Mold Inspection: What You Need To Know
If you have a home that has been recently affected by water damage or flood, you need to consider a mold inspection for your home. Mold, also sometimes known as mildew, is an airborne fungus growth that grows on damp, wet objects. While it is not always a serious health threat, mold can spread easily and be very difficult to remove once it has formed. Mold is an integral component of our environment and plays a significant role in nature; however, within homes, mold growth needs to be monitored and prevented in order to prevent serious health hazards. The following are some of the main reasons you need to have a mold inspection for your home.
If a new home has not yet been built, mold testing can be completed prior to construction. Most builders will perform routine testing for mold within the walls and floor cavities. However, in order to be sure that there are no unseen mold spores, mold testing needs to be performed on the ceiling cavity, the subfloor (the foundation upon which the house rests) and the attic. During a mold inspection for new homes, it is important to remember that the most effective testing is done at the time of construction. By the time the home has been completed and completely built, most builders will have completed all necessary testing.
Mold testing is not always required when buying a new home. Even if there are not visible signs of mold growth during the inspection process, mold remediation professionals may recommend testing. It is important to understand that mold remediation is significantly more costly than mold testing so it is not always practical to pay for the mold testing. Whether the mold problem is discovered after the home is built or during the construction process, mold remediation will likely be required and if the issue is discovered at this point, it is likely that you will need mold testing and remediation done.
For buyers or sellers whose mold problem is not discovered during the construction process, they may consider hiring an independent mold inspection professional. Mold inspections done by independent contractors follow industry standards and recommendations for mold remediation. These professionals are often recommended by building companies because they are familiar with the problems that commonly occur with mold growth in new homes. Some of these mold inspections may also include testing for visible mold spores. In addition, an independent contractor will not recommend products that may only worsen the mold problem.
For HVAC systems in the home, the mold inspection professional will likely recommend that air conditioning be removed if visible mold spores are detected. Although HVAC systems do not cause black mold growth, their regular cleaning and maintenance can result in many health concerns for occupants. Mold spores are released into the air during normal HVAC system operations and must be eliminated from the air. If HVAC units are not regularly cleaned or maintained, spores can build up and become a health hazard. The mold inspection professional may recommend that an exhaust fan is added to the home or that the homeowner install an exhaust fan at an additional location.
New homes typically come with a humidifying system to provide adequate moisture for occupants. The mold inspection professional will recommend that this system be tested to ensure that it is working properly. If the recommendation is made, then the system should be added to the home or removed if there is already too much humidity. Uncovering water damage requires a professional to properly identify and remove all mold affected surfaces. In addition to removing mold affected surfaces, he or she will most likely need to test the entire home for moisture. Testing the entire building for moisture may require structural support from outside sources.