Mold Inspections and Hidden Mold

 

Our inspector testing for hidden mold behind a kitchen sink cabinet.

A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc.
We conduct mold inspections in Palm Beach Miami-Dade, and Broward County, including but not limited to in the following cities:
West Palm Beach, Miami, Ft lauderdale.

Below is some information prepared by us on mold inspections and hidden mold.

MOLD INSPECTIONS AND COMMON HIDDEN MOLD ISSUES

Hidden mold found during one of our mold inspections.

Chaetomium and Aspergillus molds commonly grow hidden behind baseboards

The following is information on just a few common hidden mold problems encounter during mold inspections. Though inspectors may sometimes find hidden mold during mold inspections such issues might not be found even if you pay for an inspection and testing. However a detailed inspection along with moisture detection and client interview information and inner wall sampling can sometimes reveal previously hidden issues. Inner wall testing, information from interview history, and moisture testing are some of the best tools to use by an inspector looking for hidden mold. Please do not attempt to locate hidden mold yourself, you could expose your home or your self to mold while it is being uncovered. Contact certified mold inspector if you suspect such problems behind wall paper, inside walls, in AC units, under linoleum floor coverings, or in any other concealed areas. Some common hidden issues we encounter, and comments that go along with them are as follows:

 

CAN MY INSPECTOR FIND ALL HIDDEN ISSUES.

If you have hidden mold it is not guaranteed that mold inspections or testing for mold, or even a mold remediator removing you walls will find it all. No home owner or facility maintenance person should even expect to find it all. If some hidden mold was discovered behind wall materials by your inspector, you should expect even more hidden mold in areas that were not accessible during this inspection. It is typically expected that the inspectors understanding of where water flowed will help the inspector develop some ideas of how far mold contamination likely traveled.

When a leak occurs water from that leak can travel hidden many feet inside your walls, because water often travels hidden many foot inside walls by using the bottom tract inside the wall as a channel like conduit. During mold inspections your consultant will do his or her best to guess how far the water traveled and through deduction more or less how far the resulting mold spread as well. This is done with the aid of intervie

w information, common since, moisture readings, moisture stains, and possibly inner wall sampling. The mold remediator will usually find al the additional concealed fungus in the specific work area that he is working in and take care of it then. Between the inspector and remediator the problem should be figured out and taken care of, however as stated above mold inspection companies and remediators cannot guarantee that all hidden problems will be found as we are only humans and the mold is hidden.

CAN IT SIMPLY BE PAINTED OVER

During our mold inspections when hidden mold is discovered inside walls the question of simply treating, covering, cleaning, or painting over the mold is sometimes brought up. It is not a good idea to attempt to clean or treat mold for the following reasons:

  • Moisture inside walls and behind cabinets does not evaporate readily, thus mold can sometimes grow more profusely hidden inside such areas than it does on the surface of a wall. Bleaching, painting, cleaning, or even treating moldy walls with an EPA approved fungicides allows a very good opportunity for possible mold and moisture trapped in the wall voids to cause future problems. When wall surfaces are cleaned of visible mold, mold growing inside the wall voids and under the drywall paper and paint breaks through and starts the problem all over again a month or so after cleaning.

In addition mold inside walls or behind cabinets can create mold odors and mold spores, both mold odors and mold spores can escape from inside walls, these mold by-products have been linked to allergy, and asthma.

Even after wet drywall dries, previous moisture penetration often causes the gypsum in drywall to loose some structural strength, also mold eats drywall paper that helps hold drywall gypsum together. Even when mold is at the microscopic level and not visible it may grow fibers into, drywall, inner wall insulation, wood studs, and other surfaces.

Stachybotrys behind wall paper

Stachybotrys is another mold that is commonly found to be well hidden during mold inspections.

MOLD HIDDEN BEHIND WALL PAPER

Mold behind wall paper is extremely common during mold inspections, here it what we typically say about it in our reports. Some mold and moisture conditions were found behind the wallpaper. Moisture behind wallpaper does not evaporate readily, thus mold can sometimes grow more profusely hidden behind wallpaper than it does on the surface of a painted wall. This is especially true on exterior perimeter walls. It is not unusual for tiny hairline cracks around window caulking or other similar minor moisture intrusion problems to result in substantial amounts of mold behind wall paper, in fact the mold was observed to have spread behind wallpaper to areas away from the initial leak. Also mold behind wallpaper or even in walls can create mold odors also known as microbial volatile organic compounds, these mold by-products can escape from behind wallpaper. Mold odors have been linked at a minimum to allergy and asthma like conditions. It is not a good idea to attempt to clean, treat, ignore, encapsulate, or hide mold that is growing behind wallpaper. It is best to first have the moisture problem repaired, then have a professional remediator remove mold, wall paper and contaminated wall material in accordance with nationally recognized standards. Never re apply wall paper to the exterior perimeter walls in this building.

Basidiomycete mold mycelium and amphopods living on rotten moldy tack strip hidden under an office carpet.

MOLD HIDDEN UNDER FLOORS

4) When moisture flows under tile floors it may cause a little mold but it is not much of a concern in most cases. When water flows under tile floors it is more likely to cause problems with mortar and grout failure and the tile floor will start to buckle up. In such cases the tile will have to be replaced. Mold may grow under tile, I have seen it before, but food supply and growth space for mold is limited under most tile. Under wood floors the top of the wood floor will become discolored and the wood will become slightly to severely warped or even buckle up, seams between wood floor boards will become slightly wider and as with some tile floors these floors will have to be replaced.
Water is more likely to cause problems with linoleum floor coverings because the water does not easily evaporate. Moisture trapped under linoleum penetrates and softens the adhesive materials holding the floor covering in place, this results in a perfect nutrient rich, moist, dark environment for fungal growth to occur unnoticed by the homeowner. Sometimes mold under floor coverings can grow and remain undiscovered for years. Even the best mold inspections conducted by the most skilled mold inspectors can find it difficult or even impossible to uncover such hidden problems. Even air testing can fail to reveal such issues. However an investigator with a keen nose for mold odors, and a sharp eye for water damage evidence in the form of discoloration in linoleum may fair better at discovering such problems than the typical home owner.

 

A Accredited Mold Inspection service, Inc. provides mold inspections in all of south Florida, if you need our help feel free to give us a call.

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