Mold is a natural element, so its normal to see mold growth in certain areas of the home. Some types of mold are not dangerous and can be removed with basic cleaning, but there are some molds that are toxic and can lead to indoor air quality concerns. How do you know what type of mold is dangerous from the others? Reedy Set Go specializes in providing mold inspection services in Northern Utah. If you have a mold concern, reach out to our experts to schedule a home inspection and identity if you do have a mold problem.
What is Mold?
It is our mission to provide you with factual data about mold growth. We are honest in our inspection services, and we make sure you know if your mold is a problem, or simply a moisture problem in the home. We want to combat the misinformation about mold growth, which is why Reedy Set Go adheres to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines related to mold testing and cleaning.
Do I need mold tested?
The characteristics of TOXIC mold are quite different from the basic mold you see growing in the shower. Black mold is a term that is often used by other inspection companies to stir up fear in consumers, allowing them to send in a test to make more money. If you think you have black mold, of course, you want to have it tested immediately! However, the toxic black mold is quite rare. In fact, here is the official statement pertaining to black mold from the EPA:
“In most cases mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary”
When Should I Get a Mold Test?
How do you know if you do need a mold test? If you are planning to invest in a new home or commercial property, a mold test is a good idea. The mold test will give you peace of mind to know that the building does adhere to the EPA standards and compliance standards for building regulations. Here are some of the situations when a mold test is a wise idea:
- If visible mold isn’t present, but you can smell something strange in the home or commercial property. The smell of mold can indicate an issue and needs to be tested to know the best method to eradicate the mold.
- Plumbing leaks or floods have occurred. Mold can easily form behind walls, and it’s common in older homes with outdated pipes.
- The home or building has had prior mold issues.
- A health issue has arisen since moving into the property. If a strange head problem happens like increased headaches, sneezing, and coughing, it could indicate increased levels of mold in the air.
- When you are buying or selling a property.
- Landlord/Tenant requests for mold concerns.
Over-The-Counter Home Mold Tests
What about those mold tests you see at hardware stores and online that tell you they can identify mold? Are they legitimate? In our experience, they are a complete ripoff. Why? We’ve tried them, and tried the results against our professional, EPA-certified mold testing for the inspection industry and here is what we have found:
- Sample kit results are misleading. Professionals are trained to interpret the results, and we can find out if there is toxic mold based on our accurate data.
- Mold is natural! We cannot stress this enough. You will always have small amounts of mold. A petri dish mold test just tells you that you DO have mold! These over-the-counter tests don’t tell you what type of mold it is!
- The tests are not designed to tell you the severity of your mold issues. If you smell something strange, you need a professional to make sure it’s not toxic, and if it is, you need a professional to remove it so it doesn’t lead to serious health issues for your family.
“Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”
Learning to Control Mold Growth
The best mold control method is to learn to control moisture in your home. Bathrooms and kitchens are common mold areas, as are basements and laundry rooms. Use these tips to control mold growth, if you still have problems, call Reedy Set Go to help with your mold issues:
- Find the mold areas. Bathrooms, kitchens, basements, ceilings with persistent leaks, and windows are all places to check. Sometimes we find mold underneath carpeting! Cleaning the home is the best way to keep mold at bay, but it does make a difference in getting rid of some carpeting and opting for wood, tile, and easier-to-manage flooring options.
- Keep it dry! If there is a drip or leak, get it fixed. Mold cannot grow without moisture, so keep your home as dry as you can in the areas that are prone to water. If the carpet was wet, get an industrial fan and let it dry for at least 48 hours before you put it back in place.
- Ventilate your home. You need to open those windows and let some air flow into the home. Make sure you have a good ventilation system in your home that helps to control moisture. Dehumidifiers are a good investment for every level of your home. The EPA recommends you keep your home humidity level between 30-60 percent for effective moisture control.
- Move water away from your home! You need to check those gutters and downspouts. If you live in an area prone to flooding, create a natural slope to direct water away from your home. It’s easy for water to seep into the foundation, so you must have an effective exterior drainage system to prevent this from happening.
- Don’t overwater! This is a big issue we see all the time. People simply use too much water on their plants. When you water too often, and use too much water, it can spread into other areas of the home in a hurry!