Mould in the home can become a serious problem if not handled quickly. Not only can mould growth damage the surfaces it lives on, but it can also affect a person’s health, upsetting respiratory and neurological systems. While there are kits on the market that will detect mould, your own senses of sight and smell will effectively clue you in to a possible mould problem. So it is very important to learn how to find it for mould.
Where to Check for Mould: Check places that are full of moisture. Moisture is the most important condition for the successful spread of mould, so it should be the very first thing to look out for. Humidity is a primary cause of indoor moisture, and indoor humidity fluctuates much more frequently than outdoor humidity. Keep an eye out in locations such as under the sink or in the basement.
Check places that have been recently damaged by water. If you live in a climate that floods often, your house may suffer water damage. If you had a water pipe burst recently and the water was not cleaned up properly, you may find a mould problem in that general area. Inspect water-damaged areas carefully for potential mould growth.
Check ceiling spaces and wall cavities. The spacing between walls and the spacing above ceilings are prime locations for the growth of mould, especially because those locations tend to be sealed off, thus trapping moisture. Furthermore, home piping tends to drip and leak in the areas between walls, adding further to the moisture. Mould growing in these areas will continue to spread and will eventually become exposed on the visible sides of the walls and ceilings, so you will want to catch it before it spreads too much.
Check the shower curtains in all of your bathrooms. Dirt and grime that washes off of your body has a tendency to mix with shampoo and soap residue, ultimately collecting on the shower curtains. Unless you wipe down your shower curtains after every shower, there will be excess moisture that allows mould to grow on the curtains.
Check your household air ducts and vents. If your house has central cooling or central heating, your ducts and vents will experience fluctuations in humidity and moisture. Because of the constant mixture of hot and cold air, moisture tends to condense on cooling coils and collects in drain pans. If the condensation or pooled water grows too stagnant, it can become a prime location for the growth of mould.
How to Test for Mould: Use an in-home mould testing kit. In-home mould testing kits come equipped with their own instruments and instructions. Follow the kit’s directions and submit the sampling to a local lab. However, the drawbacks to these kits are that they can be difficult to use and their results tend to be unreliable. If another testing option is available, then an in-home mould testing kit is not recommended.
Hire a professional mould inspector for home evaluation. A professional mould inspector will have a number of instruments for mould detection and inspection that you would not have access to otherwise. When hiring a professional, however, consult your state’s contractor-licensing board to ensure that your mould inspector is licensed for mould remediation.
Check the infected area periodically after the mould has been cleaned. For example, if the cabinet under your kitchen sink is where the mould problem occurred, then you should check that location once every few days to see if the mould returns. If the mould returns, your cleanup efforts were ineffective.