Mold is pretty much every where. Spores float around in the breeze and settle where ever the wind blows them. For those of us who like mental pictures, imagine blowing on a giant dandelion. The white fluffy seeds can travel great distances before finding a home. The good news is, mold only grows where conditions are favorable.
During a home inspection, I will take a swab from what is perceived microbial growth. The sample is sent off to Inspectorlab for analysis. Within 24 hours the results will describe what is found (if anything) and the potential problems it could present to the home occupants.
Mold in the home can be a problem one of two ways. First, mold affects all individuals different. Some people could live in a mold cave and have zero issues medically. Other people have sensitivities to mold and develop allergies or other respiratory problems. Second, mold can affect the structural integrity of a home by digesting the surfaces it is living on. Mold and moisture will lead to rot.
If I was a betting man, I could do very well by guessing where in the majority of homes I would find mold. Under the sinks, in the window sills, or around the toilets. These three locations in the home are notorious for being damp. These areas are obviously not the only places for growth, but usually the growth in these areas is of a size that can be managed by the homeowner. If mold is found, the source of moisture has to be eliminated. If the mold is cleaned up, but the source remains, the mold will come back and manifest a continuous cycle.
Published guidance states that a moldy area around 10 square feet in size can be handled by a homeowner using standard store bought cleaning products and appropriate protective equipment. Anything over that size, will require a professional.
If you have any questions pertaining to mold, or you would like a mold inspection, call Ellis Home Inspections LLC at 501-548-5522. The EPA and The Arkansas Department of Health have some very informative publications on their websites as well and are listed below.