Mold testing answers exposure can trigger serious health concerns such as asthma and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), so home inspectors should always conduct a mold inspection prior to suggesting remediation plans.
Mold inspection involves conducting a complete walk-through of the property with special consideration given to basements and attics, collecting surface samples for testing as well as air samples for analysis.
Signs of Mold Growth
As soon as a mold inspection Charleston problem emerges, its first indication can often be its aroma. If you detect musty smells that don’t emanate from closet or kitchen areas, this could be a tell-tale sign that mold growth has formed behind walls and beneath carpeting – producing chemical substances called microbiologic volatile organic compounds, or MVOCs which release an unpleasant odor when released by mold growth.
Another tell-tale sign of mold growth is when there’s water build up or discoloration on a wall. Mold loves damp environments, and once inside drywall it can cause major issues throughout your home.
If you’re uncertain if that dark splotch on your wall is mold or just an inconspicuous stain, use a screwdriver to probe. If wood feels soft or crumbles when probed with it that indicates more severe mold problems. Mold spores come in various shapes and colours; Stachybotrus chartarum black mold spores often have an undulating furry texture when detected in their presence. Learn more about mold effects.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
Allergies to mold spores are relatively common and should not be considered life-threatening. They’re caused by your immune system reacting too strongly against foreign invaders such as mold spores, creating antibodies to fight them off as soon as they appear, creating symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and shortness of breath that require you to visit a physician immediately for care.
Your doctor will conduct a detailed medical history review and physical exam of your eyes, ears, nose and lungs in order to establish whether you have an allergy to mold. They may also perform either a skin prick test or Inge blood test as further screening measures.
Before your inspector takes air samples, to avoid interfering with their measurements, you should turn off any air cleaners such as air purifiers and humidifiers to ensure accurate testing results. Also remove drapes or curtains that could trap any spores inside them.
Signs of Water Damage
Water damage to homes is more than an eyesore; it poses serious threats to both their structural integrity and residents’ health. Standing water and damp building materials create breeding grounds for mold, bacteria and rot.
Be vigilant for dark spots on walls during an inspection; these often indicate new water-related stain that has yet to appear on the wall and will take anywhere between one to 24 hours to become visible on its surface.
One telltale sign of water damage is swelling drywall or paint. These materials absorb so much moisture that they warp or even sag under their own weight – something which does nothing for the structural integrity of a house.
Pay attention to any odors present. If your home emits musty or earthy scents, there is likely to be water issues present. Listen carefully at night time when ambient noise levels are lower as dripping or rushing water could indicate leaky pipes or the possibility of leakage.
Signs of Structural Damage
At times, it can be difficult to notice when structural damage has taken hold in your home. Simple symptoms like harder-than-normal doors and windows could signal something bigger that needs addressing immediately before it compromises your market value.
Structural damage occurs when something compromises the fundamental integrity of a building, including its roof or load-bearing walls. When this occurs, collapse may ensue and lead to collapse or failure of its entire structure.
Structural issues in homes can arise from improper design or construction practices, or from faults that have appeared since your house was constructed. The longer these issues go undetected and unfixed, the more costly and dangerous they’ll become; so be wary if signs indicate you may have one and recognize them quickly. Learn about some common indicators that indicate you may have structural issues here.