​© 2018 American Certified Mold Inspectors

Identify a mold problem

 

Mold is the symptom. Water is the sickness.

Mold spores are naturally present everywhere all the time, in the air and on surfaces. Mold colonization occurs when mold spores and moisture find one another on surfaces that they consider food, such as wood, paper, leather, cloth, dusty and dirty surface conditions and more. If the moisture source is not identified and stopped, the mold colonization will advance, thus releasing new mold spores into the air in amplified proportions. A certified mold inspection and mold testing will reveal the true conditions.

 

Ask the following questions about the property in question:

  • Is there visible mold present anywhere indoors?

  • Are there musty odors anywhere indoors -  closets, rooms, sub-floors etc.?

  • Have occupants acknowledged a noticeable change in health while indoors?

  • Does the roof leak now, or has it ever leaked?

  • Are there any visible stains or damage in ceilings or walls?

  • Does the plumbing leak at present, or has it in the past?

  • Are there any loose toilets, soft spots in floors, poor caulk/grout in tile work at bathroom showers and tubs and at kitchen counters?

  • Have any appliances leaked? (e.g. dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, air conditioning condensation valves)

  • Is wall to wall carpet present, large/older rugs, drapes? Is it old?

  • Has the carpet ever been "wet"shampooed, or ever been significantly wet for any reason?

  • Is there carpet in bathrooms that have tub or shower?

  • Is there a forced air heating and/or air conditioning system?

  • Have the ducts ever been cleaned or replaced?

  • Is the cold-air return in a damp location, like in a sub-floor area or a damp basement?

  • Is there any evidence of water gathering next to or entering the foundation?

  • Is your exterior stucco cracked or damaged allowing rain water to penetrate walls?

  • Does the soil next to the foundation get wet either by rain or by yard sprinklers?

  • Are sprinklers hitting the structure?

  • Do you have planters built-on the the exterior walls, that can allow water inside walls?

  • Are there any musty odors, wet soils or standing water in the sub-floor or basement?

 

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes”, then it is possible there is an amplified level of airborne mold spores present in the air. You may have a mold problem and a genuine need for a certified mold inspector.

 

Most Common Causes of a Mold Problem:

 

  • Roof Leaks: Worn roofing material. Malfunctioning downspouts, and rain guttering full of debris. Check for stains on ceilings and walls, especially after a period of heavy rains.

  • Exterior Stucco: Damaged or cracking in exterior stucco, allowing rain water inside walls.

  • Plumbing Leaks: Drain pipe and water line leaks. Pipes may be leaking inside walls, under sink drains, under the structure and much more.

  • Appliance Leaks: Leaking dishwashers, refrigerator ice makers, air conditioners, and water heaters. Inefficient venting of clothes dryers.

  • Bathroom Fixtures: Poor caulking and grouting inside bathtubs and showers allowing water inside wall  cavities, under tubs and shower pans. Loose toilets.

  • Exterior Yard Conditions:

    • Sprinklers striking the exterior walls. 

    • Planters built on to the side of the structure.

    • Over-watering flower beds next to the structure.

    • Poor landscaping and yard drainage. Water entering a sub-floor area creating wet  soils.Water pooling next to the structure.

    • Poor moisture seal around chimneys.

  • Occupant Lifestyle:

    • Poor ventilation creating elevated levels of indoor humidity.

    • Failure to open windows and running exhaust fans during and after showering and while cooking.

    • Over-crowding of closets, especially closets near bathrooms and on exterior walls.