Getting your home tested for mold can be a scary and extremely expensive prospect for many people. There is an alternative available to spending a small fortune on a professional test though. Conducting your own mold testing is an easy and surprisingly simple task. In fact, it is something so easy to do that anyone can do it themselves and save a load of money at the same time.
If you have even the slightest question about whether you have mold growing in your home or office, use this simple step by step checklist to see. Once completed, you will know for certain whether or not you need to call in the professionals. Save some time, worry, and money. Here's how.
- Visually inspect. This step is pretty self explanatory. Look everywhere that you can think of to see if there is any visible mold. Look in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets, look under the sinks, and look at the walls. While you are visually checking, don't just limit yourself to the areas where you live or work regularly. Make sure that you also check the crawl spaces, foundation, water heater, and attics. If you happen to see anything that looks like a thin fuzzy film anywhere—then you have got mold.
- Check seals. Next, while you are visually inspecting your home or office there is one area that you will need to pay special attention to. That area is anything that has a seal. Look at places that are sealed with some type of caulk. If the caulking is missing or deteriorating it is likely that water has seeped in, which could lead to mold growth. Pull up any deteriorated caulking and visually inspect. Before replacing the caulking, at the very least continue with steps three and four.
- Sniff test. The quintessential laundry test for most men works wonders in this case as well. If you happen to smell a musty, dank, or damp odor then what you may in fact actually smell is a growing mold problem. In that case, you need to proceed to step four.
- Test. Home mold test kits can be purchased at just about every home improvement store. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the back of the package and you will find that many times the test can be performed in the space of a few minutes. However, be aware that there are some tests that will require you to send the results to a laboratory for interpretation. Home kits can run you anywhere from $9.00 to $75.00 or more.
- Interpreting results. Interpreting the results of the testing is the final step in mold testing. Whether you need to wait for the results to come back from the lab or you can get them from simply reading the manufacturers directions, you need to follow the recommended results. When the results come back saying that you are clear of mold, you are done. If it turns out that you do, in fact, have mold growth then, as long as it is not toxic, you can clean it yourself. For results that report toxic growth, hire the professionals who are trained and properly equipped to handle the situation. This is your health that we are talking about here; don't run any risks with it.
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