Why is it important to inspect for mold?
Once it's there, mold can hide in every corner of your house. Sometimes there may be signs of mold, but often it may have no smell or no visible signs that it's present.
These are some common places mold can hide:
While it's most common around the shower and bathtub, the moisture in bathrooms can encourage mold growth just about anywhere. The sink, floor, walls, and even towels or floor mats are potential sites for mold.
Like bathrooms, kitchens tend to have a lot of moisture hanging around. The combination of moisture and food is an excellent environment for mold, so microwaves, refrigerators, and pantries can be common areas for mold growth.
Storage areas like basements and attics
These areas of the home are typically not as climate-controlled as the living areas, so humidity can cause a lot of moisture build-up. Especially where things may be stacked or piled up and not frequently moved, many spots may see little to no airflow creating warm, moist conditions that are ideal for mold growth.
Other common spots throughout the home include:
- Heating and air ducts
- Furniture and upholstery
While many times you may be able to spot or smell mold, sometimes it's incredibly difficult to see. It's also common for mold to have no detectable scent when it's growing inside a home since there are also many other scents that occur regularly. Having a professional mold inspection is the best way to find mold that may be hiding, and professionals will formulate the best approach for removing it.
Related: Answering 17 Common Mold Questions
When should I have a mold inspection?
Of course, if you see or smell mold, you should always call for a mold inspection to assess the extent of the mold growth. Even if you haven’t noticed any yet, there are times when a mold inspection is smart or necessary.
Have a mold inspection done when you’re buying a home
Among other standard inspections that people get when purchasing a home, a mold inspection is a great idea. You may not notice anything walking through the home but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Regardless of what sellers may say, you don’t know the history of the home firsthand. A mold inspector will be able to not only find existing mold but also point out any spots or circumstances where mold growth is possible or likely.
Related: Building Mold Resistant Homes
Have a mold inspection done when you’re selling your home
If you’re thinking about selling your home, or if you’ve already started the process, a mold inspection should be near the top of your list. Warm, damp environments can encourage mold growth at any time, even if you’ve lived in the home for years and have never had a mold problem. Mold inspection in Tampa and surrounding areas frequently uncovers mold in homes that have been lived in for decades with no suspicion of mold growth.
When you find a buyer it's likely that they’ll want to schedule their own mold inspection, but it is smart to have it done even prior to listing. A mold inspection can help you avoid any problems during selling by finding potential issues, giving you time to fix them – rather than a potential buyer’s inspection finding mold and slowing or squashing a sale.
Have a mold inspection done after water damage
If you’ve had any water damage, even damage that has since dried, a mold inspection is wise if not necessary. Water damage is common in Florida due to frequent heavy rain and storms. After the initial damage, humidity can cause damaged areas to look and feel dry while they’re still damp enough to encourage mold growth.
Have a mold inspection done if you have asthma or allergies
If you have asthma, allergies, or any condition that affects your lungs and breathing, having a mold inspection done in your home can also be beneficial for your health. Mold and mold spores can quickly affect breathing and lung conditions and often go unnoticed as a cause of worsening health.
According to the American Lung Association, mold and damp conditions are known to cause:
- Exacerbation of asthma
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
The National Center for Healthy Housing reports that up to 10% of the general population is allergic to mold. Even more shocking, anywhere between 15% and 50% of people who are prone to developing allergies are allergic to mold.
Whether you’re experiencing these symptoms or are at risk for these symptoms due to an existing condition or allergy, regular mold inspections can be a great way to identify and eliminate possible mold.
And, you should have a mold inspection done if you’ve had problems with mold in the past
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but many people who’ve had and treated mold problems in the past feel that the problem has been taken care of. Unfortunately, in many cases, the reasons why mold was able to grow in the first place are still present in and around the home.
For example, if you’ve had a mold inspection in Tampa or nearby areas followed by mold remediation, you still live in a hot and humid region where mold is likely to grow. Or perhaps you’ve had water damage from plumbing that led to mold growth, but if your plumbing is susceptible to leakage or condensation, it's likely to happen again.
Mold was found in my home – what are the next steps?
If you’ve had a mold inspection and mold is found in your home, the next step is remediation. Once the source is identified there are different options for treating mold considering the circumstances. Sometimes an antimicrobial agent can be applied to kill existing mold spores and prevent further growth. Other times affected materials must be removed completely.
During mold remediation, containment is also an important step in preventing further spread of mold spores. Treating and removing affected parts of the home can distribute spores onto other surfaces or into the air, so containing affected materials is essential for fixing the problem. Air filtration during remediation also ensures that any spores released into the air don’t get a chance to end up on surfaces and result in further mold growth.
Related: How much do Mold Inspections cost?
How can I find a mold inspector near me?
There are many mold inspectors out there, but they’re not all created equal. It's important to find a mold inspector that has a reputation for being thorough, since it's not uncommon for small amounts of mold to be missed, even by professionals. At Engage Mold Solutions of Florida, we provide the most thorough inspection every time.
We know how quickly and easily mold can grow and make it our mission to find even the slightest bit of mold growth before it becomes a bigger problem. If you’re looking for a mold inspector in Tampa or surrounding areas, contact Engage Mold Solutions of Florida to find out what we can do for you.