Finding mold in your home can be an uncomfortable discovery for any homeowner. If you’ve recently been dealing with difficulty breathing, allergy-like symptoms, or consistent headaches, it could be a sign of mold.

Unfortunately, many older homes with poor ventilation in Northeast PA are harbingers of mold. The only way to eliminate mold is to identify the extent of the problem and the areas where it lies in your home with a proper indoor air quality inspection. Ideally, a home inspection report would catch many of the culprits of indoor mold in houses, including roof leaks, plumbing issues, and even high humidity, but often, an indoor air quality inspection is required to spot mold that often lies beneath the surface.

Here at Mountain to Valley Home Inspections, we are certified indoor air consultants. This means that we follow the standards for mold testing put in place by the certified body for residential and commercial indoor air quality consultants in North America to ensure that we are providing superior service.

Learn more about how mold inspections work and why they are the first step in eliminating mold if you spot it in your home.

Step 1: Identifying Mold

Depending on where you spot mold in your home, you may be able to identify some of what lies underneath with a simple visual examination. However, hiring a mold inspector to dig beneath the surface is always recommended to uncover the true extent of your mold exposure and where it lies in your home.

What will a Mold Inspector Look For?

A mold inspector will look for some common signs of mold exposure throughout your home, which will help them locate the source of mold.

  • Moisture intrusion
  • Water damage
  • Musty odors
  • Apparent mold growth
  • Results of a laboratory analysis of all mold samples taken at the home or building.

Digging Deep: Following IAC2 Standards of Practice

Mountain to Valley Home Inspections follows strict standards put forth by the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants (IAC2) to provide customers with a more robust inspection. Some areas of your home we will search for signs of mold or causes of mold growth include:

1.) Roofs

  • Roof coverings
  • Roof drainage systems such as gutters and downspouts
  • Vents, flashings, skylights, chimneys, and any other roof penetrations.

2.) Exterior and Grounds

  • Cladding, flashing, and trim
  • Exterior doors, windows, decks, stoops, steps, stairs, porches, railings, etc.

3.) Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace

  • Moisture intrusion
  • Inspection of ventilation for each.

4.) Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation

  • Air handlers, circulating fans, and air filters
  • Central humidifier
  • Central air conditioning unit

5.) Plumbing

  • Visible main water line
  • Visible water supply lines
  • Visible drain, waste, and vent pipes
  • Hot water source
  • Toilets, faucets, showers, and tubs

6.) Attic

  • Insulation
  • Ventilation of Attic Spaces
  • Framing and Sheeting

7.) Interior

  • Walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows
  • Ventilation in kitchen, bathroom, and laundry
  • Whole-house ventilation fans

8.) Moisture, Humidity, and Temp.

  • Will measure the moisture of any room or area of the building that has moisture intrusion, water damage, moldy odors, apparent mold growth, or conditions conducive to mold growth.
  • If warranted, the inspector may measure the humidity as well as temperature in any room or area of the building.

Step 2: Eliminating Mold

Treating mold requires careful procedure, as incidental exposure can lead to skin irritation and respiratory illness. Some proper precautions homeowners must take before cleaning and wiping mold off of surfaces include:

  • Wearing a mask with a HEPA cartridge
  • Wearing gloves and safety glasses
  • Covering door and window openings with a plastic sheet to prevent spores from spreading

Once properly equipped, you’ll want to apply a general household cleaner solution or one cup of bleach to every gallon of water to wipe away mold from dirty surfaces. Bleach is recommended for black mold.

Then, using a shop vac or a vacuum with a HEPA filter, you’ll want to vacuum up any leftover residue or water.

Finally, use a dehumidifer to dry out the area.

Step 3: Protecting Against Mold

Based on the findings of your indoor air quality inspection, you will need to solve any issues contributing to mold growth.

In many cases, fixing leaks, installing vents, or installing a dehumidifier in areas with high moisture content, especially during the summer, will resolve any issues.

However, for deeper issues, such as roof leaks or aging insulation, more serious repairs may be necessary to guard against mold.

Fight Back Against Mold

The only way to eliminate mold is to identify its source and remove all traces of it from your house.

At Mountain to Valley Home Inspections, our indoor air quality tests follow the best standards of practice laid out by industry experts and veterans. Whether you’re buying, selling, or living in a home with mold right now, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a mold consultation.