How To Test Your Home For Mold
When To Suspect Mold In Your Environment
There is a distinct musty odor. It may come and go or be constant. It may be in the basement or in a particular room.
Since moving into your new home your (or family members) health has taken a turn for the worse.
You have unexplainable heath symptoms that do not seem to correlate and that baffle physicians.
You have dark colored stains/ spots on your ceiling where there was once water intrusion.
Your yard slopes towards the house and the ground around it remains saturated for long periods of time.
The humidity in your home is consistently above 50% on any given day.
Windows have visible black mold growth lining the edges.
You see visible mold growth in various places, especially your register vents and window sills.
How To Test For Mold In Your Home
Tap test carpet, couches, chairs, clothing, and curtains you can purchase EC3 mold plates found online here. These are a great inexpensive option.
Hire a professional mold inspector. Want to know what credentials to look for in a mold inspector? I created a Ebook that gives you all the important info. This is not a hire you want to get wrong!! The average mold inspector is out to make a profit and knows very little about the health effects on your body and what to look out for in an environment. You can purchase my popular Ebook here.
Purchase and use an ERMI or HRTSMI test kit from Mycometrics or Envirobiomics that will be mailed to your home/business for testing and instructions. These tests are considered the "gold standard" in mold testing.These tests give you a history of mold in your residence. This is both good and bad. While it gives a long history it may not give an accurate reading of what is currently going on. I suggest using this test initially and retesting after several months have passed when remediation and clean up has taken place.
Hire a mold dog. This option is helpful to know where exactly the mold problems are located in your home. It's often hard to know that you have a mold issue without the knowledge of where it it.
Hire a mold consultant to guide you. I like Megan Carson with The Guided Well
How To Prevent Mold In Your Home
Use dehumidifiers. You can purchase stand alone units or HVAC attachments. Either way this is important (especially if you live in a humid region.)
Purchase a humidistat to monitor the humidity inside your home/basement and aim to keep it between 30-45%.
Have a basement? You need to regulate the temperature. A dehumidifier (or several) is necessary. Having a significant portion underground where the surrounding areas have naturally wet conditions ensures high humidity within the walls.
Heat and cool your basement so as to prevent elevated humidity year round.
Regularly dust you home and use your vacuum to clean floors (mold feeds off dust and debris). Sweeping your floors just sends mold on an airborne roller coaster ride.
Clean up moisture and water spills quickly.
Repair leaks immediately and replace drywall if necessary. Don't take the wait and see approach. Mold needs only a water source, humidity and 48 hours to begin to grow.
Regularly burn EC3 candles and clean with EC3 Mold Spray. Available for purchase here
Avoid carpeting and opt for hardwood floors instead.
Regularly clean your bathroom tiles and grout and spray with a mold preventative.
Bury outdoor drains
Ensure outdoor ground is graded away from your house
Bury outdoor drains.ows are sealed (common place for water to sneak in).
Seal tile grout & clean regularly
Purify your air! Each floor of your home should have an air purifier that takes into account the square footage.
Immediately fix leaks. Remove all soaked drywall (mold growth occurs in less than 48 hours).
Leave your dishwasher and washing machine open when not in use. Spray Homebiotic spray on both regularly.
Ensure outdoor ground is graded away from your house.ity is elevated...
Purchase a moisture detector that alerts you to leaks.
Keep air vents open (closing vents cause condensation to build up & cause HVAC to work harder).
Keep your exhaust fan on for 30 minutes after showering.
Change out your air filter regularly using Merv13 filters
Place plastic bins under each sink in your house to catch leaks before they cause damage.
Curious to read more on mold? You can read my blog post Moldy Facts & Could Your Home Be Making You Sick