Is There Hidden Mold Damage In My Home?
Mold is an opportunistic organism. If the conditions are ideal, mold can grow practically anywhere in as quickly as 24 to 48 hours. Hidden mold damage can cause a huge problem for your home because it goes unnoticed, continuing to grow. Depending on how long the hidden mold damage has been there, the damage could range from mild to extreme.
As previously mentioned, mold is opportunistic. It is also one of the few organisms that doesn’t need light to grow. All mold needs to thrive is a moisture source, food source and a room temperature environment or warmer. Mold spores are microscopic in size, so they can settle onto any surface. This means that they can land on hidden surfaces and begin developing without notice. Any porous surface in your home can become a breeding ground for mold in the right conditions.
Locating Hidden Mold Damage
There are many signs that could be indicative of mold, but the two key factors are the musty odor that it gives off, as well as visual signs. These visual signs should be relatively easy to spot, and can often indicate the source of the moisture as well. Visual signs generally include staining and visible spores. Spores can be found in many different shapes and colors. They may present themselves as a chalky, dustlike substance, or they can look fuzzy. Mold also comes in any color you can imagine, but the most common colors are white, black, brown, grey, and green. While visual indicators can be useful in determining whether or not mold is present, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Mold develops extremely rapidly, so the hidden mold damage could go far beyond what you see on the surface.
After discovering hidden mold damage, ensure that nothing goes undetected. Be sure to check all surrounding areas, adjacent rooms and surfaces. You may want to check your whole house just to be on the safe side. The roots of the mold can go deep into porous building materials. This is how mold damage extends into hidden areas of the home such as wall and ceiling voids, underneath carpet, and behind wallpaper. To ensure that you are getting the full picture of the hidden mold damage within your home, contact a professional mold inspection company in your South Jersey area. A mold inspector will have the proper training to determine the extent of the damage in a non-invasive way. After an efficient assessment of your home and the areas of concern, the inspector can create a scope of work for remediation.
Places Mold Likes To Hide
While there are common areas, keep in mind that hidden mold damage can be anywhere. Sometimes there are no visual signs indicating mold growth whatsoever. This is why it is important for property owners to be aware of their surroundings, including odor. If there is an odor that you cannot locate or identify, it could be mold.
Common areas for hidden mold damage include, but are not limited to:
- Wall and ceiling voids
- Underneath carpet and floorboards
- Behind wallpaper and drywall
- In and around ductwork
- Above ceiling tiles
- Hidden behind furniture or appliances
Mold can also be hidden in plain sight, just in places that you wouldn’t normally check. This includes your attic, basement, and crawlspace. These areas tend to suffer from improper ventilation and poor air quality, making them a perfect breeding ground for mold.
Preventing Hidden Mold Damage Before It Occurs
In order to prevent hidden mold damage in your home, take the time to maintain your home properly, and ensure moisture control throughout the home. Whenever (and wherever) it is possible, take any actions you can to reduce indoor humidity and moisture. Even in areas such as attics and basements, it is important that proper ventilation and air circulation methods are being used. This may require installing extra fans or vents to keep that air flowing, or you may need to employ the use of a dehumidifier if the area is too moist. If your home experiences any water intrusion, dry the area promptly and employ the use of preventative measures to prevent future damage. As previously mentioned, contact a professional if you notice signs of mold development, such as visual signs or a musty odor. Don’t hesitate — get a proper inspection from a professional as soon as possible so that the mold doesn’t continue to spread. This will reduce the chances of even more extensive damage and a costly remediation.