Mold Inspection and Testing: How to Distinguish Stains vs. Mold
Mold Growth Albany, NY
If you have a basement under your house, there is a very high chance that you’re going to have mold growth. However, what you think to be mold may not necessarily turn out to be mold. It could just be a regular stain. This is why it is necessary to identify the difference between the two before you go about fixing the problem.
The first and most obvious thing to do is visually inspect the basement and other areas to look for signs of mold growth. But, homeowners often confuse stains and discolorations for mold growth, only to find out later that they were wrong. But, this is understandable considering the fact that they all look pretty much the same to the untrained eye. In fact, mold that has degenerated and matured tends to leave stains behind, which only adds to the confusion.
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So, the next time you’re in your basement figuring out whether it’s a stain or mold growth, remember to follow these tips.
Study Your Basement Conditions
Before you jump to conclusions on what’s mold growth and what isn’t, observe the conditions in your basement. Mold doesn’t just grow anywhere. It needs an environment that has the right temperature, moisture, and a nutrient source. So, check for basement moisture and get an expert’s advice on the materials being used in your basement. As for temperature, most indoor environments are ideal for mold growth. So, just assume that the temperature is suitable.
Generally, any area with high humidity, moisture, and bad ventilation is great for mold growth. In other words, your basement is the perfect place. Also, mold produces organic compounds that are volatile. These organic compounds tend to have an earthy or musty odor. If you can identify such odors, then there is a good chance that you have mold growth.
Spots and Discoloration
Certain types of mold growth are visible to the eye. If you see spots or patches that are bluish, greenish, yellowish, blackish or grayish, then there’s a chance that it’s mold. In fact, irregular stains on the wall are a sign of mold growth. Contact a professional to help you remedy the potential issues with mold.
However, you will also need to check out the texture and appearance to confirm further. Molds grow in colonies and they have an appearance that is velvety, hairy or fluffy. Most species of mold exhibit this kind of appearance and texture.
Use a high powered magnifying glass to take a look. Also, mold that is in a stage of active growth will be slimy and soft. It will tend to smear against the surface, when touched. Dead mold or inactive mold will be dry and powdery to touch. It will also tend to rub off easily.