The best method for dealing with any kind of mold in the home is prevention; a practice that should be done routinely through a thorough test for mold in all areas that are vulnerable.
Mold can grow anywhere that moisture and warmth exist. There are numerous hiding places in your home with these conditions where mold could be hiding at this very minute. Whether you hire a certified home inspector or plan to inspect your home yourself, there are tips to know how to test for mold in the house.
Certain conditions provide the optimal environment for mold growth. Mold is a living organism that is primarily made up of water, and as such, it requires moisture to survive. Some types of mold can live in lower moisture areas, but still, need to have their replenishing water source. It also needs certain temperatures, with the best growth conditions occurring around 80F. That is not to say that mold will not grow in cooler temperatures. How many times have you fished a moldy vegetable or fruit from your refrigerator crisper? With this fact in mind, one of the areas in the home to test for mold is in the basement. Basements, traditionally cool, dark and damp, are still prime breeding grounds for certain species of mold.
Other areas that are particularly susceptible to mold are the kitchen and the bathroom. Because there are water facilities in these rooms, there is the opportunity for them to harbor dampness as well as develop leaks where standing water may result. It is important to regularly test for mold in these areas since a great deal of family time is spent in these rooms. Also, refrigerators should be examined for mold. Not just inside, where forgotten food might fall victim, but also along the rubber seal on the refrigerator doors. This is a very common area for mold growth, especially in older refrigerators where the seal may be weakening.
Condensation on window sills and outside walls is a common problem that can result in moldy situations. Test for mold behind furniture pieces that abut walls, and move them away from the wall to allow air flow. Check behind any pictures or hanging wall ornaments on these outside walls, as well. Beds that fit firmly against one or two walls could be providing a hiding spot for mold along the floor molding. Windows and window sills could allow condensation as well as weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice and fog to enter in and pool; the perfect spot for mold to begin to form.
Mold tests need to be performed in basements at least once every four to five months. These are exceedingly dark and wet places and can be a breeding ground for it. Make sure you understand the steps to take to keep it from producing around your household and how to clean any clothes it might be growing on.
Regular and consistent inspections of these and all areas in your home to test for mold are important steps for every homeowner and renter alike. With your very health at risk, these tests can provide the preventative measures necessary to battle mold.