DETECTING MOLD WITHIN YOUR HOME

Unusual growth of molds has been a problem to many and sometimes detecting them in your home premises is a task in itself, but there are some easy tips which you can follow to detect them without the help of a professional.

How to notice if my house is affected by mold?

If your house is affected by mold the most practical way to find it is by searching for it with your eyes or by smelling any suspicious odor. If you find white patchy fungi like things in your walls or ceilings or get some type of earthy and musty smell, you must assume that the mold problem is in existence. Some other signs can be excess moisture or allergy symptoms.

  • Molds may appear velvety, cottony, granular or leathery in shape and might have varied colors like brown, black, yellow, green, gray or white. You must look for these shapes and colors if you feel like your house is affected by mold growth.
  • Look for areas with noticeable odors.
  • Search for areas with signs of moisture or water leakages such as standing still water, water stains, leaks or condensation problems. Areas where you see watermarks, discoloration of walls, ceiling, woodwork or carpet most likely these areas are affected by mold.
  • Look for areas such as underneath the carpet, wallpaper, furniture, vinyl flooring or sink cabinets or especially the things that are placed on cold floors or near the outside walls. Sometimes it is necessary to use a destructive method to inspect or clean enclosed spaces where moisture is hidden; for example by breaking open a wall cavity.

CAN I TEST THE MOLD?

Generally, it is not recommended for owners to test mold themselves. Instead, if you find any problem, or if ever you find mold or smell some musty odors inside your house, call for a home inspector and get it done professionally. You can reach us at home inspector ann arbor as we can help you find a way to solve this problem. There are times when mold growth is hidden and is very difficult to locate. Mostly in these cases, a combination of indoor and outdoor air samples and bulk material samples is necessary to determine the level of contamination and where it needs to be cleaned. However, testing of mold is seldom useful to answer your questions on health concerns.

If you find mold around your house, it is recommended to act on it without delay and take some professional help for your mold removal process. We at home inspector ann arbor take special care and are specialized in all your house-related problems. If anytime you want our help feel free to contact us at Homeinspectorannarbor.com and we can make your house mold-free like before.

DO YOU TEST FOR MOLD ?

We generally conduct a visual check for pests and molds. If you require NPMA 33 for a VHA or FHA loan (Wood Destroying Insect Report) don’t forget to let us know about your requirement BEFORE your home inspection process so that we can prepare it for you. We can perform a visual inspection and help you know if anything has been found and if it needs any further inspection by an expert.

The same is also true for the mold inspection process. Our team from Home Inspector Ann Arbor will check for evidence of the molds including spots or stains on the ceiling, in the closets and around the attic beams. We will let you know about the possible remedies regarding mold formation. The best way to deal with surface mold is by cleaning it properly and then by adding a vent. This can be done at a much cheaper cost than performing a mold air quality testing and full remediation.

IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY BECOME YOURS
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ANNOYING NUISANCE OR THREAT TO MY INVESTMENT?

Unusual growth of molds has been a problem for many in the US. Well, this can be prevented and you can save a lot of your bucks and avoid some potential health problems just by controlling the moisture in the environment around you.

Have you ever given a thought about molds and why it has been growing around your house?

Well, molds are nothing but a type of fungus. These small living organisms live almost everywhere from indoors to outdoors and grow naturally. Outdoor molds perform a major role play to the environment by disintegrating and digesting dead organic materials like dead trees, but the growth of indoor molds ought to be avoided. Molds proliferate through microspores which we cannot even see with our naked eyes. They generally thrive on moisture and travel through the air. When these molds land on a damp area in your house especially the areas filled with moisture, they tend to grow.

What can help mold to grow?

Molds just need few elementary things to grow and propagate.

  • Moisture from the air.
  •  
  • A suitable damp place to grow.

Out of these three, providing control to moisture can be the first and foremost step you can follow to prevent molds from growing indoor.

Can molds be dangerous for me and my family?

A variety of health issues may arise to the ones who are in continuous exposure to it, for example, if anyone is in direct skin contact to mold-contaminated surfaces or anyone who is atopic and exposed to molds by breathing spores can face serious health issues. Health issues caused by molds are really difficult to predict and can vary from person to person.

