Whenever you notice some mold growing on stale bread, that should not be a reason to worry. It only shows that you should have taken better care with the packaging.
However, a trip down to your basement could show you huge areas with dark spots. You might also notice a damp, musty smell. Now, that should be reason enough to worry. It is indicative of high moisture levels in the basement.
What you are seeing is mold infestation. Your little knowledge tells you it could be dangerous, but you may not be quite sure how. If this describes you, or your home in any way, please read on.
At Envirotex, we have been in the mold testing and remediation business for a long time. During this time, many people keep asking us; ‘do I need professional mold testing in Washington DC?’ At the end of the article, you will know whether you need to call us in for professional mold testing in your Washington, DC home.
Basically, mold occurs naturally. It is present everywhere, both inside the home, and outside. If you look in damp places or decomposing vegetation, you will notice some.
What you may not know is that; it has a critical role to play in the ecosystem. You see, it helps in the breakdown of plant matter.
But you don’t want mold indoors. Unfortunately, any damp areas present excellent breeding grounds for it. Moisture levels above 60 are suitable for mold.
Now, here is where it gets tricky. There are various mold types, both toxic and non-toxic. Experts estimate that the number runs into thousands.
You cannot see spores, without special equipment. You could, at this very moment, be breathing them in, and that is where the complications begin.
What are the Health Consequences of Mold?
Long-term mold exposure can cause serious health impacts. You may experience throat irritation, eye irritation, nasal stuffiness, and wheezing. Other people experience skin irritation and heightened sensitivity.
Moreover, it can get worse. Those with chronic illnesses or allergies are more at risk. Their weak immune system cannot handle the impact of the mold.
Mold Implications on the Structural Integrity of the House
In as much as you can see the mold infestation on the surfaces, the impact runs deeper. It can penetrate the interior of columns, beams, slabs, and walls.
Contractors are especially watchful for the mold species Serpula lacrymans. It causes wood to decay, resulting in significant damage to the structure.
Yet, that is not the only damage you have to deal with. Mold growth on carpets may necessitate an entire change. The same applies to any personal property, for instance, clothes.
Cleaning out the mold may be pointless. That means throwing away items that may otherwise be in good condition.
Checking for Signs of Mold Infestations
As we have hinted above, there are specific conditions that will cause mold to thrive. It needs sufficient moisture, the right temperature, and a food source.
For the latter, we are talking about things like carpet, sheathing, wood molding, and insulation. Ceiling tiles are also prone to the growing of mold.
If you notice signs of infestation, it’s crucial to carry out appropriate investigation. In that case, it is a good idea to call in the experts.
Remember, seeing mold on the walls is not indicative of the extent of growth. It may have penetrated the interiors as well. Often, without the relevant knowledge, you may not know how far to conduct the investigation.
Take the example of mold in the ventilation or heating systems. The experts may have to carry out sampling to determine the extent of the infestation.
We advise our clients to take action immediately if they notice signs of mold. Waiting too long could have costly implications for you. With that said, it helps to know how to identify mold infestation. Look out for the following signs.
- Visible mold infestation
- Surface discoloration. There is no standard color because it depends on the type of mold. You may see black, green, white, purple, brown, or tan.
- Signs of water or moisture levels. You notice water stains or some type of discoloration
- Pooling of water or condensation on surfaces. These may typically be on window sills, walls, or the floor
- A musty smell is also indicative of mold.
Do not touch the growth with plain hands. You could end up transferring it to your face or nose. Further, disturbing the mass could result in mold spores finding their way into the air.
Do I Need Professional Mold Testing in Washington, DC?
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), you need the testing but it is not always necessary. As long as it is evident that there is mold infestation, you can move on to let professionals take care of it. Mold removal is necessary, no matter the type.
However, there are different situations when professional mold testing in your property is necessary. Let’s say you are buying the home and notice an infestation. Testing tells you the type of mold present in your property. Sellers may also request testing to determine air quality. It is a significant selling point and area of concern for many buyers.
The same applies when you are facing health problems due to mold. Knowing the type and level of infestation can offer valuable information to medics.
Another scenario that will necessitate testing is if you can smell it but not see it. Mold testing will let you know where the growth is, allowing for corrective action.
Do note, some former clients return asking for retesting after some time. It is a common request among those who live in damp, humid areas. We may have undertaken removal and remediation.
However, to confirm that there’s no resurgence, we can do another professional mold testing. It helps to enjoy a peaceful mind state with the assurance that the air you breathe is free from contaminants.
So, if you’re still confused with the question: ‘do I need professional mold testing in Washington, DC, consider it an investment on your health and that of your family, and you could save your house from the harmful effects of mold.
Why Home Testing Kits May Not Work
You may fall into the temptation of testing for mold using the home testing kits. You can purchase them easily, and they’re low-cost. However, the challenge is that; many have a huge sample error.
The false negatives/positives will not give you a true reflection of the mold situation. There’s also the challenge of result interpretation. Unless it is something you have done before, it can be quite difficult.
The third challenge is collecting samples. There is a technique behind the process. That is why Envirotex technicians must undergo proper training. We also wear the right safety gear to avoid exposure to mold spores.
And, we can’t ignore the other obvious fact. What happens when you can’t see actual signs of infestation? Home testing kits only work with samples. They don’t have technologies that can detect invisible, airborne spores.
We use special tools like thermal imaging for such jobs. The diagnostic technology identifies moisture sources without costly demolitions. It allows the team to take remedial action safely and efficiently.
Remember, the experts conduct a thorough inspection and testing. They will identify what could be causing the fungus growth. Tackling the root cause is the most efficient way to deal with mold in your Washington, DC home.
Call Envirotex Today for Professional Mold Testing in Washington, DC
By now, you could tell how harmful mold can be. The best solution is to get rid of it once and for all. The implications of ignoring mold growth are numerous. We have looked at the health implications.
There is also structural damage to the house and destruction of property. While not putting down home testing kits, they do have their challenges, as we have shared. Let the experts do the mold managment work for you.
Envirotex technicians have relevant training to handle the tasks. Further, we have invested in some of the latest technologies as well. Mold inspection, testing, and removal should be seamless. That means we strive to ensure minimal to zero destruction to your property.
We leave a safe, healthy, mold-free environment when we finish the work. If you have noticed mold growth, talk to us.
Start the discussion by filling in the form on our site. We will avail personnel at your convenience for further talks.