The presence of mold in a home or facility is visibly unappealing but also a health risk to occupants. New research has found that children who grow up in homes with specific types of mold are more likely to develop asthma1. This is especially concerning as in past years there has been a misconception that homes in the Sonoran desert areas of Phoenix and Tucson don’t have mold growth like other parts of the country. This is why it’s so important to find the right mold inspection company.
Mold thrives in all parts of the World as long as it has a water source like a leaky faucet, a broken washing machine, or a faulty dishwasher. The important thing to remember about mold is that the best way to prevent growth is by controlling the presence of water and moisture. It’s good advice for new homes but cutting off the water source won’t rid yourself of existing mold and the damage that it has caused. It will ultimately require a professional mold inspection company to get your place back in good health again.
Since we began mold inspections in Arizona nearly 20 years ago, we have seen thousands of cases of mold. Another misconception we have heard is that mold can only grow on wood. The truth is that mold can grow on virtually any surface as long as it has a water or moisture source that can feed its growth. We have seen mold on carpets, ceiling tiles, cupboards, tile, foundations, and more. It’s important to live and work in buildings free of mold as exposure can lead to health and legal problems. Keep in mind the following items whether you are currently looking as a buyer of a home or facility, renter, seller, or are a long time owner that needs maintenance. And remember that home inspectors are not required to inspect mold. So you’ll need to connect with an established mold inspection company.
Signs That You May Need a Mold Inspection Company
- Mold needs moisture to grow so experiencing or measuring a high humidity in your home or facility is an indicator that mold is growing. In these cases, effort should be made not only to identify any immediate or potential mold growth but also to remove it and cut off its water or moisture source. Buildings should be kept at a low humidity as a preventative measure to guard against mold growth. Areas in a home like bathrooms, kitchens, and sinks should be regularly checked and fixed for any kinds of leaks from water pipes or appliances that are faulty and producing water or moisture. It will be less costly to replace a dishwasher that is constantly leaking water than to pay for the cost of mold removal and home restoration down the road. Areas in work and school facilities should also check bathrooms and kitchens but additionally public drinking fountains and other unique water sources to their buildings.
- Discolored spots on your floor, ceiling, and walls, as well as furniture and other items around your home are a strong indicator that mold is growing. Companies that can perform visual inspections will look closely at such areas. It’s important to call for an inspection immediately if such mold is seen as “what you see is what you smell’ when it comes to mold. The presence of discolored spots means spores are actively growing in the millions and moving through the air. Consider staying with family or friends until your home has been inspected and if mold has been found, it has been completely removed. If the mold is at work then consider working remotely from home or another location until an inspection and removal of the mold is finished.
- If occupants of the home or facility are experiencing any of the following symptoms then the presence of mold could be a factor. It’s important to take care of your health and if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms then effort should be made to eliminate anything possibly contributing – which includes mold. The presence of mold as a possible contributor should be seriously considered as symptoms may not be relieved until a professional mold remediation has removed the mold and cleaned the affected areas. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology lists these symptoms2 as the following.
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Irritated eyes
- Itchy throat
Qualifications to Look for in a Mold Inspection Company
When looking for a mold inspection company that can perform an inspection, keep these three things in mind.
- Work with a mold inspection company that is licensed and experienced to perform a mold inspection. Home inspectors are not required by the State of Arizona to inspect for mold. So if you are in the process of selling or buying a home or facility, work with a professional company that officially reports they perform mold inspections. Any existing health issues with a home need to be well documented to protect those that live there and to help in moving a home sale along. Organizations that need their facilities tested should also be careful to use only a licensed company as inspection findings will become a permanent record of the company.
- Go with a mold inspection company that has experience. Small companies will pop up every year hoping to quickly cash in on home inspection needs. Even if they have the required license, check to see if they have been around a long time or not. An experienced company will have seen several types of mold and are much less likely to provide a false positive or overlook existing mold. They’ll also know how to correctly perform Air Quality Testing.
- Investigate how long it will take to receive your inspection report. Companies will either perform a visual inspection, air quality test, or both. It’s of course recommended that you work with a company that can do both. Also find out if they are available 24/7 or only during the weekday from 9-5. And how quickly they can come out to your property. Laslty, ask how long it will take to get a preliminary report and final report.
How to Follow-Up with your Mold Inspection
It’s great that you have taken action toward keeping your home or facility more clean and healthy for yourself and others. You’ll want to increase the life of that clean air by doing the following post-mold removal work.
- Ensure that the humidity of the home or facility is kept low.
- Regularly check water sources for leaks. If found, take action to stop the leaking.
- Regularly check past affected areas.
- Check the inside and outside of your home for damage regularly.
- Check your home, especially the roof, after a rain or other harsh weather.
- Talk with the company that performed your mold inspection or mold removal to get more tips and insight. Remember, if you researched it well and got a good company, these folks are professional and highly experienced and can give you great advice moving forward.
- The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2012. “Infant origins of childhood asthma associated with specific molds”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789397
- The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. 2016. “Types of Allergies: Mold Allergy”. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/mold-allergy