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How to Detect Mold (Even If You Can't See It)

How to Detect Mold (Even If You Can't See It)

Mold is a type of fungus that grows almost everywhere, as long as the environment is damp and has temperatures between 40 °F and 100 °F. If you are going to be honest with yourself, that's almost all damp areas in your house. While these tiny microorganisms might be useful outdoors, they can cause serious health issues in your house. Some of them are known to produce dangerous toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Some others also produce allergens that are known to cause allergic reactions. Beyond medical problems, molds can also cause extensive property damage. When they appear on a surface, they gradually fester on the surface, leaving it to rot.

The most common types of molds called mildew are easy to spot. At the very early stages, they often start as dark spots that later grow into large colonies. It's the dark things that you see on the damp walls in the bathroom, the grout lines in the shower, on deck boards and many other shaded areas. The mold you can see are usually not a problem because depending on their size, you can easily remove them. However, some molds grow in areas where you can hardly see them. Even when you see some, you might confuse them with dirt. In such a situation, mold detection becomes the most reliable way to help you detect the problem and find the mold.

 

Why is mold detection so important?

Mold can be a serious health hazard in any building. Mold comes in different types and it can carry along with it varying degrees of medical problems. Some strains are known to trigger allergic reactions, making people feel difficulty in breathing, itchy eyes, sinuses, and even hay fever. Based on a study they conducted, some scientists even believe that having certain molds in your house can lead to the development of asthma in children. The same study goes further to claim that molds can also cause other big pulmonary issues in healthy individuals.

Although there are several thousand types of molds, according to the CDC, the black mold is the most notorious of all. This dreaded toxic mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere according to scientists. Many scientists have also linked black mold as a possible cause of acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in children. That is a serious condition in children that leads to continuous bleeding in the lungs.

The problem with mold is that it can cause problems with your health, even in small unnoticed quantities. That is, even though you might not see them, they might be there causing issues for you and your loved ones. Mold detection is the only way to know if there is mold around.

 

Is there a mold detector or sensor, or any smell detector?

Yes, there are different mold test detectors or kits available in stores and retailers across the country. With these mold testing kits, you can easily detect mold in your house on your own. The cheaper types usually only allow you to test for molds on surfaces. The more expensive ones in contrast allow you to test for molds in the air. The testing should take two days with most types after which you will see the results. Note that the process only detects molds. To identify the mold type detected, you will have to take the samples for lab testing, which usually incurs an additional expense.

 

Professional mold detection vs DIY mold detection kits

Mold testing kits are more like science experiments to test for the presence of molds in your house. Most of these kits use a settle plate application to detect molds. To use the kits, you have to place a dish in some parts of your house for 24 to 48 hours while you wait for the spores to fall into the dish.

The problem with this method is that it produces lots of false negatives and false positives. That is, it might tell you there isn't mold whereas there is mold in your house. This might happen especially if you fail to place the dish in the right place. Moreover, the process only detects molds while leaving behind the bulk of important information. For example, what's the use of knowing you have a problem but you can't tell where and how dangerous the problem is in the house? While the mold detection kit might detect mold in your house, it does not tell you where the mold is in your property. Furthermore, the United States Environmental Protection Agency does not approve the use of any type of mold testing kit.

At its best, test kits can only help you confirm suspicions of mold in the house. The best way to get results from mold detection is to go for a professional mold detection service. These are professionals with experience and expertise in finding molds in your house. Using high tech tools, O2 Mold Testing, a professional mold detection company, will help you:

  • Find the exact location of the molds on your property.
  • They will also help you identify all affected parts of your property.
  • They will send samples of the mold to accredited labs for testing.
  • Based on the results they will tell you if you are at risk and whether you need professional remediation or not.

 

How to detect mold in the hardest-to-find places of your home

To detect mold in difficult places in your home, you need to consult professional mold detectors like O2 Mold Testing. When you do, we will send a trained professional over to your place to inspect your home.

The process starts with a visual inspection of your property. That is, the personnel will take their time to inspect all areas that are usually prone to mold infestation. These areas include the basement, attic, closets, HVAC systems, and crawl areas.

Usually, the findings from the visual inspection are used to locate parts of the building where there might be humidity and water intrusion problems that are likely causing the growth of the molds. The company will then use thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters to find the source of the intrusion.

After identifying the source of moisture, the next step is air testing. The air testing is done to determine the type of mold and the extent of the infestation problem on the ground. To do this, the company will collect air samples from the infected area and compare them with those areas that are not affected. After the process is done, the company will provide the building owner with the results of the tests. The property owner will also receive recommendations on how to mold removal and mold remediation.

 

Is it a good idea to request a mold detection service?

Absolutely. A professional mold detection service is a must for every homeowner. Aside from helping you keep your family safe, it can also come in handy for home improvement. With a professional mold detection service like O2 Mold Testing, you will get all the answers you need to be sure about the status of your home in regard to mold.

At O2 Mold Testing, we offer a full array of professional mold testing services along with certified lab reports to fix all your mold problems. With our experience and expertise, you will get all the information you need to make informed decisions about your property. Our services include:

  • Air Sampling
  • Surface Sampling
  • Moisture & Leak Detection
  • Visual Mold Inspection

Call us today and get your free estimate - 888-202-1680

 

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