Many home owners want to know whether to do their own black mold inspection or whether to hire a mold inspection company to do it. In most cases you can and should do your own home black mold inspection, but there are situations where you may need a certified mold inspector.
When To Call In A Pro To Do Black Mold Inspection
One reason to hire someone to do your black mold inspection is if you are sensitive to mold or have respiratory problems. In this case it’s better to avoid possible exposure to mold or dust. Do not attempt black mold removal on your own if you have these conditions.
Another reason for hiring a certified mold inspector is if you completed a black mold inspection and have found no mold, but can smell a musty or earthy odor in parts of your home.
In this case you are most likely dealing with hidden mold somewhere in your home. A trained mold inspector will have special tools to look in hidden places. He will be able locate it without having to tear walls out.
Black Mold Inspection Is Not A One Time Job
With the health risks of black mold exposure, and the difficulty and cost to remove it, every homeowner should routinely conduct a black mold inspection even if no mold problem is immediately apparent. Black mold can spread surprisingly fast given the right conditions and no home is immune so keep vigilant and nip it in the bud at the first sign.
Black mold can grow in many places where it is often hard to see, and its growth can go unnoticed. So it is important to monitor your home for moisture problems on a regular basis. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly holds true for black mold.
Home Mold Detection – The Obvious Places To Look For Black Mold
Black mold requires moisture or high humidity to grow. A good place to start your black mold inspection is with your plumbing. You should check connections behind washers and hot water heaters for signs of leaks. Leaks are often found under sinks.
While performing your black mold inspection pay close attention to signs of condensation. Often this will occur along outside walls in semi-heated areas like closets. Corners can also have condensation problems especially if furniture blocks heat and airflow.
Attics and basements are havens for black mold. Attics are a problem because you have warm and cold air meeting and that can create condensation. Many attics are improperly ventilated allowing moisture build up. Check for signs of water damage, wet insulation, or water stains on the rafters or floor.
It goes without saying a leaky roof is bad news. Check your roof for missing shingles and damaged flashing. Make sure your gutters are clear.
Unfinished basements or crawl spaces are areas where mold can flourish especially if there has been flooding. Many older homes have no vapor barriers or insulation and condensation can be a problem. Poor surface drainage on the outside of the walls can channel moisture inside.
Black Mold Inspection – The Less Obvious Places To Look For Black Mold
If you don’t see signs of mold but pick up that musty smell it is time to become a mold detective. So grab your magnifying glass, your pipe and your Sherlock Holmes cap. Grab Watson if you think he can help because black mold detection is serious business. Your health depends on finding that hidden mold.
Some plumbing leaks may be less obvious and can be inside the walls where plumbing is hidden entirely from view. Water from a leaking roof can also be hard to locate because it can run laterally along framing and pool far from the source of the leak. Look for signs of water stains or peeling or blistering paint or wallpaper.
Black mold can grow in your air conditioner or get into your HVAC system. This can be a very hard area for conducting a black mold inspection because so much of it is hidden from sight. But it is critical because it can spread mold through out your home.
Many times what people mistakenly believe is dust on a register is actually mold. If you suspect black mold is in your HVAC system you may want to have a professional black mold inspection done.
Your home is probably your biggest investment so protect it. As a homeowner, conducting a thorough home mold inspection annually is a good idea, but you should routinely look for signs of water intrusion on a monthly basis. Think of black mold inspection as a form of preventative maintenance for your home.