How to Inspect Your Home for Mold or Water Damage before Winter
Mold is a safety hazard you don’t want to see in your house. Most of the time, you wouldn’t be able to see it with your naked eye making a mold infestation all the more dangerous. Hence, routine maintenance and keeping a check is always the answer.
Before you start inspecting for mold, it is important to understand what it looks like.
What Does Mold or Mildew Look Like?
You should know that mold is a type of fungus that can grow from minuscule spores that float around in the air. If the spores land in a place where they find a comfortable temperature, moisture, and something to feed on, there isn’t much that can stop them from thriving.
On the other hand, mildew is a more visible type of mold you can find in the form of tiny black spots.
If you can find mildew spots on damp walls, outdoor surfaces, grout lines, and even deck boards, it is a sign that your house is infested with mold.
However, it is very easy to mistake dirt spots with mildew. You can easily tell between the two by dripping a few drops of bleach onto the affected surface. If the spots lighten, you have mildew.
Here are a few things you can do to check your home for mold or water damage:
Check For Plumbing Leaks
If you find mold or mildew near waste lines, water pipes, or any plumbing fixtures, there is a high chance that the mold is feeding off the moisture from the nearby leak.
To inspect the plumbing leak, let the water run and thoroughly check for any damp spots or water droplets. You should remember that water can travel in several directions and absorb in materials like drywall or carpets.
It isn’t necessary that the leak you are looking for would be near the water supply; it could be at a distance. Once you find it, fix it immediately. Sometimes the leak can also be in hard-to-reach spaces or inside cabinets, so make sure you inspect everything thoroughly!
Probe Walls and Surfaces
There are a few mold species that can cause your home structure to rot. If you have a few suspected areas in mind, you can probe them with a sharp object or a screwdriver to determine if it is infected.
If the world crumbles or appears to be soft and mushy, you have a definite mold rot within your home structures. In this scenario, you should immediately reach out for professional mold inspection and removal services.
Search For Outside Leaks
Outside surfaces such as exterior walls and ceilings can be a good place for mold to grow. After looking for a leak, you should definitely check the walls and the roof to test for mold.
Make sure you check the ceiling and the walls from both sides to inspect the mold infection closely. Pay attention to vents, windows, decks, or anywhere wood is rotting.
If the grounds surrounding your house are constantly wet, the moisture can seep into your house structure, creating a favorable environment for a mold infestation.
Check Your Swimming Pool
Swimming pools and jacuzzi are some of the first places that mold likes to attack. This is especially true for winter months when the pool is sitting idle or the chlorine upkeep is low.
Even if you have a pool cover, always keep a check on the pool water to inspect for mold and bacteria growth. This can be easily prevented by consistent chlorine doses and regular filter cycles.
Inspect Insulation and Duct
If you do not have a roof leak but still find mold or mildew on the ceiling, you may be dealing with some bad insulation.
If your ductwork or insulation isn’t done right, there is a high chance of warm air condensation that essentially leads to moisture. This will lead the water to saturate and create a favorable environment for mold spores to root and grow.
Seek Professional Help
If you feel that you won’t be able to carry out a thorough inspection of your home yourself, then it is best to call for a professional mold inspection and removal company.
These skilled workers can inspect your property with proper mold testing kits and years of experience. Other than inspection, they can also offer mold removal services, which you would need if the inspection does bring out results.
Who Can Help?
911 Restoration of Inland Empire is just a call away to solve all your mold infestation and water damage emergencies. With a response time of 45-minutes or less, their skilled professionals can reach you in no time. Do not hesitate to reach out for years of expertise and state-of-the-art technology to help restore your home to its former glory! Our IICRC-certified experts are on it!