Do I need to concern about mold in my house?

The answer to this is yes. Molds should never be allowed to grow and propagate indoors. If it even happens it might trigger different health issues, damage your house, and furnishing materials over time. It is advisable to hire a professional home inspector to check for the damages caused by molds.

What are the types of health problems you can face from mold exposure?

Allergy symptoms are the most common health problems caused by indoor growth of molds. Some of the other types of symptoms that are generally reported due to molds are-

  1. Cough and cold.
  2. Breathing difficulties.
  3. Nasal congestion.
  4. Sore throat.
  5. Respiratory infection including sinus.
  6. Eye and skin allergies and infections.

Are the risks even greater for some people?

Health hazards caused due to molds may vary from person to person and from location to location. However, remaining in continuous contact with molds can be unhealthy for anyone. The following types of people or persons get affected to molds more severely than others.

  1. Elderly people.
  2. Children and infants.
  3. People who are allergic and atopic.
  4. Individuals having a weak immune system.

These following types of people are advised to take medical help if affected by indoor mold formation.

Can some molds be even hazardous than others?

Some types of molds produce chemical compounds namely mycotoxins. Under some circumstances, the toxins produced by these molds are very hazardous causing serious health problems. However, most of them are potentially harmful if the mold removal process is done with care.

How to get rid of mold and its related issues?

It is almost impossible to get rid of indoor molds and mold spores completely. Some mold spores are even found floating with dust particles. Molds generally do not grow if moisture isn’t present. It is necessary to control indoor moisture in order to stop the growth of molds. If you find any mold growth in your house, it is necessary to clean up the area for further problems. You can always get in touch with us as we at Ann Arbor Home Inspectors as we provide personalized services and fixes for your beautiful house.

We hope that we have given you a fair idea about molds and the hazards that are caused by them. If needed you can Google search us by typing home inspection near me and find us at Homeinspectorannarbor.com and we can help you in making your house mold-free like before.

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MOLD CLEAN-UP AND REMOVAL TIPS

Getting rid of all types of mold and mold spores are ridiculously a difficult task. Most of them are found oscillating in the house along with the dust particles. The growth of indoor molds ought to be prevented by keeping control over the indoor moisture as these molds tend not to grow in a moisture-controlled environment. If you are having a water problem in your house don’t forget to fix it because most unlikely the molds are still going to return if not controlled.

Steps to clean up and get rid of indoor mold:

Fixing the moisture problem: The most important and the most neglected step to solve a mold problem is to identify and take proper corrective measures. This is because of the moisture sources that help in the growth of the mold in the first place. The most common indoor sources of moisture include-

  1. Leaking rooftops.
  2. Overflowing of sinks and toilets.
  3. Plumbing faults and leaks.
  4. Usage of a humidifier.
  5. Firewood that is stored indoors.
  6. Flooding of houses.
  7. Inadequate exhaust vents for your kitchen and washroom.
  8. Indoor line-drying laundry.
  9. Watering house plants- as they generate large amounts of moisture.
  10. Improper venting of the household combustion appliances.

 

Maintaining the house’s humidity between 20-40% during winters and around 60% during summer and keeping all the indoor surfaces dry all the year-round can be one of the first and foremost steps to prevent molds. You can even purchase devices to measure the relative humidity from your nearest hardware store or get in touch with us as we at Ann Arbor Home Inspectors as we provide personalized services and fixes for your beautiful house. 

Drying all wet materials inside your house

All the wet clothes or any other wet materials needs to be dried up as soon as possible. Usage of fans and dehumidifiers and moving all wet items away from the floors and walls can be of great help. Ann Arbor home inspection provides you service for all emergency flood checks keeping home inspection cost to a minimum level. If your basements get flooded try to run your sump pump and make your basement free from any leftover water. If your basement has a floor drain, try mopping out all the excess water to the drain, and if it doesn't mop up the excess water. You can even turn some large fans and take the help of a dehumidifier to completely dry up your basement. Generally, it is a time-consuming process and would take around 24 hours to get completely dry up. This step is a very important one as bacteria, molds, and mildew love moist areas.

