How Can Homeowners Assess Mold Damage?
How To Assess Mold Damage?
A complete mold assessment involves determining the type of mold and extent of growth. Accurate analysis can be difficult and risky for non-professionals. Here are a few measures homeowners can take in preparation for an expert assessment.
Look for Visible Mold
Homeowners can look for signs of visible mold. Do not attempt to find mold hidden in places where colonies may be disturbed by a search:
- Behind wallpaper
- In wall cavities
- Under carpet
A musty odor may indicate the presence of hidden mold. This odor originates with microbial volatile organic compounds, which are off-gases released during the fungal growth cycle.
An environmental hygienist or mold specialist can contribute to an accurate mold assessment. Experts may take air or spore samples for lab analysis to determine which types of mold are present, such as black mold or more than 100,000 other species.
Identify the Cause
Mold and mildew thrive where moisture is present. A homeowner can try to identify the source, which may involve one or more of the following factors:
- Leaky pipes
- Roof leak
- Other water damage
Mold is a common type of secondary damage that results when water damage is not properly mitigated. It is important to remove standing water and residual moisture to prevent fungi from starting to grow.
Determine the Extent
Mold remediation experts can determine the extent of an infestation. A minor mold problem covers less than 10 square feet and is accessible without opening large sections of closed surfaces. Major problems affect larger areas and may involve hidden mold or black mold.
Minor mold growth can cost over $1,000 to remediate, while major damage can range up to tens of thousands of dollars. A mold assessment may impact a homeowner's ability to file an insurance claim or pay for remediation that will resolve a mold problem at a residence in Houston, TX.