Hidden Mold: What to Do If Mold is Hiding in Your Home
Everyone hates to find mold in their home or building because of the wide-ranging effects it can have on your health and your property. Mold literally feeds on the surfaces it affects, using organic substances found in wood, drywall, and other building materials as a food source. If mold growth is not removed, it will cause extensive damage to the affected surfaces which could affect the structural integrity of your home. This is what makes hidden mold growth so dangerous. Mold can develop anywhere it has a moisture source and a food source and it often forms in hidden places behind walls and ceilings. It can be difficult to tell if you have hidden mold and if no action is taken, it will only get worse. You must be able to identify the signs of hidden mold so you can act before it causes even worse damage.
Finding Signs of Hidden Mold
Many homeowners may never suspect mold in their homes unless they can see it. However, hidden mold can remain undetected for a significant period of time and cause plenty of unseen damage. Make sure you look for these common signs of hidden mold growth:
- Odors: Mold has a distinct musty smell that is more apparent with significant mold growth.
- Water Damage: If your home or building has recently experienced water damage, there is a chance there is mold growth as well. Mold is a common side effect of water damage because it needs moisture to grow.
- Health Effects: Exposure to mold spores can cause a range of allergic reactions including runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, skin irritation, or itchy throat as well as respiratory infections. If anyone experiences these symptoms in your home but the symptoms disappear when they leave your home, it could be caused by mold.
- Physical Damage: Check for cracks, water marks, bulges, or soft spots in the walls and ceiling. These could be signs of mold damage.
When looking for hidden mold, check these areas:
- Behind wallpaper, paneling, and drywall
- Opposite side of ceiling tiles
- Underneath carpets and rugs
- Wall surfaces behind furniture
- Areas near pipes
- Air ducts
Mold Testing and Detection
If there is good reason to suspect hidden mold growth in your home, you must call a mold removal professional to deal with the issue. These professionals use advanced mold testing systems such as the InstaScope testing system to find hidden mold growth. With the InstaScope system, the testing equipment is used to measure the amount of mold in the air outside the home which serves as a baseline measurement. The mold remediation professionals will then test each room within the home and compare the measurements to the baseline. Rooms with high mold levels are investigated further and treated with mold remediation.
Hidden mold could be causing unseen damage in your home and affecting your health. By consistently checking for the common signs of hidden mold growth, you can find and remove mold before it causes major damage.