Have you ever walked into a bathroom only to be struck by the smell? It is not surprising that damp areas are prime breeding grounds for mold and mildew. This is a fungus that aids natural elements in their breakdown so they can biodegrade. Their presence in your compost pile is important, but it’s not welcome in your home or building due to the potential health risks and damage it can cause.
Sometimes the moldiness can be accompanied by other signs such as discolored walls or floors, respiratory problems, and humidity. Sometimes, it is not obvious that there is a problem.
You can rest assured knowing how to test for mold inspection in west palm beach if you are concerned about the health of your home. It is easy to test for mold by simply purchasing a viable mold test set and collecting samples at strategic locations according to the instructions below. If the test results are negative, you can be confident that the smell is temporary. If the results are positive for mold spores in the worst-case scenario, you can send them to a laboratory to find out what kind of mold is present in your home.
Mold needs moisture to grow so it is most common in damp or humid areas. Mold growth can be triggered by plumbing leaks. These should be fixed as soon as possible. You should remove visible mold from your home immediately using safe mold removal techniques. What about the mold growth you don’t see? If you have a musty odor that isn’t accompanied by visible mold signs (black, brownish, or white), then it’s possible that mold has been hidden.
These are the most likely places for mold growth undetected.
- Your refrigerator is hidden
- You will find cardboard and newspapers under the stacks.
- Hidden behind the drywall of wall stud spaces are plumbing lines
- Below are sinks
- The wallboard surrounding leaking windows is hidden behind
- Ventilation ducts
- Carpeting that was not completely dry at the time (flooding and carpet cleaning)
- If roof leaks, the backside of acoustic tiles for ceilings
- Any drywall that has been exposed to flooding is hidden behind it.
HOW TO USE A MOLD TESTING KIT
There are many mold test kits that can be purchased at home improvement stores or online. However, not all kits are created equal. Some kits are only able to detect mold on surfaces. A viable mold test kit costs between $20 and $45 and can be used to test the air you breathe for mold spores. The whole process can take several days. If the test results show that mold spores exist in the air, the materials can be sent to a laboratory that will do another test to determine the type of mold. Additional lab analysis costs can range from $40 to $70.
You don’t have the time or desire to do it all yourself.
A professional mold inspection could be the solution. Get no-obligation estimates from licensed service providers in your area.
Note: The United States Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t endorse any home mold testing kit. If homeowners are concerned about mold, they should have their homes tested by a professional. These kits can be used to confirm suspicions, but they are not a guarantee that you don’t have mold. If the symptoms are severe and visible, you should call a professional to remove mold from your home.
- Tools & Materials
- Mold testing kit
- The tape of the Painter
- Electrical tape
- Pen or Magic Marker
Before performing the test, close all windows and doors in the area you are testing. This allows mold spores to gather in the room without being disturbed by drafts.
Take the contents out of the packaging. You will usually find a small, clear plastic or glass dish with a lid and label. The Petri dish’s interior has been treated with a substance called a “microbial culture” which promotes the growth and reproduction of mold spores. This will allow you to collect enough samples for mold testing in the time frame recommended by the manufacturer.
Place the lid of the petri dish on a flat surface, at table height.
The petri dish should be left alone for 48 hours. This time can vary depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. To prevent the air from being disturbed, limit traffic to the room during this period. As a reminder to guests and household members, cover the doorway with painter’s tape if necessary.
After the timer has expired, place the lid back onto the petri dish and wrap a layer of tape around any seams where the lid meets with the dish. You can use either scotch tape, electric tape, or duct tape.
Attach the label attached to the kit with today’s date and write it on it.
The taped petri dish should be placed in a dark place, such as a drawer or closet shelf.
In two days, check the petri dish for any signs of mold growth. Mold will look the same as the mold that you find on food items in your fridge if it is present.
If there are no moldy signs on the petri dish, It should be returned to the dark place and checked daily. You can throw away the dish if the mold test is negative after five days.
Mold can be found in the dish. To determine the type of treatment, you can send your petri dish to the laboratory recommended by the manufacturer. Most kits come with an envelope to mail. The payment for the analysis will also need to be sent.
Your results will take three to eight weeks. You may want to keep testing the house for mold in the meantime. A variable mold test will tell you if mold is present in a particular room. However, additional kits are required if you wish to test for mold in other rooms.
There are many species of mold, but most homeowners are concerned about Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as toxic mold or black mold. Although this species of mold is rare, it is one of many that can produce high levels of mycotoxins (dangerous and mold-based chemicals) which can cause a dangerous home environment. However, any type of mold can pose a risk to your health if allowed to grow beyond control.