M.O.L.D.: 4 Tips For Detecting Mold
Mold is certainly proving itself to be a long trending hot topic today. There are many reasons why this is so. Health concerns, real estate transactions, and general media buzz have the public asking questions such as, “Do I have mold?” and “How bad is it?” Many people want to get a basic idea of what they may be dealing with before they call in the experts, and yes, you do want an expert. Mold may simply be visible in some cases making the conclusion a little more reasonable, but this is not always the case and further investigation is necessary. For those who are curious yet untrained in the science of mold detection and remediation, you can do a simple evaluation just by using the term M.O.L.D.: Musty Odor Leaks & Dampness.
Musty Odor - If it smells like mold, more likely than not, it is mold. Most people are familiar with this odor from damp basements which are an ideal environment for mold to grow. If you notice this smell in bathrooms, under kitchen sinks, or in other rooms in general, it is a strong indication that a mold issue is present.
Leaks - Water is the key criteria for activating mold (along with food source, light, and temperature). If there has been a leak that has lasted for more than 72 hours, there is a good chance that mold is present. Indications of previous leaks such as stained ceiling tiles, walls, or warped floorboards means that mold is probable.
Dampness - Some rooms just feel damp. High levels of humidity are ideal for mold. If a room has high levels of moisture and poor to no ventilation, then there is a good chance that mold has found a home there. Even though you lack the tools to detect relative humidity, your body can tell when one room is different than all the rest. When it comes to mold, our bodies tend to be the best proverbial canary in the coalmine.
If one or more of the M.O.L.D. criteria is met and you have reasonable concerns, then you know it is time to get a licensed professional involved. Do not attempt to go right into remediation on your own as you can quickly make the problem worse than it is. Keep your building and its occupants as safe as possible.