Inspecting Your Home for Mold
By Cesar Collado
If you are suffering from mold sickness, identifying the source of the mold is a critical step to validate your concerns or your physician’s concerns. However, the source of mold can be systemic or concentrated to a specific part of the home. Even when that is the case, physical laws enable mold to spread throughout a home. Read more: There is Mold in My Home –
Accepting this fact is difficult as it may require a significant investment to fix your home. In the meantime, you and your family must live in it. What can you do? If you are seriously sick from mold and mycotoxins or diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) or Lyme Disease, your physician will likely recommend that you get out of your home, take nothing but the clothes on your back with you, and spend significant time in a safe environment to see if symptoms improve.
This is obviously ideal except for the fact that we all don’t have the resources to do so. That doesn’t change the prognosis or the need to get out of the home. Physician recommendations simply are not followed for a variety of practical reasons such as financial constraints or that we may be renting the home or apartment.
The body needs clean air to heal. If you are mold sick in a contaminated home, continuous breathing of mold spores will maintain an assault on your immune system and prevent the body’s natural healing process and detoxification from occurring. The only way for the human body to remove toxins is to excrete them. For that to happen, clean air, food (proper nutrition and supplements), and water is needed to heal.
Time and Cost-Effective Steps You can take to Identify Mold Problems
Recognizing that we are not all comfortable inspecting or fixing our homes, we must rely on some practical steps we can all do to identify potential problems and provide some band aid solutions to remedy.
To inspect your home, you only need a few supplies and an able body to assist you if you are too sick. For starters, you need a bright LED flashlight. LED light allows colors to be seen more clearly than other forms of light. Other supplies needed include a hygrometer (measures humidity) and a phone camera for documentation, and safety equipment (N95 mask, Tyrek suit, goggles, and latex gloves. You can buy all for < $25). Optional equipment includes an infrared camera and moisture meter.
START WITH OUTSIDE AND THE UNFINISHED PORTIONS OF YOUR HOME:
- Walk around your home to see if there is any water, puddles, or moisture settling against your home.
- Check around all gutters and make sure all water is steered away from the home.
- Inspect windows and entrances for rotting wood from water.
- Fogging rooms with the Bio-Balance Fog Kit (for <1000 sq. ft.)
- Fogging the entire home with Bio-Balance Deluxe Package (for <4000 sq. ft)The Basement or Crawlspace:
- Check for visible water under the home in the crawlspace.
- A moldy smell or stench can often be detected in basements and crawl spaces and may be enough to have it checked out by a professional. If you do enter the crawlspace, proper safety equipment is essential to avoid a particularly harsh exposure that can make you sicker.
- In a basement, check the water heater and HVAC system for leaks or evidence of leakage. Check for moisture in concrete. Moisture will stain and it can travel through concrete. Check all visible pipes for leaks and condensation.
- Use a hygrometer to check the humidity. Higher humidity in unfinished space is common so be prepared to get a dehumidifier and a fan for air ventilation in basement. A humidity reading above 50% is a concern and action should be taken to lower the levels so that mold will not grow.
Mold Inside your Home:
- With a flashlight, you can inspect walls, ceilings, floors and carpets for water stains or moisture. Moisture stains are often visible. Take pictures and measure the stain for documentation. Walls exposed to water can appear to be swollen and be soft to the touch. If you have wallpaper, peel back a corner to look for mold. Do the same with baseboards.
- Inspect wood floors for warping, buckling, stains.
- Inspect all carpet for discoloration or dampness. If carpet is damp, it is likely that carpet pads are damp as well. This can be a major source of mold and must be professionally removed, fixed, and treated.
- Inspect windows for interior condensation that indicates excess interior humidity inside or faulty seals. Check internal windows and door frames for mold spots, paint erosion, stains or rotted wood.
- Check your thermostat or use a hygrometer to determine humidity. Humidity over 50% is conducive to mold growth. Keep in mind that common dust is all that is needed for mold to grow with moisture.
- Inspect all visible pipes under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. and check for water or water stains, which can indicate that a pipe or sink is leaking.
- Check bathroom tiles for missing or loose caulking, moldy grout, mold and mildew spots.
Mold in Attics
- If you find ceiling stains, check the locations directly above the stains for water leaks.
- Check all attic pipes for excess condensation. Insulating them can prevent the excess moisture, dripping and subsequent mold growth.
- Check the attic for stains, especially where the roof meets the walls. Check insulation for dampness. Check flashing around roof vents and chimneys.
When mold is visually found or the source of the musty odor is obvious, it is time to test you home for mold with an ImmunoLytics Mold Test kit for visual observation, or to send for testing by the laboratory. All of this information will enable you to properly evaluate mold remediators.
Once you have inspected your home and taken pictures, take some time to review them to determine whether they are small enough to fix yourself or hire a handyman to fix them. This is very cost-effective maintenance to avoid future, bigger problems. Regardless of the job, I have yet to be in a situation where I could not find a very helpful YouTube video to walk me through step by step. If you discover a significant source of mold confirmed with visual or odor evidence, it is likely best to have a professional inspect for mold to determine the size and scope of the issue.
All of the internal inspection steps above are practical for renters. A proper inspection with pictures will be conducive for landlords to address the issues. In cases where you discover mold, it is always more effective to test for mold with an ImmunoLytics test kit that has been properly documented and lab tested for a more urgent response from you landlord. Once the issues are fixed or if there is a long delay. You can use any of these Bio-Balance fogging and misting kits to address the systemic mold in your indoor air.
- These solutions will reach all areas of the home including corners and crevices to reduce the fungal air count dramatically, down to close to zero. These packages do not replace identifying the source of mold, removing it, and fixing it! To earn more about Bio-Balance DIY Fogging solutions, click HERE.
Maintenance fogging using a cold fogging solution that aerosolizes BioBalance HavenMist Solution diluted with distilled water is a quick and easy way to fog regularly to reduce fungal air count and surfaces in the home.
- The HavenMist Kit is an inexpensive way to spot fog rooms, furniture, carpets, cars, of closets. This fogger weighs less than 5 lb. so you can ably reach all areas including cabinets and above furnishings to fog your home.
- The HavenMist Large Kit can be used for entire homes or regular maintenance fogging. This fogger weighs less than 10 lb. and comes with a shoulder harness to carry the weight with a delivery hose to allow for agile fogging throughout the home like the smaller fogger.
Bio-Balance Home Fogging Solutions