How to Test for Mold Under the House

mold on a dark surface
What You'll Need
Ventilation mask
Crow bar
Tree saw
Mold test kit

Knowing how to test for mold under house can help you detect and treat it at an early stage. The major source that triggers the growth of mold is moisture and food. Damp and dark areas are more prone to the growth of mold. If not detected, mold can become a cause of serious health problems. Hence with some knowledge of how to test for mold, one can not only save money, but also stay healthy and have a good household maintenance. Here are a few tips to identify mold.

Step – 1 Unpleasant Smell

Mold has a very unpleasant smell. Hence whenever there is continuous unpleasant smell at home, there is a possibility that mold has grown. Begin following the nose and look for areas where the smell becomes intense. Also, if the residents have developed allergy symptoms such as headaches, dizziness or respiratory problems and feel better when outside rather than when at home, there is a possible mold growth. If you need to inspect potential mold sites up close that are in a confined space, be sure to wear a ventilation mask.

Step - 2 Visible signs

Check for visible signs of mold. Mold appears in different colors such as white, black, grey brown, grey green, orange, purple, pink or greenish black. Hence areas with such color changes possibly have a growth of mold. Use a flashlight to see in dark areas of closets or behind furniture.

Step - 3 Areas Exposed to Water

Mold grows especially in damp and dark areas. Check for areas with water pipes, sinks and supply valves. Have a look around the pipes, valves and faucets of kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basement. It is advisable to use flashlight while inspecting the areas for mold, else there are chances that the mold may get unnoticed.

Step - 4 Ceilings with Water Damage

Ceilings or other areas which were previously water damaged are more prone to growth of mold. If the house has any walls or ceilings that are cracked, flaking, bulging or discolored they need to be immediately inspected. Walls or ceilings with water damage usually are prone to toxic black mold which grows from inside of the walls and spreads to other areas. Wear your ventilation mask when inspecting these sites up close.

Step - 5 Floor and Carpet Area

Wet Carpets are one of the major areas for mold growth. Tiles under the wet carpets can also house the mold which may also spread under tiles with adhesives. Hence make a thorough check under the carpets. Use a crow bar to pry back a corner of tacked carpet to inspect for mold.

Step – 6 Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating and cooling systems often have water leakages and are susceptible to mold growth. Some of the areas in these systems where the mold grows are cooling coil, humidifier and drain pan. In case, there are any signs of mold growth in the HVAC system, contact the HVAC technician and seek assistance.

Step - 7 Around the House

Check outside of the house using a flashlight. Any bushes, trees, flowers etc which touch the house are likely to trigger the growth of mold. Use a tree saw to cut back any such tree branches which touch the walls of the house.

Step - 8 Natural Fibers

Natural fibers such as cotton, wool and so forth can host mold. Frequently check boxes or bags storing clothes to detect mold at early stage. Be sure to store the boxes in a dry place.

There are mold test kits available which help in identifying the type of mold and the amount of mold present. When the mold is black, it is advisable to hire professionals to treat the problem since this type of mold is very hazardous.