Obviously, the first step to resolving any problem is detecting or diagnosing it. With mold, sometimes this is very easy, you can see black splotches spreading around the tiles or walls of your bathroom, giving you a very clear indication that you have mold. Sometimes however, mold will grow in hidden places, and you’ll have to seek it out. This article is designed to teach you how to do a proper inspection.
How to Detect Mold in Your Home
If you know of places in your house where you’ve had water damage, or there is a part of your home where there has been an excess of moisture, these are the best places to start your inspection. Sometimes these places will be dark (basements, closets, etc) so be sure to bring a bright flashlight or to turn on all lighting in the area so that you can make a good visual inspection. Look for any discoloration on the paint, walls, plumbing or bare wood in the area. Sometimes mold will grow behind surfaces that are not a structural part of your house, so be sure to check behind furniture – dressers, cabinets, shelving units, etc.
There are a number of places in your home that are susceptible to mold that you won’t be able to see without a little digging. These areas include crawl spaces, attics, under carpets, behind baseboards, moldings and insulation, above ceiling tiles and the frame of your house are all examples. Let your nose help you in your search. Obviously your eyes will tell you the most as you seek out mold in all these places, but mold is usually accompanied by an musty odor that should tell you to look closer. Other places that are prone to mold, yet relatively invisible include the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, paneling, pipe chases and utility tunnels (with leaking or condensing pipes).
Ventilation is a huge part of preventing mold, but all of the components of ventilation systems (HVAC) are also susceptible to mold. Much of the time, these ducts will be constant passages for moist air, dust and airborne mold (spores). This is usually not a problem, because an effective ventilation system is meant to take all of this stuff from inside of your house to the outside, but if filters get clogged, dust builds up on fans, coils, fins or duct covers, you can have a breeding ground for trapped mold. Other places include the drain pans of air handling units, or any thermal or acoustic liners of ductwork.
Sometimes, if you suspect you have serious moisture or mold problems, there is equipment that you can buy to help you locate mold in hidden areas. Moisture meters, infrared cameras and borescopes are all effective for giving you a view of what’s going on behind walls or inside of ductwork. This equipment is often used by professionals during inspections because it can help you pinpoint areas where persistent moisture damage leads to mold.
Not sure if you have mold in your house? Call Accutech Restoration today for help! 941-378-0700