Just because you hear the word “mold,” don’t panic, says Samuel Dixon, owner of C.S.I. Mold in Los Angeles. Mold spores “are everywhere around us. We walk through them every day. Some even have helpful uses. Penicillin is one such useful mold.” Still, you don’t want mold growing rampant in your home since that could lead to health problems. If you think you have a M.O.L.D (moisture, odor, leaks, or discoloration) problem, here’s what to do:
Leaks Mold needs moisture to grow. Prevent it from even gaining a foothold in your home by having leaks fixed or flooded spaces dried within 48 hours, says the Los Angeles mold inspection expert. Mold can spread quite quickly. Leaks, however, aren’t the only water source for mold. Too much humidity in the house can provide enough moisture for it to proliferate. A poorly installed HVAC system, in which condensation is forming behind the walls, is another opportunity. Putting too much moisture in the carpets when you clean them can even “cause mold to grow from the bottom up,” says Dixon, who been in the Los Angeles home mold inspection business since 2009.
Odors If your home has a persistent musty, moldy smell, that is another indication that you may have a problem. You may have a water problem that is hiding behind a wall, under the crawl space or up in the attic.
Discoloration Not all molds produce smells so keep a sharp eye for when walls, floors, linoleum, and other building materials become discolored. “Mold comes in all colors,” says the Los Angeles mold inspection business owner. “I’ve seen it black, brown, grey, white, even pink. It all depends on what it is growing on.” If you suspect you have a mold problem, a mold inspector will help pinpoint the problem. A $500 a C.S.I. Mold visual and air testing inspection takes about two and a half hours for a 2,500 square-foot home and involves a thorough visual inspection of all water sources, wall surfaces around the pipes, and under and around appliances and bathroom fixtures. While conducting the visual inspection, the technician will also take moisture readings of building materials with a moisture meter. Another tool he would use: a borescope, a camera on a flexible tube, to look into walls. Four indoor or surface samples and one outdoor sample will then be sent to an independent lab, which will determine the type of mold you have. Once the inspector sends you a report of the findings and his recommendations for removal, it’s time to call an independent mold remediation company, says Dixon, who is also a Los Angeles commercial mold inspection specialist.
Samuel Dixon is the owner of C.S.I. Mold P.O. Box 65901 Los Angeles, CA 90065 Phone: 213-985-7469