Do it Yourself Home Mold Test

Mold is a naturally occurring microscopic organism.
Mold in a home can cause physical damage as well as trigger health problems.Mold in a home can cause physical damage as well as trigger health problems.
In the outdoors, it breaks down dead organic material, such as leaves. But inside your home, it can cause physical damage and exacerbate such health problems as allergies and asthma. Household mold is most often found in warm, damp areas that provide the ideal environment for these organisms to flourish. Water that is not cleaned up within 24 to 48 hours can be a breeding ground for mold. If you suspect mold may be present in your home, use your senses and a few simple steps to conduct a cost-effective, do-it-yourself mold test.

Step 1

Look for signs of moisture caused by leaking pipes or water damage while conducting a visual inspection of your home. Brown stains on walls, baseboards or ceilings can signal a hidden mold problem.

Step 2

Shine a beam of light along the wall to determine if mold is present. Observing the wall at an angle, rather than straight on, makes it easier detect mold growth.

Step 3

Smell your home. A musty or earthy odor can be an indication that mold is present even when you can’t see it.

Step 4

Moisture in basements can cause mold growth underneath carpets.

Pull up a small edge of carpet to expose carpet strips in areas of the home that have been affected by water. Rusty carpet strip tacks can be a sign of wet conditions caused by water or condensation.

Step 5

Mold can form in areas with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms.

Check under and around drawers in bathrooms where there has been excessive moisture as well as under and around furniture that has been exposed to water, moisture or dampness. Mold growth can also be found in places with poor ventilation, such as near a clothes dryer or in a bathroom.

Step 6

Visually inspect wallpaper around windows for water stains where there is frequent moisture. If you suspect mold is present, pull back a small section of wallpaper to determine if there is mold growth on the backside of the wallpaper or on the wall.

About the Author

Karen Nerney is a writer and editor with more than 25 years' experience in print and online media. Her work has appeared in "PTO Today" magazine and "The Boston Globe," among other numerous newspapers in the Boston area. Nerney received a Bachelor of Arts from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.