If you’ve discovered black mold growing somewhere in your home, you need to perform a thorough black mold inspection. Looking for mold can be more complicated that you might imagine, though, because most types of mold spread easily and mold can grow in places where it’s hard to spot, like under floor boards, above ceiling tiles, in crawlspaces, inside walls, and inside heating and air conditioning ducts. It’s imperative that you locate all of the black mold in your home, though, and remove it, because black mold is associated with a number of serious health problems.
Start your mold inspection by checking all the places mold might grow. Look in corners, behind toilets, under sinks, in your basement, attic, and crawlspaces. Use your nose, too. Black mold produces compounds that cause a musty odor. If you smell something musty, there is probably mold in the area, so keep looking until you find it.
If you smell a musty odor in a room but can’t see any mold, chances are there is mold growing in the walls, under the carpet, in heating and air conditioning ducts, or somewhere else that you can’t easily see. If you see mold on a wall, there may also be mold in the wall. If you see mold on carpet, there may also be mold under the carpet. You’ll need to take your inspection further.
If you suspect mold under a carpet, you’ll need to lift up the carpet to see what’s under there. If you see mold on the floorboards, you’ll need to look under the floor. Moldy floorboards will probably need to be removed and replaced anyway, since it’s very difficult to completely remove mold from wooden surfaces. If you aren’t sure if there is mold under the floorboards or not, you will need to cut inspection holes. Then you can use a flashlight and a mirror to inspect the area beneath the floorboards.
Checking for mold inside walls is similar to checking for mold under floorboards. If you’re not sure if there is mold inside walls or not, you’ll need to cut inspection holes, then use a flashlight and mirror to look inside. Moldy drywall and insulation will need to be removed and replaced.
You should also check inside heating and air conditioning ducts, using a flashlight and mirror. Black mold spreads easily throughout a home and can travel from room to room through ductwork. If you find black mold in any part of your home’s ductwork, the entire system should be inspected.
Keep in mind that cutting holes in moldy materials can cause the mold to become airborne. Once airborne you and your family may breathe it in, and it may contaminate other areas of your home. For this reason it may be a better idea to have a professional conduct the inspection. They will have the experience and equipment needed to prevent cross contamination.
The ebook A Homeowner’s Complete Guide to Performing Mold Remediation by mold remediation expert Brian Turner is an excellent resource for any homeowner looking for mold. The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions are accompanied by photographs that make the process seem simple. This book will show you how to search for mold in a safe way so you don't spread or expose yourself to the mold.
If you’re not sure you’ve located all the mold in your home, we recommended calling in a certified mold tester. These professionals, certified by either the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) or the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH), are usually engineers. They can test for mold by sampling the air in your home and by sampling any surfaces that might bear traces of mold. They will perform a very thorough black mold inspection and make sure all areas of mold in your home have been identified. To locate experienced certified mold testers in your area, just follow the link.