What If My Home Doesn’t Have Water Damage or a Leak – Can There Still Be Mold?
You likely spend more time in your home than anywhere else. It’s also where you probably feel most comfortable. But lately, you’ve had a growing suspicion that something just isn’t right. Every time you return home, you start feeling physical symptoms you’ve haven't felt before. Maybe a persistent cough, a runny nose, or a headache that you once wrote off as being caused by stress, but now you’re not so sure. On top of it, you’re starting to realize that none of these symptoms crop up when you’re anywhere else.
You’ve probably heard stories about how mold exposure can cause symptoms similar to what you’re feeling, and maybe you’re familiar with what mold looks like. You’ve searched high and low, and there’s none to be found in your home — at least as far as you can tell. No overtly musty smell either — maybe your home could stand to smell a little fresher, but it’s nothing that would leave anyone holding their nose.
Besides, you believe you know all about your home’s history, and you’re confident that there have been no incidents of water damage, nor are there any persistent leaks that could contribute to mold growth…as far as you can see. Mold can grow in a newer property just as easily as in an older one. And if your home is older, maybe with a few prior owners, there may have been mold-related issues that you don’t know about.
Still, you can’t help but wonder, could mold still be the culprit? Absolutely.
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Mold can lurk in places that aren’t necessarily visible — inside your walls, in your attic, under your floors, even within your HVAC system and ductwork. Mold spores are all around us. They’re in the soil, the air we breathe, even the food we eat, and generally speaking, they rarely cause a problem. That is, until those spores land in an ideal environment – anywhere there is moisture and organic material. That environment doesn’t necessarily need to be the site of water damage — just an accommodating surface that’s sufficiently exposed to humidity will cause those spores to take root.
But lack of easy visibility doesn’t make mold any less harmful. Even if you encounter less obvious signs of mold, such as areas of high humidity within your home, a wood floor that seems to be buckling in various places, or peeling wallpaper, we recommend that you contact a professional mold inspection company to get to the root of the problem.
This is especially true if you’re experiencing any physical symptoms we discussed earlier, even if you’re the only one in your household afflicted with them. Unfortunately, some of us are just more sensitive to mold exposure. In more severe cases, if there have been prolonged exposures, you may even be susceptible to Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). This potentially debilitating disorder can cause chronic fatigue, memory problems, and mood disorders, among other symptoms.
Schedule a professional mold inspection by a company that does NOT do remediation to avoid a conflict of interest as the inspection and the remediation processes are different specialties requiring their own training. A certified mold inspector will use specialized tools and equipment to detect the presence of mold-like-growth, even in hard-to-reach areas. They will also be able to identify the type of mold present and determine the extent of the contamination by collecting and analyzing samples.
If mold is found, the next step is to have it removed by a professional mold remediation company. We discourage you from considering mold removal as a DIY project. Attempting to remove mold on your own is very dangerous and could worsen the problem — mold spores can easily spread if they aren’t properly contained. Steps to prevent further exposure may include temporarily vacating the home or sealing off affected areas to prevent other contamination. It is also important to identify and address the underlying cause of mold growth to prevent it from recurring in the future.
In addition to having a professional mold inspection and remediation conducted, there are some more immediate steps you can take to reduce your exposure to mold. These include:
- Keeping humidity levels in your home below 50%
- Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove mold spores from the air
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to prevent mold growth
- Using a dehumidifier in areas of the home that are prone to moisture, such as basements and bathrooms
At Mold Inspection Sciences, we’ve distilled our 21 years of experience in conducting thousands of investigations with our proven science-based inspection and testing services to confirm what’s happening inside a property and determine the right next steps to return both living and workspaces back to healthy conditions. Utilizing state-of-the-art moisture detection and infrared technology, our mold consultants will assess and identify areas of concern in your property, but that’s only part of the process. After the necessary inspection, your consultant will recommend sampling based on the needs of your property and what the inspector found. Sampling is a critical part of any comprehensive mold or environmental investigation because it helps us confirm the presence of environmental hazards, including the type and quantity of hazard present. Samples also provide necessary data points that give a complete picture of a property’s condition, level of contamination, and steps needed to correct the issue(s) and return the property to a healthy state, ultimately providing peace of mind.
Serving a wide variety of clientele from residential to large commercial to storm and hurricane victims, we’ve seen our clients struggle and face unique mold and indoor air quality issues.