For some time there has been pressure on governments to try to develop mandatory guidelines for mold exposure testing and diagnosis. The pressure has come from new fields of applied technology such as building biology and other sciences that investigate health hazards in the built environment. This in turn has been a response to the increasing incidence of allergies and reactions to spores caused by mold and other microbes, especially as they circulate in air conditioning systems in homes, workplaces and schools.
First, if a building or any part of a building is already showing signs of mold, then there is still a chance that it can be dealt with without hiring a professional. This will mean looking at addressing the underlying problem of air humidity and damp surfaces, to see if these things can be easily remedied. However, the best way to determine if you have a serious problem is by hiring a professional who will be able to determine the degree of the problem.
For example, if the mold is extremely black or thick, this indicates a large amount of mold that has accumulated for some time. Even mold growth on the outside of the building is a problem as spores can be transported easily into the inside. Mold causes damage to the surfaces it forms on, and as mold loves moisture and warmth, it can be difficult to eradicate.
Secondly, if there is evident mold growth in your home, your you should be concerned about your family’s health. The mold exposure testing and diagnosis procedure is a professional service that will likely only be used to find hidden sources of contamination if health issues have not improved after the usual mold extermination measures have been taken.
Thirdly, if there is visible mold growth, the health of those using the building, including pets, should be of concern. Look for mold that has spread to other areas such as furniture, the walls, windows, and other building surfaces. If mold is present in visible quantities here, then there is a high chance that there is mold growth in less obvious places, such as the air conditioner ducting. This will present a real hazard as invisible spores are inhaled by the building occupants.
At this point, it would be wise to purchase a professional mold removal service, or if you are a tenant, to apply to the landlord for such a service to be used. If the building is a multi-dwelling type, the owner should invest in a full mold exposure and testing diagnosis. Even if this step proves expensive, which it may do if re carpeting is involved, it cannot compare to the health impacts on the residents who are bringing rental income to the landlord. It is therefore an ethical obligation of the owner to obtain and assessment and suggested remedies by mold professionals. If you are a tenant and find that you cannot persuade the owner to take these steps, you should perhaps consider moving house.
So, the most serious of the health issues associated with mold exposure have to do with allergies and respiratory illness. Therefore, looking at this risk is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before buying a house with an obvious mold problem. If you need to know how serious and costly the problem might be before investing in a property, then contact a professional service and get a mold exposure and testing diagnosis first.