MOLD in your home is the new 4-letter word no home buyer/owner/seller or Realtor wants to hear. It can be scary. It can be quite harmful to your health and it can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
However it is VERY important to understand a few things. The only way to know if something IS mold – is to TEST it. Now granted; there are some homes I have seen; which my common sense kicks in and says “WE HAVE A MOLD PROBLEM HERE”. When the whole wall is black and it seems to be “crawling” up the wall; while I can’t say scientifically it’s mold; I don’t need to hire a testing company either!
Last week on the Today Show; they tested a home for mold. It was “CLEAR”. Then they “planted” mold in the form of woman’s mascara. It’s amazing to say; that most of the contractors/”inspectors” said “YEP; you have a mold problem”. They all quoted the home owners repairs from $1500 to $10,000.
If you are worried about mold – have it tested. There are a couple of basic tests. The 1st is an Air Sample test. The tester should collect air samples from several places around the home. Then one from outside. They compare the amount of mold inside vs outside to determine if you have a problem.
The other test would be a surface test. If you see a growth on the wall; they can scrape the substance and test that.
Never should you just hire a contractor to remediate; without a test to make sure it’s not just a little problem you can use a bleach and sponge for!