Having a professional come out to assess whether or not your home needs mold treatments can be a first step towards improving your indoor air quality, overall health, and general quality of life. But how do you know if you need to have mold testing in your home? If you've recently moved in, there's always the chance that the previous owner (or landlord) covered up a mold problem with paint or simply cleaned the mold up without cleaning the air properly, leaving you to suffer from the presence of millions of mold spores in the air. But even if you've lived there for a while, mold problems can arise in crawl spaces, between walls, and in other hard-to-access locations and cause problems for your health without actually letting you know it's there. Here are three signs that mold testing would be useful in your situation.
1. You've noticed odd smells in your home
Mold often gives off a musty, dusty sort of smell, although depending on what type of mold it is, the smell may be more distinctive in some cases than in others. If you've noticed an odd musty smell coming from your duct system, for example, you may wish to have a professional check for mold rather than trying to access all the ductwork yourself. And if you've noticed a generalized "damp" smell in your home, it may not be the result of mold but if it's the result of damp, you're at high risk for mold problems anyway.
2. You've had water damage or dampness problems
If you have previous known water damage problems, that can also provide a safe haven for mold, so even if you don't currently have a problem with dampness you could still have residual mold growing if the water damage wasn't expertly cleaned up. And current damp problems that can harbor mold include leaky pipes, runoff drainage problems, flooding basements, window condensation, and more.
3. You seem to have a half-cold that won't go away
Health problems that come from mold exposure can range from a very mild sort of irritation through hay-fever-like symptoms to full-blown fungal infections of the lungs and serious life-threatening asthma attacks. If you haven't already been hospitalized by your reaction to the mold, it's likely that your symptoms are of the mild-to-moderate variety.These can include a persistent sore throat and runny/stuffy nose, which may get worse after spending time in the moldy area.
These three signs will help you identify if your house is crying out for mold inspection, testing, and removal by a professional.