Mold can hide behind baseboards, beneath carpet and under a new paint job. Mold spores can not hide from a mold detection device that tests the concentration of spores in the air. Since extensive mold in a home can make it virtually unlivable, paying for a specialized mold inspection can potentially save you thousands of dollars and your health.
Mold starts with a leak where water intrudes into your home. This can be a leaky roof, shower, pipe or even a cracked foundation where ground water seeps in. Once mold is established, it keep growing as long as it is fed moisture. The spores are released into the air and settle on other damp surfaces, where they grow more mold.
Sellers will try to hide mold by painting or spackling where mold is present. They may replace the sheetrock to hide moldy wood framing. A trained professional mold inspector can test the air to find out if the mold levels are abnormal, and find the sources of hidden mold in a home. When it comes to mold testing, Signal Hygiene is who we recommend our customers call. They know where to look and what to look for. A professional inspector will also check for construction permits that indicate large-scale sheetrock or roof replacement that may indicate trouble.
Mold abatement is the process of mold removal or mold remediation to make a house safe and liveable. There are circumstances where mold abatement will not work, such as finding black mold in the wood framing of a house. This is usually caused by flood damage, and once the mold is in the wood, there is no way to remove it. No amount of bleach will remove mold from wood. The only cure for moldy sheetrock and plaster is to remove and replace the problem pieces. This can get pretty expensive if the damage is extensive.
There are different types of mold, with some being deadly toxins. Black toxic mold spores breathed into your lungs set up shop in your body and are hard to treat. Symptoms of mold poisoning include, fatigue, headaches, difficulty breathing, muscle aches and cramps, burning pain in your chest, sneezing, itching eyes and skin, skin irritation and redness, watery eyes, nose bleeds, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and more. A serious symptom which requires immediate medical attention is coughing up blood or black-looking debris.
Mold poisoning can be deadly, so if you have just moved into a new home, and have any of the above symptoms that don't resolve in a few days, see your doctor or go to an emergency room and tell them you suspect mold poisoning. If untreated, late stage symptoms include
blindness, bleeding lungs, brain damage, long-term memory loss and possibly cancer or death.
The cost of a professional mold inspection is negligible when you consider the potential price you may have to pay if the mold is unabated. When you are buying a home, it's always better to be safe than sorry with your money and your health.