What is Hidden Mold?
If your family members always seem to be ill or your allergies are constantly giving you problems, it may be more than the season or a head cold. These types of things also happen when there is mold in the home.
While some mold types are often noticeable due to seeing black spots or smelling a pungent odor, there is some mold that hides in inconspicuous places, like behind walls and paneling. If you think there might be a mold problem in your home, you can avoid more serious health effects by getting it inspected and removing it.
Where Hidden Mold Might Be
Hidden mold can be almost anywhere in your home. It can hide in places that will show no or very little signs, due to its location or because of obstacles that might be in their way. For example, if the top of your carpeting has mold, you would know right away. However, it is possible that you cleaned up the carpet, but the padding underneath has mold. This does not always show through the carpet, and can be a big source of hidden mold.
Other places you might find hidden mold include paneling, behind drywall or wallpaper, under ceiling, wall or floor tiles, and around pipes in the walls. You might also find it behind furniture against the walls, and in roofing materials and behind cabinets.
How to Find Hidden Mold
It is important that before you go looking for hidden mold, you wear protective gear. Mold can be very hazardous, especially when you will be in contact with it. Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and pants, boots, gloves, and a face and eye mask.
The last thing you want to do is release mold spores when tearing away drywall, only to inhale it and get ill. A better option might be to hire a professional mold inspector, but some people do prefer looking for it on their own.
You also need the proper equipment when you begin with your mold inspection. There are a few different pieces of equipment that professional inspectors use. The first is a moisture meter, which tests moisture levels in different materials, such as tile, carpet, concrete, and drywall. It can find areas with the higher likelihood of mold growth. Another tool to use is a borescope, which can find hidden mold deep behind surfaces like your walls.
Cleaning Up Mold
When you have successfully found hidden mold, you will need to continue being careful cleaning it up. Be sure to scrub the mold using a detergent and water. Dry the hard surface quickly. You can’t clean mold properly from porous or absorbent surfaces, so they will need to be removed and thrown out. If it is in your carpet or padding, you need to pull it and lay down new carpeting. Never attempt to caulk or paint over a moldy surface; it must be dealt with properly first.
To prevent hidden mold from forming in your home, be sure your home has proper ventilation. A great way to do this is by using a whole house fan.