In our previous post we discussed what causes mold in a home. In this post we will discuss how to identify if you have mold.
Minor mold infestations in your home can be easily spotted by its telltale blackness, whether as spots or gathered together in one group.
Also called mildew, these minor mold infestation in your home — say in the shower stall or musty basement corner — can be removed with everyday home cleaning products.
Mildew and mold can also form outside your home, on siding, decks or patios. These infestations can sometimes be mistaken for dirt.
To test if a suspected area is mold simply some drops of bleach on the area and if the area turns white it is mold/mildew and not dirt or dust.
Mold can also form in unseen areas, including framing and insulation. Mold can grow in those areas if water encroaches behind a home’s siding — typically around doors or windows — or from a leaky pipe or condensation.
This type of mold infestation can typically be discovered by its strong, musty smell or when walls or siding are being replaced. Mold in a home’s framing is also a sign of possible rot to the framing and other water damage.
If you smell mold or mildew, but can’t see obvious signs on walls, ceilings or in cabinets, it is recommended that you consult a professional mold remover before looking behind walls or pulling up carpet.
It is also a best practice to turn off your HVAC system so any disturbed mold isn’t blown through your house if you decide to make a more invasive inspection.
Some common areas not readily viewable where mold grows include:
- Under carpet or carpet pads, particularly if they have gotten wet
- Behind wallpaper or draperies
- Behind drywall, wallboard or wood paneling
- On pipes
- Inside ductwork
- Behind or above ceiling tile
While milder, smaller mold easily accessible can be removed using common household cleansers, caution is recommended when considering disturbing larger infestations. This is especially true if you or anyone in your house has a weakened immune system or some type of breathing-related condition.
For those larger mold infestations serious protective measures are recommended, or contact a professional mold removal company to ensure all the mold is safely removed.
In our next post we will take a closer look at what steps you can take to keep mold out of your home.