Homeowners have a lot on their plates when it comes to home maintenance and repairs. One of the constant threats for many homes particularly in southern California is mold. Mold is everywhere, but with the right conditions it can flourish, to the extreme detriment of your home. While mold is incredibly serious and can cause significant health issues if left to grow, it can be tested for and detected relatively easily, and with professional help, remediation can result in a clean and safe home.
There is a lot to consider, however, when thinking about how to test a house for mold. Mold testing seems like it will be relatively straightforward, but in many cases, mold samples will need to be identified in a lab to positively identify the strain in the home. We’re going to go over how you can test for mold in your home, and what to do if you find it.
How To Test A House For Mold
Step 1: Know What You’re Looking For
Before you can test your house for mold, you’ll need to know how to identify mold. Mold is a fungus that grows on just about anything, given the right conditions, of a temperature between 40 and 100 F. In many cases, mold can be identified at a simple glance, and will appear on most surfaces as tiny irregular black spots, the most common of which is mildew.
Mold and mildew can be challenging to recognize sometimes because in larger amounts they simply make a surface look dirty. To test, grab a cotton swab and dab a drop of bleach onto the spots and watch for them to lighten over about two minutes. If they lighten, it’s mold.
Step 2: Probe Areas Where Spots Lighten
If there are larger areas of walls, floors, or other surfaces that have black spots on them that lighten with the bleach test, the next step is to check if there is rot. Mildew won’t cause rot, but most molds will. Probe the area with a screwdriver and see if the surface has softened or rotted.
If you can poke holes easily or if the material crumbles, it’s mold and the rot has started. If not, move on and test the next spot. If you find mold with this test, you’re going to need professional help to remediate it.
Step 3: Check For Leaks
Mold can’t live without moisture of some sort, so if you have mold, you also have a water, moisture, or vapor & ventilation problem. In most cases, the leaks will be near the area with the mold, so if you find mold in a cabinet under your sink for example, there is likely a leak somewhere in the plumbing under the sink.
Sometimes it can be an extremely slow drip, you may need to do a very close inspection. If you can find the source of the drip or leak and it’s something relatively easy to fix, get it taken care of quickly. If you can’t find the source or don’t want to tackle the repair, it’s time to call a professional.
Trust Home Bio Testing For All Of Your Home Mold Needs
If you’ve been looking around your home and are starting to see some of the signs of mold, there is no better time to reach out to a professional. If you haven’t seen signs yourself, but are concerned about the possibility, we would be happy to come to perform all needed testing and remediation. Your home should be a safe place, so if you have mold or want to prevent it, reach out today.