A key strategy you can employ to attempt to identify mold in your home or place of business is to undertake a visual inspection to identify the fungus. There are a number of facts and factors to bear in mind when it comes to performing an effective visual inspection to effectively identify mold:
- Understand the ubiquitous nature of mold spores
- Locations most apt to have mold growth
- Be aware of small amounts of mold
- Recognize signs of water issues
- Identify condensation issues
Understand the Ubiquitous Nature of Mold Spores
When it comes to performing an effective inspection to identify mold, a preliminary fact that you need to bear in mind is the ubiquitous nature of mold spores. The stark reality is that mold spores literally are everywhere. For example, what you may write-off as dust in your home will nearly always contain high levels of mold spores.
In addition, beyond mold spores likely being within the interior of your home at a high level, mold spores are also found in high levels out of doors as well. As a consequence, even if you might have a lower level of mold spores in your home presently, the mere act of going out and back into your residence can quickly up the amount of mold spores inside your residence.
While it is important to understand the fact that the interior of your home likely has a high number of mold spores, you cannot visually detect them. Generally speaking, a mold spore is about a third of the thickness of a typical human hair. Because of the fact that your residence can be polluted by a significant amount of mold spores – that you cannot see – you must be diligent in observing the other visual cues that you may have or be on your way to having a mold issue in your home (or business).
Locations Most Apt To Have Mold Growth
The first factor to understand when it comes to visually identifying mold in your home (or business) is to be aware of where mold is most likely to germinate and grow. In identifying the prime locations where mold is most likely to flourish, there are four considerations to keep in mind:
- Mold needs water to germinate and grow (but this can be a very, very small amount of water)
- Mold needs some sort of biomatter for nourishment (this can also be a very, very small amount of biomatter)
- Mold thrives in warmer temperatures (indeed, if a space is colder, it will not grow)
- Mold thrives in a space with higher humidity (if humidity is kept at 50 percent or below, mold is less likely to grow to a significant degree)
With these basic facts in mind, mold is most likely to grow in these areas:
- Crawl spaces
- Wall interiors
- Areas where plumbing fixtures are located (sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, drains)
- HVAC systems
Be Aware of Small Amounts of Mold
When it comes to conducting a visual inspection to identify mold, people commonly make a major error. People looking for mold tend to have no issue identifying larger amounts of the fungus. Where they do make a mistake is in identifying smaller amounts of mold. Time and again, people inspecting their homes or businesses seeking to identify mold overlook smaller amounts of the fungus. These people mistake small amounts of mold for being dirt or grime. Thus, they do not promptly or properly remediate a mold growth situation.
The failure to identify properly small amounts of mold growth can have truly negative consequences. Once mold gets even a small foothold in your home or place of business, it can grow very rapidly. Indeed, in a matter of hours, a small amount of mold can blossom into something significant and far harder to manage and remediate.
Recognize Signs of Water Issues
As part of the process of effectively visually inspecting for mold, you need to be able to recognize signs of water issues. Of course, some signs of these types of issues are obvious. The presence of water can be readily seen, provided you are looking in the proper location.
What can be less obvious is a situation in which a space in a home or business is intermittently wet. In other words, a space becomes wet for one reason or another, perhaps not to a significant degree. The moisture dries and then the whole process is repeated yet again.
If you are undertaking a visual inspection at a point in time at which the water has dried, you may be like many people and miss the issue – unless you are aware of other associated visual cues. In this regard, you need to be on the lookout for such things as stains that could be associated with the presence of water.
Stains are somewhat easy to note on materials like cement or drywall. Water stains can be more easily overlooked on other types of substances. This reality underscores the need for a visual inspection of the premises to be deliberate and even painstaking to properly identify signs associated with water issues that can result in the germination and growth of mold.
Identify Condensation Issues
Finally, when it comes to conducting an effective visual inspection for mold, you need to also be able to identify condensation issues. Condensations tends to be associated with two factors. First, it is connected with humidity levels. Second, it is connected with certain elements of a resident or business like pipes, HVAC systems, and certain appliances like a refrigerator.