Why Is It Important to Call for Mold Inspection Services?
A Look at the Benefits of Scheduling a Mold Inspection
If you suspect that you have mold in your house i , it’s important to hire an expert in mold remediation to perform a professional mold inspection. Symptoms of mold exposure can be incredibly serious, particularly exposure to toxic black mold. Here is a look at the key benefits of hiring a mold remediation expert to perform a mold inspection and black mold testing in your home.
Prevent Serious Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Mold symptoms, particularly black mold symptoms, are dangerous, and can even be life threatening. If you or anyone in your household is already ill or suffers from an autoimmune disease, you’re at a higher risk of dangerous symptoms of mold exposure. Symptoms of mold exposure can be as mild as allergies, skin rashes, and common cold symptoms. Black mold symptoms can include serious respiratory problems and infections, asthma complications, chronic headaches and fatigue, dangerous neurological problems, and toxic mold syndrome.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
When the mold in your house becomes airborne, your indoor air quality significantly declines. Mold exposure and mold symptoms occur when mold spores are inhaled from the air and settle in the lungs or nasal passages. A mold remediation expert can test your indoor air quality for signs of mold spores. He can also perform an extensive mold inspection to look for signs of mold growth throughout your home. If he finds mold in your house, he will perform professional mold testing, including black mold testing, to see if you are at risk for toxic mold exposure.
Reduce Your Risk of Structural Damage to Your Home
Mold growth occurs in areas that are damp and warm. This means that mold might grow in areas of your home that aren’t immediately visible, such as behind walls or wallpaper, behind or underneath plumbing fixtures, in flooring or ceiling tiles, and behind or underneath appliances. Water damage and mold growth can cause problems with wooden structures, insulation, and electrical wiring in your home. A mold inspection and mold remediation will reduce or prevent serious structural damage.
Signs You May Need Mold Remediation
So, how do you know if your home contains harmful levels of mold? When you see black spots appearing on walls, ceilings or other areas of your home, it is a clear sign that there is an overgrowth of mold. However, mold could be growing inside the walls invisible to the naked eye. Mold build-up in air conditioning ducts also often goes unseen. As the AC unit blows, it contaminates your air with tiny mold spores circulating throughout your home day and night.
Water Intrusion Events
Moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for mold spores. A water intrusion event is a common cause of mold overgrowth. Overt flooding from an outdoor or indoor source will often bring on a mold problem within 72 hours of the water intrusion. When drywall, carpeting, upholstered furniture, and other porous materials become saturated with water, it takes a long time to dry out thoroughly. Mold likes to grow in damp, dark areas. That’s why basements and attics are particularly vulnerable to mold problems.
Some water intrusion problems are not as easy to detect. Leaking pipes inside the walls may go unnoticed for a long time. If the water collects behind tiled walls, for instance, you may never see the damage.
Odd Odors from an Unknown Source
If you get a whiff of something musty in the air inside your home, it is a good sign that there is a mold source nearby and you may need mold remediation. Again, air conditioning ducts could be the source. Also, check for water that has pooled around an AC unit, water heater, or under a sink. These are all places that small leaks may occur and go unnoticed. Some species of mold do not give off odors, so mold could be present even if you do not smell anything unusual.
Stains and Discoloration of Walls and Ceiling Tiles
Even if you don’t see the tell-tale black spots of mold growth, more subtle hints may be popping up around your home. Yellow, brown or orange discoloration of ceiling tiles, walls, or in showers or bathtubs could be an indication that there is mold growth occurring. Not all mold species appear black. Just like you may have noticed on different types of food, some molds are white, gray, green, red, or brown. Depending on the organic substance that the mold has settled into, colors may vary.
Health Symptoms that May Indicate Mold Problems
One of the most critical yet unrecognized signs that you need mold remediation is the adverse effect that mold has on human health. Breathing mold spores can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- A sore throat
- Nasal & sinus congestion
- Watery eyes
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty breathing
Because these symptoms resemble the common cold, a mold problem may not be considered as the source. If you or your family members seem to catch colds often, a mold issue could be the real culprit. Inhalation of mold can even bring on asthma attacks for those who suffer from the condition.
