Musty smells, unusual spots and stains and just a general concern for your home or business — these are all reasons to get a mold inspection. While they're among the more obvious signs, many other situations and issues also call for a mold test. You want to know what's going on in your home or business, and mold could be lurking in hidden areas throughout your property. A professional mold test will uncover these potential dangers.

If you aren't sure when to test for mold or what the process involves, this guide will help. Learn more about mold tests and reasons to get a mold inspection to keep your home or business clean and safe.

What Is Mold Testing?

A mold test or inspection is when a professional looks throughout your home or business to see if they find mold. If they find it, they'll also test it to see what type you have and whether it's dangerous. To get mold tested, start with a quality inspector instead of trying to figure out how to inspect for mold yourself. Choose All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage for a trustworthy inspection. Our team's knowledge and experience mean they'll take precautions as they inspect your property, and they'll know what signs of mold to search for.

When you get a mold test, a professional should:

  • Look for past and current mold growth: Professionals should look for signs of current mold growth as well as past problems. These signs could reflect structural concerns with your home or business or flooding and other water issues.
  • Look for mold in all areas of your home: You want a thorough inspection and test of your property. A professional should look in walls, attics, basements, crawlspaces and other, more hidden areas of your home.
  • Look for sources of moisture: Even if there aren't necessarily apparent signs of mold in your home or business, professionals should look for signs of moisture. That will help determine where they should test for mold.

If you're planning to schedule a professional mold inspection for your home or business, you should know that some types of mold are normal. Newer builds, for instance, may have common molds that grow on lumber but stop growing once the lumber dries. Past mold growth could stain the wood but not cause structural issues. A professional will likely test the staining to ensure it isn't mold, though.

How Do Professionals Test for Mold? The Mold Inspection Process

The mold inspection process varies depending on who completes the test. Professionals could take samples from the air or surfaces in your home or business. They could use several collection methods, but that'll depend on the surfaces and structure of your property. In general, a professional may use these methods for mold inspection testing:

  • Spore trap samples: Professionals have a known volume of air pass through a sampling device that includes a sticky surface. The air impacts this surface, which then captures most of the particles in the air. If mold spores are in the air in your home business, they will stick to the sampling device. A lab will analyze the spore trap and identify the types and amount of spores inspectors captured on your property. Spores are how mold spreads, and if they're in the air, it means there's mold somewhere inside your property.
  • Bulk samples: Depending on what you have in your home or business, a professional may take a bulk sample. For this test, they physically remove a non-structural piece of your property and send it away for testing. Perhaps you have a damaged section of flooring you'd have to replace or some drywall that a professional can easily remove for testing.
  • Swab samples: If you have no components in your home or business that a professional could remove for testing, they might do a swab test. Inspectors will use devices like cotton swabs to rub across a measured area. They then send that sample to a lab for testing.
  • Tape samples: For this test, a professional uses a clear piece of tape to collect possible spore samples from surfaces. This tape is similar to the sticky material from a spore trap device and suitable for surfaces that professionals can't remove.

Once the lab tests samples from your home or business, you'll receive the results of your mold inspection. With All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage, the results are a written report of your property with pictures of problem areas. We may then recommend a particular course of action, depending on the severity of your mold issue.

When Should You Test for Mold?

Not sure when to get a mold test? There are plenty of signs or reasons for a mold inspection. In general, a mold inspection can help you know if you need External link opens in new tab or windowmold removal services, making your home or business safer and more comfortable for you, your family and visitors. Of the many reasons to get a mold test, more than one of them may apply to your situation. Here's when to get a mold test:

1. You Can See Something Unusual

Noticing a strange growth on items or walls in your home or business is among the best reasons for a professional mold inspection. You may notice dark, white or other color growths on furniture, building materials and other belongings, which could damage your items. It leaves an unsightly appearance and may put off visitors if they notice it.

Visual mold growth is among the final symptoms you'll notice if you have mold issues. When you see mold, you know you have it, but because it spreads through the air, an inspection will discover the source of mold in your home or business. Explore the other reasons to test for mold to catch a problem before it's visible.

2. You Notice Unusual Smells and Odors

You may notice damp, musty or outdoorsy smells if you have mold or issues that will lead to mold growth. Bathrooms, basements, closets and closed up areas may develop these unusual odors. If you notice any sort of musty smell in your home or business, you need a mold test throughout your property. Report strange smells to your inspector so they can focus on those areas while also checking your whole property.