Dispose of all mold-contaminated items

Porous household materials that have absorbed moisture and mold growth can be observed needs to be taken care of and thrown out from your premises. Items such as carpets, ceiling tiles, insulation sheets, plaster, wood products, paper products and likely most prone to mold formation and must be bagged and thrown out. Non-porous items are ought to be cleaned well and kept dry to save from mold formation.

 

Mandatory steps you should take to protect yourself: Always use good quality protective gear when working with molds or contaminated items. These following items are a must requisite and can be of great help saving you from some dangerous bacteria and fungus.

 

  • Use good quality rubber gloves.
  • Use proper quality outer clothing having long sleeves and long pants which can be laundered and discarded easily in the work area itself.
  • Protect your eyes by using an eye goggle.
  • Use N-95 or equivalent filter dust mask to protect yourself from air-born bacteria. These masks can be easily found in any hardware store or any safety equipment supplier stores near you.
  • While working with molds take priority in protecting others. As always safety should be the first and foremost, perform all your work in such a way that it minimizes the amount of dust generated.

 

 Take a note of the following steps, helping you minimize the spread of molds spores and bacteria.

 

  • Keep all the mold-contaminated items in sealed plastic bags before carrying it through your home.
  • Remember to hang plastic sheets to separate your work area from the rest of your house.
  • Remove your work clothes at the work area itself and don’t forget to wash them separately.
  • Try picking up all the settled contaminants in dust and damp clean the entire workplace properly.

 

Wet boxes, soggy and destroyed belongings need to be hauled up while the basement is in the process of drying. This can be the hardest part of your entire cleanup process.

 

  • Try discarding anything that cannot be cleaned including all types of paper items like cardboard boxes, books, etc. You can even Google search us by typing home inspection near me and find us at com and we can do the task for you.
  • Next is to scrub the walls and floors of your basement properly by using a solution of 1cup of bleach and 5 gallons of water. Don’t forget to wear your safety rubber gloves and your protective outer garments while working in this process.
  • Put on the fans and dehumidifier once again for another 24 hours. Though your basement is now free from moisture it is better to be protective from attracting bacteria. This process would no longer make your basement feel moist or humid.

Clean the surface neatly

Mold formation on non-porous materials like metals, solid wood, plastics, etc can be easily cleaned. Through this process, the capture or mold contamination should be removed as this can be hazardous and may cause health issues.

  • Scrub all the surfaces using brushes, hot water, and soaps or detergents.
  • Don’t forget to collect the leftover cleaning foam or liquid by using a vacuum or sponge.
  • Clean the area and rinse it with clear water.

Disinfect and sanitize all the surfaces if required

After the cleaning process is over and all the visible mold or fungus is removed from the soiled and contaminated surfaces, try using a good disinfectant to kill all the leftovers. In case you are cleaning sewage-contaminated area disinfection must be performed. Y.ou can contact with your home inspector if any advice is required.

  • Make a solution of 1/2 cup bleach with one gallon of water and apply it to the surfaces where mold growth was visible before your cleaning process. This method can be performed by using a garden sprayer or by sponging the surfaces.
  • Don’t forget to collect the leftover bleach solution with the help of a vacuum or a mop but don’t completely wipe it off in the areas where it was treated. Allow it to dry on its own.

 

Bleach can be hazardous, so it is recommended to handle with caution. Don’t ever mix bleach to ammonia as it can result in toxic chlorine gas formation. Try providing fresh air when working with bleach by opening a door or a window. Remember bleach can be very corrosive and can even damage your valuables.

Always remain on mold alert mode

Even after all these precautions, molds can still find a way to grow. Continue to look for signs of moisture and be particular to moisture in areas of previous mold growth. If the mold formation still takes place to consider repeating all the above steps again and use a stronger solution to disinfect the area. Regrowth of mold can be a signal that moisture isn't controlled properly.

When should we rebuild our house after the mold clean-up process?

Rebuild and refurnishing can always wait until the process is completely over and all the materials have dried up.

 

By now, we hope you have gained all the required knowledge and you are prepared to make your home mold-free. If, at any moment, you feel like having your home inspected by any professionals, feel free to contact us anytime on Homeinspectorannarbor.com.