kit
As you become more aware of the dangers of mold, you may get tempted to use a DIY mold test kit. Indeed, these kits are available over-the-counter and are gaining popularity due to their ease and perceived value. Sadly, many of them are rip-offs. Here's why you shouldn't buy them.
First, their results aren't as straightforward as you may think. Manufacturers of over-the-counter products want you to feel that their tests are simple. However, you still need an expert to interpret the results.
Secondly, the US Government mandates that only professionals should do the sampling. Professionals have the experience and understanding to develop and conduct mold sampling. Amateurs produce more false positives and negatives.
Thirdly, these kits are impractical when one cannot see the mold. One of the most common reasons to test for mold is when you can't see it but smell it. However, over-the-counter mold test kits only work if you have visible mold in your home — they can't detect if that musty scent is mold.
Further, these kits almost always identify mold, whether it's an issue or not. Millions of mold spores swarm the air, looking for a place to live and flourish. They will grow on a test kit petri dish whether or not it is an actual problem in your home. You can think you have a mold problem when you don't.
Lastly, DIYs don't tell you what caused the mold epidemic. A mold inspector must visually inspect the mold to ascertain its origin. Mold can form in your home due to leaking plumbing, lack of extraction vents, or drywall gaps. A mold test kit may indicate that you have mold in your house, but not why—a natural variety. You don't know if it's foundation or gutter concerns.
How Can SERVPRO Help?
Do you have a mold problem, or are you suspicious of one? Don't wait. Your health should be your priority. We have worked with many mold assessors in Central Florida and can put you in touch with a mold tester in your area. If testing shows a need for remediation, we have the experience and manpower to tackle the issue and help prevent it from coming back again.