3. You Have Constant Health Issues

You, your family members or your coworkers may suffer from constant health issues if you have a mold problem. The symptoms of mold sensitivities are similar to allergies, with a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes being common. Not everyone has the same sensitivities or reactions to mold growth in a home or business, so you may notice that not everyone in your household or company suffers. If even one person is consistently sick, consider it a reason to test for mold.

4. Your Current Health Issues Are Worsening

Perhaps you or someone you live or work with already has health issues like asthma or allergies. If they notice their health issues worsening, with excess sneezing, coughing or breathing difficulties, it could be a sign that there's mold in your home or business.

In these cases, testing for mold is essential. While you may not always have issues with your property, checking for mold growth will prevent worse problems in the future if you do have mold. It'll also help alleviate worsening health issues for your family or coworkers if you get mold remediation after your test.

5. You're Having a Baby

Schedule a professional mold inspection for your home if you'll be welcoming a new baby soon. This life event comes with different reasons to get a mold test. As a parent, you want to create the safest environment possible for your new baby. And, because babies are more sensitive to mold and prone to having health issues, a mold test will help you create a safer home environment.

If you own a daycare business that cares for babies and young children, you should also inspect for mold regularly or if you notice any issues with your building. You want to keep your clients and their children safe, and regular mold tests help you achieve that.

6. You're Selling or Buying Property

When you sell your home or business, you want it to be in the best condition possible. Potential buyers will want to be aware of any issues, but they'll feel better if you also get them taken care of. Have professionals test for mold and, if they find anything, be sure to get mold removal services.

If you're buying property, you want to make sure you're getting the best value. You'll likely have a buyer's inspection, but choose a professional mold inspection, as well, to make sure you don't have a potential mold problem in your new property. Try to plan a test before moving your business or family into your new property to ensure your belongings, family or coworkers aren't exposed to mold.

7. You Notice Water Damage and Flooding

Mold needs moisture to grow, and water damage or flooding provides just that. If your home or business has a problem with flooding or other types of water damage, such as plumbing issues, you may be at risk for mold growth. Once you've addressed the issue and had External link opens in new tab or windowwater restoration services done, you should also get mold inspection testing.

8. You Have an Older Property

Old buildings are more likely to have structural issues that could let in water, like deteriorated roofs or siding and plumbing problems. With those issues, an old home or business could have mold. Plenty of past owners may have disregarded potential issues or signs of mold growth. Even if you don't think your old building has any structural or mold problems, you should still schedule a professional mold inspection. Your older property has been around for a while, and it could have hidden signs of mold growth.

9. You Want to Support Legal Cases

If your home or business has any sort of legal problems with landlords, tenants, insurance companies or sellers, get a professional mold inspection. A professional inspection company will provide the evidence you need for support in a legal case. You might be able to have an inspector confirm the results as a witness, as well.

10. You Want to Double-Check After Mold Remediation

Mold remediation serves to address problems that lead to mold growth and remove mold and spores from your home or business. If you still feel you have an issue with your property, you'll want an inspection to double-check. Maybe a bit of time has passed, you tried to handle a mold issue yourself or you initially went with a less-than-reputable mold removal service. Regain peace of mind with a test from us at All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage, a trustworthy inspection company. Even after quality mold remediation, you could have a new moisture or flood issue with your home or business that leads to mold growth again.

11. You Need to Identify Mold Types

Perhaps you've noticed mold in your home or business. In that case, testing for mold will reveal what type or types you have. That will help you know if you have something toxic growing or something more common. If it's toxic, you can make arrangements for emergency mold removal and either close your business or have household members stay somewhere else temporarily. If the mold is not toxic, you can still schedule removal services, but you won't need to evacuate your property.

12. You Want Overall Peace of Mind

Mold causes health issues and damages your property and belongings. It makes your home feel unwelcoming and your business look unprofessional. Even the fear of mold could distract you and make you feel uneasy in your own home or business. The mold inspection process will put your mind at ease. You'll either know that you don't have mold or how to address a mold issue. With your questions answered, you'll have overall peace of mind when you're at home or at work.

Contact All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage for Mold Testing and Inspection Services

If you need professional mold inspection services for your home or business in California, contact All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage. We have almost two decades of real-world experience finding and remediating mold and moisture problems. With an All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage mold test, we'll determine if you have a problem, even if you can't see the mold. We provide a comprehensive moisture inspection, pictures and a written report with every mold inspection. If you have other issues with your home or business, from External link opens in new tab or windowair quality to External link opens in new tab or windowstorm damage, we offer additional External link opens in new tab or windowcommercial and residential services, as well.

External link opens in new tab or windowComplete our contact form today for an estimate and to schedule our mold inspection services. Leave your mold inspection and testing to the team of professionals at All Star Mold Testing & Water Damage.