Is a Mold Inspection Necessary?
There is one question that we come across more frequently than the rest. Do I need a Mold Inspection? For most homeowners in the Central Florida area, discovering you have mold in your home can be alarming. Before you have a professional mold assessor come out to your property there are some things you can look for to assess whether you have a mold issue in your home.
A Strange Odor
Mold is a living organism and its purpose, like any other fungi, is to digest and breakdown the material it comes in contact with. As mold grows, it releases a musty odor known as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). This is the result of natural gases that release as mold grows and it’s what gives mold that musty smell we associate with it. Unlike VOC’s which are man-made chemicals, MVOCs are naturally occurring. The presence of this musty smell is most likely due to a moisture source, so the first thing you should do is check to see where the moisture is coming from.
Visible Discoloration or Growth
One of the first things you’ll notice that will make you think you have a mold issue is discoloration somewhere in your home. These discolorations can be green, white, blue, black, etc. Typically dark discoloration is a sign that whatever is leaking has been leaking for a while. Sometimes you will also see a white or pink fuzzy mold growing over fabric materials like towels or shoes. The best thing to do when you come across any type of growth is to not disturb it in your home. Mold has spores which can travel throughout the home if it is disturbed. The best thing you can do once you identify any type of discoloration or growth is to leave it alone and call a professional mold inspection company to come test it. Air movement, wiping or spraying can all disturb mold and cause it to spread further in your home via spores. Try to leave anything you find undisturbed so you don’t create more issues in your home.
The presence of this musty smell is most likely due to a moisture source, so the first thing you should do is check to see where the moisture is coming from.
The effect of mold on people can vary greatly, but there are some signs that it is negatively affecting your health. These symptoms can include:
- Chronic burning in the throat and nasal passages
- Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- Loss of balance
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Eye irritation
- Hearing loss
- Heightened sensitivity to chemicals and foods
- Irregular heartbeat
- Joint pain and/or muscle pain
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced color distinction
- Skin Rashes
- Sleep problems
- Slower reaction time
- Vision changes
If you think you have any of these symptoms due to a mold issue in your home, the only way to fix the issue is to remove the irritant from the home using a licensed professional. In this case, you absolutely need a mold inspection to determine if mold growth is an issue in your home.
If your home has recently undergone water damage that wasn’t dried out properly you may be noticing issues in your home consistent with that of mold. If you notice any type of musty smell or growth, try to keep your A/C under 76 degrees as it should help slow the growth while you wait for a licensed assessor to come to your home. As mold thrives in a moist, warm environment. This does not mean you are “killing the mold” as only licensed remediators are able to fully take care of your mold issue. It does mean that you are no longer creating an ideal environment for the mold to grow in.
If you are unsure where the moisture is coming from in your home, then you may have to hire a professional leak detector or talk to your insurance. Some very common moisture sources include A/C units, sinks, ice maker lines, outside water spigot, dishwasher, and dryer vents. Stopping the source of the moisture is the first step to getting your home mold free.
Services in Central Florida
Do I need a mold inspection? We hope this article was useful and provided the knowledge you need to make a decision. If after assessing your situation and determining you do in fact need the help of trained mold professionals, give us a call at (407) 995-6672. Our inspectors are certified and provide exceptional services in the Central Florida area!