Long-term mold exposure to toxic molds may cause including cancer, pneumonitis, neurotoxicity, and other serious illnesses.
Here are the ways you can prevent the spread of mold, and what you can do to get rid of it.
- Keep an eye out for hidden leaks: Wet spots on your ceiling, at baseboards or on the floor are a telltale sign of a leaky pipe or roof. Your home’s pipes are behind drywall, which can leave a small leak unnoticed for a long time.
Mold can grow behind those walls and filter into the air through ducts or pipes. A plumber or contractor can help identify weak spots or possible leaks and prevent mold growth.
- Keep your air conditioner clean: Many air conditioners, especially window units, are susceptible to mold growth. They often trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for the spores. Choosing a unit with humidity control can prevent moisture build-up. Leaving the device running at a low or “automatic” level during the day will keep air circulating and prevent a serious rise in humidity. You should also replace filters every three months, or as recommended.
“Your home should always maintain less than 60 percent humidity in order to stop mold production,” said Dr. Spahr. Finally, keeping ducts free of dirt and dust also eliminates the organic matter on which mold can feed.
- Ventilate heat-prone rooms: Bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms create a lot of excess heat and humidity, whether it be from the shower, stove or dryer. All three of these rooms should be well ventilated to prevent the lingering moisture that attracts mold.
How Black Mold Affects The Brain
When mold enters your body through the air or skin, it can cause disturbances in many body organs including the brain. Often confused as just allergies, mold infection can greatly affect the cognitive function of the brain. When this happens, many dysfunctions occur leading to psychological distress and even feelings of craziness. Toxic mold can kill the neurons of the brain and affect a person’s mental ability. They also cause nervous disorders like tremors and personality changes such as irritability and mood swings.
Treating Mold Infection
If you’ve experienced black mold infection symptoms, the first step is to have the mold completely removed or remove yourself from the contaminated environment. However, in serious incidences, you need to take the necessary steps to treat it. Because of its long-term effects, it can easily be misdiagnosed and mistreated thereby leaving you more frustrated. If you think that you have mold symptoms, then you need to get a proper evaluation. To test for mold allergies and symptoms, your doctor may perform a blood test and skin prick test. These tests can help diagnose both severe mold poisoning and mold allergies. Treatment for black mold exposure and allergies may include:
- Nasal sprays: You can use over the counter nasal sprays to reduce any inflammation caused by black mold allergies or a solution of warm distilled water to clean your nasal passages and remove congestion.
- Over the counter medications: Over the counter drugs such as antihistamines can also help reduce your immune system and the swelling that occurs due to allergic reactions.
- Allergy shots: Your doctor may also recommend getting regular allergy shots to boost your body’s immune system over time.
The Mold Inspection Procedure
When your professional mold inspector arrives at your property, in order to begin the inspection, he will use an assortment of methods, including: visual inspection, surface sampling, and air sampling in order to determine the source and the type of mold that is present in the building.
Each time a mold inspector visits a property they will begin the process with a visual inspection. They will check the property and look for any signs of water damage, water intrusion, possible faucet or pipe leaks, and any other signs of moisture. They will also test the temperature and the humidity on the property, and add these calculations to a wide variety of data that they will be obtaining about your home or property.
When a professional mold inspector begins the surface sampling process, they are actually attempting to determine what kind of mold exists at a particular location within the property. The inspector may use a swab or a piece of tape to obtain the sample. As soon as the sample is properly packaged to avoid contamination, it is sent to a reliable laboratory where it can be analyzed.
The air sampling procedure is perhaps the best process of determining whether or not airborne mold spores exist within your premises. There are a variety of types of equipment that may be used for this type of sampling, but generally air will be drawn and then impacted over a glass substrate in order to create the sample.