Mold spores are constantly present everywhere in the air and are generally harmless unless they are allowed to grow and stagnate. If that happens, mold can destroy portions of your home and negatively affect your health.
What Causes Mold to Grow?
Mold needs oxygen, water, and a food source in order to grow. Unfortunately for home and business owners, the materials used in construction are often a good food source for mold, and moisture is more prevalent than you would care to think. It can come from small sources like the condensation that forms when cold and warm air meet, or from more substantial sources like flooding or leaking pipes.
Mold Hot Spots
Mold is especially likely to form in hard to access places like crawl spaces, inside walls, on the underside of roofs, and anywhere that is exposed to moisture and organic materials. If you can see mold inside your home or office, chances are it is much more extensive than just the portion you can see, and often it is nearly impossible to detect the full extent without tearing out walls or performing a mold test.
Since mold digests and slowly destroys whatever it is growing on, it can cause extensive damage to your home or office building. It can devour walls, structural elements, and even furniture inside your home if allowed to flourish undetected.
At ETS, we can help! Our professionals will help find the source of the mold with a both a visual inspection and Indoor Air Quality Testing.
When Should You Have Your Home or Office Tested for Mold?
Mold can grow very quickly once it has found a hospitable environment, so if you have the slightest suspicion of the presence of mold, we recommend that you hire a professional for testing. It could save you thousands of dollars if you detect the mold early and before it spreads throughout your home and property through the HVAC and other methods
Test Before You Buy
That being said, there are several specific instances where you should definitely have your property tested for mold and fungus. The first is when you are considering buying, selling, or renting a property. Certified inspectors like our team at Environmental Testing Solutions can tell you instantly with a simple test whether the home or building has mold or fungus infestation with our state-of-the-art technology, Instascope.
Test After Water Damage
The next reason to have your property checked is if you have had a leak, flooding, plumbing issues, or any other kind of water damage. Even if there is not any visible standing water, it can seep into floor spaces, soak into the underside of carpets, or wick up the inside of walls. If you notice any kind of dampness, moisture, or condensation, that’s also a good indicator that mold will soon follow.
Other Mold Indicators
If you notice a musty or unpleasant smell in your home or workplace, or if your family, pets, or staff members experience allergy-like symptoms indoors, these are other signs that you should have your property tested for the presence of mold and fungus. Often mold forms where you can’t see it at all, but you can still feel the effects of breathing in high amounts of mold spores.
How Environmental Testing Solutions Can Help
There are many factors that contribute to mold growth, and it can be hard to determine the exact cause on your own. That’s where our team of experts comes in. We can locate where any extra moisture is coming from and give you tips to prevent that from happening in the future, and we’ll sample the air with our instant results technology, Instascope in your home or office building to determine the mold levels and whether the mold present poses a threat to your health.
Once we’ve determined how much mold is present and where it is located, we can recommend a remediation procedure to you or advise that professional remediation is necessary.
How To Reduce the Chances of Mold Growth
Less Moisture, The Better
Moisture is the number one contributor to mold growth in homes and offices. In the Denver, CO area, humidity isn’t as much of a problem for high humidity, since we have such cold winters. The cold outside air reacts with the warm indoor air to produce condensation, which means that areas like basements, attics, crawl spaces, and so forth are especially prone to condensation and therefore mold growth.
Another common culprit of excess moisture is leaky sinks, water fountains, or other plumbing fixtures. Additionally, roof or window leaks can cause problems. Damage from hail or heavy rain can cause unexpected flooding and leaks, or high winds that blow rain horizontal or even in an upward direction can force moisture into areas where mold can flourish.
Check all accessible areas of your home for excess moisture as soon as the weather turns cold each year. That way, if there is a leak or an issue, you can have it taken care of immediately and prevent the development of mold. Small repairs to prevent moisture will be much less expensive than an extensive mold removal process.