As an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified Jacksonville mold inspection, identification, removal, and remediation company, we here at DriMaxx are often asked by our customers about the subject of mold detection and how to inspect for and identify mold in your home. In this article, we will discuss how to do that, as well as the steps you can take to remove mold and prevent it from occurring.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow and thrive in warm, damp and humid environments, especially subtropical climate zones like we have right here in Northeast Florida. Mold is a common problem that can occur in any home or building susceptible to mold growth. It can grow on a wide variety of surfaces, including walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture. It is not only unsightly, but it can also have serious health consequences if left unchecked.
Dampness results from water incursion from internal sources such as leaking pipes or external sources like rainwater and flooding. It becomes a problem when materials in your home (e.g., rugs, walls, ceiling tiles) become wet for extended periods of time. Excessive moisture in the air, such as high relative humidity, can also lead to excessive dampness and mold growth.
Inspecting for and Detecting Mold in Your Home
The first step in detecting mold is to be aware of the signs of mold growth. Common indicators include musty odors, visible mold growth, and water damage or staining on walls and ceilings. If you suspect that you may have a mold problem, it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection of your home.
The best way to inspect for mold is to start by looking for visible mold growth. This can often be found in areas that are especially prone to dampness and high humidity, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics. Pay special attention to areas that have recently been exposed to water, such as after a flood or leak, as these are prime areas for mold growth.
If you don’t see any visible mold growth, there are specialized tools that can be used to inspect and test for the presence of mold.
Moisture Meter – A moisture meter checks for high levels of humidity in your home, as this can indicate the presence of mold. Moisture meters measure the amount of moisture in the air and can be used to detect mold in areas that are not visible to the naked eye. These are especially useful in places such as around pipes, in crawl spaces, and basements.
– These kinds of mold detection kits enable specialists to take a sample of dust from the wall or a nearby vent using a swab, then place it on a Petri stick. The test results will then be indicated either by a change in colors or a display on a digital reader that will tell us if mold is present.
– Another type of mold detection tool is an air sample kit. This type of device looks like a clay vase. It absorbs air particles over time. Once the reading is complete, it will beep and give you a readout about whether or not you have mold.
It is important to remember that these types of kits will only tell you whether you do or do not have mold. It is crucial that you contact a certified mold specialist as quickly as possible to begin cleanup and repairs in order to return your home to being a safe, comfortable environment. DriMaxx technicians are not only highly skilled at mold removal and cleanup, but we also understand the emotional upheaval tied to disasters and water damage emergences and are sensitive to client needs. We also recognize that you often only have a matter of hours to keep a minor leak from turning in to a major problem, so we make responsiveness are #1 priority.
There are many different types of mold, and some are more harmful than others.
Common Indoor Mold Types Include:
Cladosporium – This is most commonly identified as an outdoor fungus, with a high spore count in the summer months. Indoors, it is usually found in the fiberglass liner inside air ducts. Its indoor food sources include food, paint and textiles.
Penicillium is most commonly found in carpet, wallpaper and interior fiberglass duct insulation. It’s a relatively wide mold classification. Some species can produce toxins.
Aspergillus is considered to be wholly allergenic and may be parasitic. Depending on the fungus’ food source, some species may produce toxins that may or may not be considered potential human carcinogens.
Stachybotrys Chartarum (aka “Black Mold”), is the deadliest form of mold but is relatively rare. Chiefly an indoor fungus, it is dark-colored (usually greenish-black) and slow-growing, but poisonous when inhaled. Even dead spores are allergenic and toxigenic.
When inspecting for mold, it is important to remember that not all mold is visible to the naked eye. Some types of mold, such as black mold, can grow behind walls, under carpets and in other hidden areas. This is why it’s so important to conduct a thorough inspection and to use a mold test kit or moisture meter if you suspect that you may have a mold problem.
Mold Removal and Remediation
Appropriate remediation includes:
· Drying wet materials within 48 hours of getting wet or remove the materials.
· Making necessary repairs to prevent further water entry into the building.
· Following appropriate remediation guidelines with proper containment when identifying mold on materials.
Get a Mold Inspection If Your Home Experienced Water Damage
Mold is a common problem in Jacksonville, and many other areas of Florida and the nation particularly after a hurricane or other severe weather incidents. If your home experienced flooding due to a hurricane or pipe burst, it’s important to act fast and address the problem as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your family and the integrity of your home.
Be Sure to Use a Certified Mold Remediation Company
If you suspect you may have mold in your home or need mold detection, removal and remediation services in Jacksonville, then call the mold experts at DriMaxx. We are IICRC-certified cleaning and restoration specialists with the expertise and experience to help you inspect for mold in your home, identify what kind of mold you may have, and help you resolve any issue you may face, no matter how complex. We provide 24-hour emergency service. Call us anytime at (904) 880-7100.