Is Mold Testing Necessary For My Houston, TX Home?

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mold-testing-houston

Mold Testing Houston, TX

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How do I know whether or not my property requires Mold testing?

The best thing you can do is to familiarize yourself with the signs that most often indicate the presence of mold in your home or office.

If you notice any of these signs, it is time to engage a professional mold tester’s services. While some of these conditions are unavoidable, it helps to be familiar with and avoid them if possible.  

Common Place To Look for Mold

  • Roof Leaks
  • Plumbing Leaks
  • Wind Blow Rain Breaching Building Envelope
  • Missing Insulation 
  • HVAC Contamination 
  • Condensation 
  • Relative Humidity 
mold-inspection-houston

For example, ignoring water damage because it is small or manageable is only asking for trouble. Mold testing is an investment that you make not only toward your property but also your health. 

The health risks associated with mold exposure are well known, and while not every strain of mold is an immediate risk to your health, they can all cause reactions in those who are sensitive to them.

 Mold spores can trigger allergies or asthma attacks and produce symptoms like:

  • shortness of breath 
  • wheezing
  • watery eyes 
  • coughing
  • headaches 
  • memory loss
  • dizziness. 

Exposure to Mycotoxins can permanently affect physical and mental health. The effects worsen over time and through increased exposure since it is difficult for an untrained person to tell toxic from the non-toxic mold.  

It is always in your best interest to hire a professional mold testing service rather than relying on store products and testing kits to solve your mold problem. 

Signs of Mold Colonization May Include:

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Water Damage

Though mold can enter a property in many different ways, the most likely culprit is water damage. When water damage happens on a property, it usually affects the building’s internal humidity, no matter how minor it may seem. When your home or business is flooded, water can seep into cracks and gaps, filling the spaces between the walls, soaking into your insulation, wooden structures, and any other porous material it can. The evaporation process releases water vapor into the air, where it can move through the air ducts and ventilation system into places that are far from the initially affected area.

This added moisture often becomes trapped inside due to how most structures are built and that most buildings have minimal airflow between indoors and out. Most buildings these days have an HVAC system that regulates airflow in the indoor environment. To save energy, many of these systems are “closed” and tend to re-circulate the air.

The spaces between your walls, in crawlspaces, beneath floorboards, and in closets, attics and basements often end up as “dead zones” where very little air moves. In these spaces, humid air collects, forming a micro-climate that can be difficult to detect until it is too late. When an area’s humidity reaches above 45%, mold can colonize that area in as little as 48 to 72 hours. If your property has experienced water damage, it is always a good idea to have mold testing done before it becomes a problem.

Condensation 

black-mold-houston

Condensation is a particular type of water damage that deserves mention. It is formed from the ambient water that surrounds us all the time, existing in the air as vapor. You see it any time you take a cold glass outside on a hot day—beads of water quickly form because of the temperature difference. Well, the same thing can happen inside your walls. Condensation problems are often caused by improperly set up or installed HVAC systems—the buildup of moisture caused by the temperature differential between indoors and out. 

For example, on a hot day, the difference between the temperature inside and the temperature outside your building can be as much as ten degrees—maybe even more! Adds enough to cause condensation on the inside of your walls. If you notice excessive condensation on your windows, then the same thing is probably happening on your interior surfaces. Given enough time, this moisture builds up and creates a hospitable region for mold to colonize.

Musty Odor

A stale, musty odor often accompanies the presence of mold. Even if you can’t see it, you should never ignore the smell of mold within a building. Mold often colonizes areas that are difficult to reach or even see. The insides of your walls packed with insulation, which can wick up moisture and become moldy.

  • Drywall
  • Plaster
  • Carpet Padding
  • Wooden Structures
  • Certain Stone Types 

These are porous materials that retain enough water to create a mold hazard. If you smell mold, it’s time to get your property tested. 

Visible Signs of Mold 

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Mold often appears as green or black spots, discolorations, and fuzzy growth. Many people often ignore small patches of mold or confuse them with dirt or dust, but if you suspect that the spots you’re cleaning mold actually, then it’s time to take action! Even a small Mold colony area can quickly spread and grow, releasing billions of mold spores into the air. Once this happens, it won’t be long before you find yourself facing a building-wide mold problem! 

About IAQ Environmental

IAQ Environmental is an environmental organization that specializes in mold inspection and testing. We do not do any mold clean-up or remediation; however, we write the remediation company’s protocol. Our job is essential for proper containment, safety, sanitation, and mold clearance. Our mold inspectors have construction experience, and in some cases, can offer waterproofing solutions for bathrooms and kitchens. We make sure the job is correct, and we back it up with laboratory test results. Our mold services cove the Houston, TX , and surrounding local service areas.

 

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