When you whiff damp, musty odors, it’s a clear signal that mold is lurking somewhere in your home. A type of fungus, mold requires very little to thrive. All homes possess the right conditions for mold spores to flourish: moisture, oxygen, warmth and darkness.
If you see black or dark green splotches spreading along your home’s walls, smell odors that possess the characteristics of dirty socks or experience sudden asthma attacks, watery eyes, coughs, or wheezing, know that a mold infestation is the likely culprit.
How do you detect mold in your home? Mold testing kits are readily available, but experts warn the results could be misleading due to their lack of accuracy. Alternately, you may elect to hire professional mold experts, who are engineers that use high-tech equipment to detect mold. Homeowners have yet additional tried-and-true ways of pinpointing mold growth.
Once all cases of mold have been found, a mold remediation professional must be called as soon as possible to prevent the fungus from spreading. They will also eliminate all cases to prevent it from returning in the future.
The following methods will help you find mold growth in your home:
1. Inspect High-Humidity Areas
Rooms in the home that feature humidity levels above 60 percent will attract mold spores. You can purchase a hygrometer to monitor your home’s humidity levels.
Given that mold thrives in moisture-rich areas, the bathroom is the ideal spot for mold colonies to find continuous nourishment. The abundance of moisture, warmth from hot showers, and darkness (when the bathroom lights are out) are the right environmental factors for mold growth.
Check for mold behind toilets, the toilet’s tank, around the shower head and the shower’s tile grout. The sink, shower curtain and any leaky walls or floors also attract mold. Less obvious places that mold latches onto include shampoo bottles, loofahs, and the bathroom rug.
Keep the sink clean to deter mold growth. Wash the floor rug to prevent it from harboring mold. If the bathroom walls, floor or pipes spur a leak, fix them immediately. Keep mold at bay by turning on the ventilation fan during showers and running them for 30 minutes afterward.
2. Examine Poorly Ventilated Areas
The attic is a prime spot for mold growth due to its lack of ventilation. Making matters worse, a leaky roof permits a steady trickle of water to enter the home’s interior. Especially if the roof leak goes undetected for lengthy periods of time, you will encounter a mold problem.
Attic mold is a huge yet common nuisance. The attic’s meager ventilation systems can help spread mold growth. When you climb into the attic, look for mold in the insulation, along the roof, by the soffit vents and near the vents that lead to the bathroom, dryer and kitchen.
Prevent mold from latching onto attic surfaces. Direct the bathroom and dryer vents to the outside, rather than into the attic. The attic insulation should be the right type. Ensure the gutter is free of blockages, to prevent water from spilling over the siding. Most importantly, fix roof leaks promptly.
3. Check Flooded Areas
Mold spores rapidly overtake flooded spaces. Your home may flood due to a pipe burst or leaky foundation. A flooded basement, especially, is a hotbed for mold, with spores multiplying in as little as 24 hours. When your basement floods, a subsequent mold inspection is critical.
Look for mold growth around the basement’s sump pump and along cracks in the foundation (which may spur water leaks). Windows and vents in the basement should be examined for condensation. Plumbing deserves a thorough inspection, since condensation forms on pipes.
Thwart mold in the basement by running a dehumidifier. Foundation leaks should be sealed right away. Mold-resistant paint goes a long way in preventing mold from overtaking the walls. Adequate ventilation provides unobstructed airflow, keeping the basement dry and mold absent.
4. Inspect Frequented Areas
Even places in the home that are visited often are prone to mold outbreaks. Spilling a glass of water on a fabric-covered couch can lead to a pesky eruption of mold, especially if a musty odor develops soon after. Overwatering a houseplant enables the optimum conditions for mold growth.
Even an unused fireplace is fair game for mold invasions. The dark, damp recesses of the fireplace invite mold colonies to linger. The porous bricks used to build fireplaces also attract mold spores and allow the mold to spread in these optimum conditions.
Prevent mold in these habitually frequented places of the home by keeping the upholstered furniture and drapes dry. If houseplants add natural ambiance to your home, do not overwater them. Every year, hire a chimney sweep to professionally clean the fireplace. Run a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels low.
5. Check Hidden Places
Homeowners may not always realize when mold growth seizes the spaces behind walls or under carpeting. Peeling wallpaper is a sure sign that mold infestation has reached the hidden spaces behind the walls. Damp carpeting likely harbors mold growth on the padding underneath it.
Concealed mold growth in inaccessible areas like these warrants a professional mold remediation service. Attempting to peel back the wallpaper unleashes a burst of mold spores that will contaminate the rest of your home. Accessing the mold behind walls is difficult for the average homeowner.
Work with Target Restoration
When mold makes its nasty entrance, consult the mold remediation specialists at Target Restoration. Upon an initial mold inspection, our mold remediation technicians will develop a mold remediation plan, contain the affected spaces and use industry-standard products to dislodge the mold completely.
The advantage of hiring a professional service, like Target Restoration, to remove the mold growth is that the trained and certified technicians take steps to prevent the regrowth of the mold colonies. Expect to live comfortably is a mold-free home when you bring in the Target Restoration pros.
No mold infestation is too large or too small for Target Restoration to tackle. Mold is pesky, but you can stay one step ahead of the enemy by contacting Target Restoration as soon as you notice the outbreak. Target Restoration reliably serves the residential and business communities throughout central Texas.
To get a free estimate for our mold remediation services near Waco, TX, contact Target Restoration at (741) 877-9026.