7 Steps for Detecting Mold Growth in Your Home

Detect Mold Growth

If your home has been standing for a number of years and has withstood inclement weather, there’s a good chance that you may have microbial growth somewhere. The key to getting rid of various types of mold is detecting mold growth before the mold spores begin to spread it, causing damage to spread, impacting air quality, and affecting the health of your home’s occupants. Fortunately, detecting mold growth isn’t difficult, but it can be a little time-consuming. Here are 7 ways for detecting mold growth in your home.

1. Use Your Vision Detecting Mold Growth

Often there are visible signs of mold growth, mostly on ceilings and in corners – but look everywhere. Do a search on the internet for images of mold and print them out if you’re not familiar with how mold appears. Molds have a blossom-like appearance, like tiny balls of cotton. The colors range from grey to white to black to green (various shades of each). Black mold is especially dangerous to health, so be sure to identify any signs of it. Pay particular attention to any yellowing or fuzzy-looking growth on fabrics, Sheetrock, or any surface that may have been exposed to moisture.

Sometimes the mold outbreak is just hidden. In this case, the mold was hidden in a closet, but we found it and performed full mold remediation and mold restoration. See the after photo on the right.

2. Use Your Sense Of Smell For Detecting Mold Growth

Besides using your sense of sight, your sense of smell is often your first alert to the presence of mold. We’ve all smelled mold odor before, often from something long-stored that had become saturated with moisture. Obviously mold has an unpleasant musty smell that you certainly don’t want lingering in your home. Once you begin smelling the odor, you are detecting mold growth! Now, you must begin the visual inspection immediately (if you haven’t done this already). Remember, however, that even if you do not smell mold this doesn’t mean that mold does not exist in your home. Some molds actually have no smell at all, but are still quite toxic.

3. Is Your Basement Frequently Flooded?

If the answer to that query is “yes”, then there is a likely probability that your home has some serious mold growth going on down there. This should be the first location in your house that you inspect for detecting mold growth, since basements are often flooded during heavy rainstorms. Follow the suggestions in #1 and #2, searching visual indications of mold growth, as well as sniffing around for that distinctive musty smell. If you see any water discolorations on walls and ceilings, mold is likely responsible for that. Moisture build-up is the primary culprit of mold growth.

Mold growth and other signs of water damage. Sometimes detecting mold growth will be easy to spot.

Sometimes detecting mold growth will be easy to spot. Here is an obvious example of Mold growth, one of many signs of water damage. The after photo shows full mold remediation.

4. Misty Windows in Winter = Mold Growth

Winter weather means inclement weather, particularly rain and cold. Because of this, there is often a constant build-up of excess moisture, mostly around your windows. This amount of excess humidity in the environment around your home is the perfect condition for the breeding and proliferation of fungal growth. Mold loves moisture, so when detecting mold growth keep watch on those foggy windows – especially during the winter.

5. Use Home Mold Test Kits Detecting Mold Growth

Yes, there are DIY mold test kits available at most hardware stores and online. These tests are used to locate specific mold growth areas. The majority of these test kits are user-friendly and often provide reliable results. But don’t depend solely on these test kits. While these DIY kits are quite effective, there is still no substitute for visual and olfactory searches for mold growth. These kits are merely additional tools to add to your overall mold growth inspection.

6. The Mold That You Can’t See Is The Most Dangerous

It’s generally agreed among mold remediation specialists that the most dangerous mold is the mold that you can’t see. These unseen molds are often found in air conditioning units, duct-work, or within walls. When in this environment, these molds can swell and grow rapidly so long as they continue to go undetected. If you do detect a slight musty odor and are frequently clearing your throat, there may be unseen mold lurking somewhere. Once the mold has been located and dealt with, proper care and maintenance of your air conditioning system will often prevent any new growth in that area of your home.

7. Contact a Certified Mold Inspector

While it’s important to perform all of the inspections noted above, to be absolutely sure of every occurrence of mold growth, it’s important to contact a licensed mold inspector and mold remediation specialist. They have access to equipment and testing devices and methods that will locate all infestations in your home. They will then recommend mold remediation to eliminate the fungal threat from your home.

You can help the inspectors by showing them what you’ve discovered and they can go from there. Mold growth isn’t something homeowners like to think about, but it’s very important to be aware of the possible threat. It doesn’t matter how old or how new your home is, it is still vulnerable to fungal infestations when excess moisture is around. You must keep watch for any signs of mold, dealing with it immediately once it’s been detected.

Call a Professional Mold Remediation & Restoration Company

Now that you have discovered mold, you will need to properly remove it! Doing it yourself can lead you to a barrier to the growth that would need you to tear down drywall or remove the obstacles to see more. this is why getting a pro involved in your mold problem is a good idea. While you may have discovered your mold problems source, you may disturb the mold and cause it to spore or spread to other parts of your home.

Getting on the problem’s solution squarely fixed in your crosshairs is best, and without a professional mold remediator on the project, you can never determine if you actually fully removed the mold. Don’t do work you cannot finish with confidence of a professional. While you can opt to do mold testing on your own remediation work, the chances are that you are much better off having a professional do the work and also determine what the test results indicate.

After you find a professional you trust to remediate, you can also count on them to do routine inspections. Early prevention is the key, and if you keep to a routine of periodic inspections, the threat of mold can be greatly reduced. (619) 376-6838