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As a homeowner, you are responsible for every nook and cranny in your property. Most of the time, your problems will start from things that you can’t see. A great deal of your home – the insulation, the foundation, the internal plumbing – you do not interact with on a daily basis. However, this is exactly where problems like mold can fester until they become a huge issue in your living area.
If a case of mold gets really bad, you may begin to see it in the easily accessible areas of your home. In other cases, however, mold hides itself in the places that are tough to reach. Even though you may not be able to see it at first throughout your crawlspaces, inside the walls and under the carpets, it has a huge effect on the quality of life that you experience. Here are some best practices to know when you should test for mold.
When to Test for Mold
If you are smelling a musty odor in your home, then you probably have mold somewhere in one of your dark corners. It may be difficult to determine which one of those dark corners is the culprit without a professional, but at least you know what the problem is.
Inclement weather can cause mold in your home, especially a recent flooding. Mold thrives in wet, dark areas, which your home will have plenty of if it gets flooded.
If you run across mold in one part of your home, odds are you have mold in other parts of your home as well. Mold is a problem that tends to spread quickly.
The presence of mold in a home has been linked to chronic sore throats, chronic sinus problems, rashes and hives, fatigue, headaches, wheezing and coughing. If you have any of these symptoms with no explanation, then you probably have mold in the house.
How to Test for Mold
If you want to test for mold in your home, you have a few options. All over the counter tests work by taking a sample of the environment. Although mold is visible in small patches, its effect is more widespread in the air and on solid surfaces. Tests can pick up mold where your senses might miss it.
Even with these advantages, do it yourself mold tests so have their limitations. You may also skew the results if you mishandle the test, so be sure that you follow the directions exactly if you do not want to consult a professional.
If you want to test for mold, you can buy a test that checks for mold in the air. This test will work well if you think that there is mold in your air conditioning duct. You will have to follow the clues to get the exact location, however.
Professional Mold Testing
If health problems continue after you have found an initial growth of mold (and gotten rid of it), or if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, then it is time to bring in a professional. Mold testing professionals are usually engineers. They will be able to provide you mold testing results that have a higher degree of accuracy than DIY tests.
A mold testing professional with engineering experience will be able to detect exactly where the mold in your home is. He will be able to inform you of safe mold levels versus levels that may be detrimental to your health. The information that a pro tester gives you will serve you well if you have to go to a doctor to address mold related symptoms.