Mold Testing and Inspections
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors.
No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.
If you’ve ever walked into a closed-up home or entered an old building, you may have smelled a musty odor. Sometimes your nose tightens up, or you might even get a headache. If you re-enter your home or cabin after it’s been locked up, you may smell a musty odor. This odor is caused by mold. Find where the odor is most intense to see if mold is present. Since the sense of smell decreases rapidly, it is best to smell for mold after being away for a while.
- Use your eyes: look for it
- Use your nose: smell for musty odors
- Experiencing health effects of mold
The moisture required for mold to grow can come from water leaks, flooded areas, high humidity, condensation and other sources. What are some other moisture sources in the home?
- Water leaks
- Flooded areas
- Humidity levels above 65% – 70%
What is Required for Mold to Grow?
Mold needs a food source. It grows on organic materials, such as paper, dirt, wood and soap scum. Even materials that seem solid are often cellulose based so can be a food source for mold.
- Food source of organic material such as drywall, carpet, wallpaper
- Moderate temperature