Have you been smelling an indescribable funny odor in your new home or in your new home office? Is it something that’s causing you to sneeze all the time? Is it like an allergic reaction to something you can’t even see? Like, where is it coming from, really? If you think you have cleaned your new home enough and the smell is still there or you are still experiencing the same allergy-like symptoms, chances are, your new place could possibly be infected with mold.
If you’ve tried searching everywhere and you didn’t find any, don’t feel relieved just yet because sometimes, it’s not as easy as you think it is. Not just because you didn’t see any mold colony on your walls or tiles, doesn’t mean that your place of abode is already mold-free. In other instances, mold colonies grow on concealed areas of your house such as behind the wallpapers, between the walls, underneath the carpets, or on the ducts where it’s almost quite impossible to detect. This is why a mold inspection is done for property owners who suspect that fungus could be plaguing their home or office.
What is Mold and is it really a big deal?
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives on moist and damp areas and feeds on organic matter like damp clothes and wet wood. There are multiple types of mold but the most common household mold can be seen as white, green, or blue in color and has that slimy sometimes, velvety surface. They typically grow on bathroom tiles or in your basement where it’s dark, cool, and damp most of the time.
Now, if you’re asking if it’s dangerous, well it could be! Depending on the species of fungus present, it could pose various health hazards ranging from nasal congestion, headaches, watery eyes, skin irritation, difficulty in breathing to the more serious repercussions that could actually be life-threatening for those who have a weakened immune system, existing respiratory problems or those with severe allergies to fungi.
When do you need a mold inspection?
The thing is, it could be difficult to assess the situation without the necessary knowledge, expertise, and equipment required to carefully evaluate the case and gauge the right removal plan to go with. For some with a limited budget, you’d probably try to solve the situation on your own especially if you know exactly where to treat the problem or where it is spreading so probably the next question for you is: when do you need to have a mold inspection? Here are a few instances where an inspection is considered urgent:
- If you’re experiencing coughing, wheezing, and other health issues inside your home without a known cause or source and there’s a musty smell that has become intolerable.
- If you’re purchasing a new apartment or a new house. Your realtor wouldn’t probably mention anything negative to you about the property like if flooding has damaged it before or if it had any historical pipe leaks or moisture problem so it is best that you do your due diligence and test it immediately so as to prevent the same problems from happening in the future.
- Past occurrences of flooding. Usually, when an area has been flooded before, it becomes more susceptible to mold growth particularly because that area retains high levels of moisture that is suitable for fungus. These are common to basements and crawl spaces where the absence of sunlight makes it all the more difficult for air to circulate and dry out the damp spaces.
- If the property has been vacant for months or even years. Without someone to clean and maintain the property, humidity and moisture could have built up inside making the property a perfect environment for mold growth. Just to be sure, you should do a thorough inspection.
- If you want to test the indoor air quality of your home.
- If you have just finished a mold removal and you want to guarantee that you have gotten rid of all contaminated structures or belongings in your home.
What happens in a mold inspection, anyway?
Mold inspections are best for homeowners who have non-visible signs of mold infestations but are experiencing strong indications of mold presence. A thorough mold inspection would be able to point out not only mold colonies hidden from eyesight but as well as water damaged areas or potential sources of moisture.
In a mold inspection, it usually consists of visual inspection, moisture mapping, surface sampling, and air sampling. The inspection begins with a short interview about the history of the property or if there have been any known water issues, followed by discussing the signs and health symptoms that you or other inhabitants of the property could be suffering from. Consequently, a visual inspection would ensue.
These tests require sophisticated tools and equipment such as a Thermal Imaging Scanner that can detect water leaks inside a wall cavity and a Moisture Level Scanner that allows inspectors to track down parts of your home or office with high humidity levels. Later on, air and surface sampling are conducted to check on the quality of your indoor environment. You can then expect the results to come out within 2 days or so along with a report generated from the inspection. After a careful evaluation, you can then begin to plan on what remediation method will be the most suitable for your situation.
Now, a lot of companies would offer their services at a bargain, but be mindful of those offers and check the inclusions that come with the offer. Some would offer lower prices but with fewer tests or inspections. You can probably forego surface testing but never proceed with a company that only offers a mere visual inspection without moisture mapping because locating the sources of moisture is crucial in getting rid of the mold infestation and in preventing it from happening again. We can suggest a number of trusted experts in the mold industry, but we highly commend Hero Mold Removal if you’re looking for a mold inspection in Lynchburg, VA.