How To Tell If Your Home Has Mold – Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair and DIY. Tried, true, reliable home advice
Testing for mold at home If you suspect that mold spores are polluting your indoor air quality or making you sick, testing your environment should be at the top of your to-do list. This way you can get an accurate reading of the fashion test series.
How To Tell If Your Home Has Mold
Have you ever walked into a bathroom and wrinkled your nose because the space was so soft? It’s no news that damp spaces are excellent breeding grounds for mold and mildew, fungi that help the natural elements break down so they can decompose. But while their presence may be important in your compost pile, it is undesirable in homes and buildings. When fungal spores become airborne and inhaled, your health can suffer.
What To Do If Your House Has Mold
Sometimes the handkerchief is accompanied by other signs of the presence of mold: discolored spots on walls and floors, the development of breathing problems and noticeable dampness. Sometimes the existence of a problem is not as clear. If you are concerned that the air in your home is compromised by mold, you can find peace of mind knowing exactly how to test for mold.
Fortunately, testing is as easy as purchasing a solid mold test kit and collecting samples from strategic locations using the instructions below. After the test, one of two things will happen: The results will be negative, indicating that the musty odor is a temporary problem that can be easily fixed. Or the test reveals the presence of mold in your home. If the test results are positive for mold spores, the best course of action is to send the test to a lab to determine what type of mold it is and how to effectively treat it.
Mold requires moisture to grow, which is why it is more likely to be found in wet, humid areas. For example, pipe leaks often cause mold growth and should be repaired as soon as they are found. Visible mold in any home should be removed quickly by following safe mold removal procedures or hiring a professional mold removal company.
What about mold growth you can’t see? If you notice a musty smell but don’t see visible signs of mold (a black, white, or brown coating), you may have mold where you can’t see it. Here are some of the most common places where mold can grow unnoticed, as well as some smart places to test for mold:
Do You Have Mold In Your House?
Although there are thousands of mold species, most homeowners are concerned about Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as “toxic mold” or “black mold.” This type of mold is actually quite rare, but it is one of many molds that produce large amounts of mycotoxins (harmful mold-based chemicals) that can create a dangerous home environment. However, all mold species can become a health risk if allowed to grow out of control. For safety’s sake, all mold growth identified by a solid mold test must be treated and removed quickly.
Mold test kits are widely available at home improvement stores and online stores, but not all test kits are the same. Some are designed only to determine if surfaces have mold. To test for mold spores in the air you breathe, you need to purchase a box-resistant mold detection kit, such as the Seeml Labs mold tester. Most quality mold tests cost between $20 and $45.
The entire testing process takes a few days. If the test shows that there are mold spores in your home, you can send the test materials to a lab, which will run another test to determine what type of mold is there. This lab analysis can run an additional $40 to $70.
Note: The US Environmental Protection Agency does not endorse any brand of home fashion test kit. Instead, it is recommended that homeowners have their homes professionally tested if they are concerned about the presence of mold. So take these DIY kits with a grain of salt: They can help confirm your suspicions if you’re unsure whether you have a mold problem. Of course, if the symptoms are visible and frightening, it is better to call professionals to test the mold and remove the colony from the home.
How To Get Rid Of Mold From Every Home Surface
Close the windows and doors of the room to be tested 24 hours before the test. In this way, possible mold spores accumulate without being disturbed by drafts.
Remove the contents of the kit from its packaging. You can usually find at least one shallow plastic or flat petri dish with a lid and label. The inside of the petri dish has been treated with a substance known as “microbial culture”, which promotes the growth of mold spores. This should help you collect a sufficient sample when testing for mold within the manufacturer’s recommended time frame.
Remove the lid from the petri dish and place the dish (open end facing up) on a flat surface at table height.
Leave the petri dish untouched for about 48 hours. This time may vary slightly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During this time, limit traffic in the room during the test period as much as possible so that the air is not disturbed. If necessary, cover the door with masking tape to remind household members and guests that this area is temporarily out of use.
Top 5 Signs Of Mold In Your Home
Place the lid back on the petri dish after the waiting time is over and put a layer of tape around the seam where the lid meets the dish. Either duct tape or electrical tape work well, but avoid using tape that is difficult to remove, such as duct tape.
Write today’s date on the package label and place the label under the petri dish. Place the taped petri dish in a dark place, such as a dresser drawer or a wardrobe shelf.
Check the petri dish after two days for signs of mold growth. If mold is present, it looks like the kind of mold you might find on old food in the refrigerator.
Please allow 3-8 weeks for results. In the meantime, you can continue to test for mold throughout the home. Although a variable mold test can tell if a specific room has mold spores, you will need to use additional kits if you want to test other rooms in your home.
How To Test For Mold In Air Using A Home Test Kit
Anyone can suffer from mold spores in the air. The risk of health problems increases in people with known allergies, a weakened immune system, and respiratory diseases such as asthma. Symptoms related to mold include e.g.
Because there are many potential health problems associated with mold, it is important to take steps to detect mold in your home and remove it quickly. Follow the steps above to learn how to test for mold so you and others in your home can breathe easier. You can also consider investing in an air quality meter to make sure the air in your home is free of mold and other harmful pollutants.
Because learning how to test for mold is complex and important, it’s understandable if you still have questions. See the FAQs below for more information on mold inspection and testing.
Although you may hear the terms mold and mildew used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two organisms. Although mold is always flat or powdery with a white or gray appearance, mold is often raised, fuzzy or slimy and can be different colors such as black, green, blue or red.
How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Another key difference is that mold can penetrate below the surface, while mold is a surface fungus that is easier to detect. Mold is also a greater health risk than mold. In addition to causing breathing problems, like mold, it can also have a negative effect on the nervous system.
Black mold looks like a black spot. It occurs more often in areas with high humidity, especially in flooded areas. Another important detail in spotting black mold is that it often follows a circular growth pattern. Look for round discs that grow together; some may be smaller than an inch and others larger.
Frost is typically gray or white in color. It is a surface mold that stays flat as it grows. Mold can also have a powdery consistency.
Although there are some tests designed to identify mold exposure, they are not 100 percent reliable. However, your primary care doctor can evaluate your symptoms and do blood tests or skin prick tests to learn more about your mold susceptibility.
Common Signs That You Have Mold In Your Home
Removing mold from walls is important, but you also need to know how to spot mold in walls to ensure that the problem is completely fixed. Mold test kits detect mold in the air. So if the mold spores inside the wall get
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