Mold often manifests in moist areas inside a home. However, certain species like Stachybotrys or black mold can thrive anywhere with high humidity and the right temperature, such as around leaky pipes and windows. Further, mold can often grow hidden behind walls and beneath flooring until it becomes an infestation.
Thorough mold inspection is the first step in protecting your home from underlying issues like microbial growth. Checking specific areas in your house can help you catch and address problems early.
If you suspect mold is growing in your home, here’s a quick checklist of the things to look for and places to inspect:
1. Water Stains
Water that reaches areas it shouldn’t be can quickly create the ideal conditions for mold to grow. If you see discoloration or stains on your walls or ceilings, you likely have water damage – and a mold problem looming around the corner.
Some spots you’ll want to pay particular attention to are your ceilings directly under bathrooms, the corners near exterior walls, and the walls surrounding windows.
2. Musty Smells
Stale, earthy odors are the telltale signs of mold. As you check the different rooms in your home, especially the basement, watch out for damp smells. Mold will not always be visible, but detecting this distinct odor similar to that of decaying wood or wet socks is typically a good indication you need professional mold inspection and remediation.
Black mold in bathroom walls and floors is a common problem many homeowners face. This is because these rooms are almost always humid, and caulking and grout are susceptible to microbial growth.
As you conduct your inspection, here are some tasks to add to your to-do list:
- Check the plumbing under the sink for leaks, discoloration, and other issues.
- Look for any discoloration or signs of rust near supply lines.
- Check the caulking around your toilets, bathtubs, and shower enclosures.
- Ensure that the exhaust fans are working correctly.
3. Attic Spaces
Your attic is another ideal breeding ground for mold because of its moisture content and warm temperature. Roof leaks, damp insulation, and poor ventilation can make matters worse and allow the mold spores to spread quickly.
As you look around your attic for signs of mold, remember to check your roof trusses, rafters, plywood sheathing, and flooring first. Roof leaks do not only affect the ceilings or rooms below the attic – in many cases, water damage starts in the space itself.
Lastly, ensure that your exhaust fans are ducted through the roof and not venting into the attic. Proper attic ventilation not only prevents rusting, leaks, and microbial but also helps prolong the lifespan of your roof.
The basement is another space in the home that demands your attention, as it often has high humidity levels and little airflow. To cover the basics, your mold inspection checklist should have the following tasks:
- Look for cracks wider than normal on the concrete floor.
- For finished basements, watch out for visible signs of microbial growth on the baseboards.
- Inspect floor joists for patches of discoloration, musty smells, buckling, and other signs of water damage.
- Check the furnace ducting for rusty areas and signs of condensation.
If you see any of these signs, it’s best to contact experts for a more thorough inspection and assessment.
5. Inside Kitchen Cabinets
Plumbing leaks are among the most common issues homeowners face. Identifying mold in your kitchen is more challenging because pipes are often hidden from view, allowing the issue to worsen until it has already caused significant damage.
As part of your mold inspection routine, regularly look under your sink and inside kitchen cabinets for leaks or microbial growth. You’ll also want to check the floors and walls near your dishwasher and refrigerator for water stains and other signs of mold.
Reminders Before Doing Your Own Inspection
Sometimes, it may be necessary to move furniture, peel off wallpaper, and step inside a contaminated room to look for signs of mold – actions that can disturb an infestation and release spores into the air. This not only puts you at risk of developing health issues but also allows the contamination to spread further into your home.
As such, it’s crucial that you practice caution before doing your own inspection. If you are not confident you have the skills and equipment to do this task carefully, it’s best to get help from professionals than risk worsening the problem.
Take Advantage of Professional Mold Inspection and Remediation to Protect Your Home
Conducting your home inspection with this checklist helps you understand your mold situation. However, it does not replace the thoroughness of a qualified and experienced inspector. If you are concerned about mold growing inside your house and potentially harming your loved ones, it’s best to take advantage of experts like Restoration 1.
Certified mold remediation professionals can thoroughly survey your house to understand precisely how extensive the contamination is. They can address the problem immediately and eliminate mold from your home according to industry standards.
Ready to protect your home from long-term mold concerns? Contact Restoration 1 of Avondale to get mold inspection cost estimates or schedule remediation and cleaning services.