You almost never a need to spend money on mold testing or inspections once you are certain that you see visible mold.
If you know you see mold, there is no real need to spend money on a lab to confirm what you already see and the proper steps to properly remove attic mold are the same regardless of the type, color, etc. In this case, once you know you have visible mold, regardless of the color, shape, or size, you just should remove it in one of the methods outlined in the next section.
The real concern when people speak of black mold or any other mold for that matter is what kind of potential impact the mold is having on her and her family.
What are the health effects of mold?
Every person responds to mold differently. In addition, there aren’t any specific federal guidelines determining what levels of mold risk pose a health risk.
There is a general consensus in our industry, though: mold counts should be lower indoors than outdoors (i.e. lower than the outdoor air that you breathe in everyday). There are many other factors–such as the weather and asthma–which influence mold counts and the occupants’ health profile, as well.
But because mold is a part of the natural environment, you’ll never have a “mold free” home. This factor and the others mentioned above make it impossible to determine if there is a risk associated with mold from identifying mold count levels alone.
One thing is for certain, though: you should never see visible mold growth in your attic–or anywhere else in your home.
Once mold becomes visible on your attic, roof, sheathing or joists, the mold count is officially elevated beyond a normal indoor environment. And because mold can also be hidden behind walls or inside of duct work, you can actually have even higher elevated mold counts without actually being able to see visible mold growth with the naked eye.
Indoor mold exposure is a relatively recent human concern. Although we don’t have a complete understanding of mold, and sometimes, we can’t even see it, we can still recognize symptoms that may be attributed to indoor mold:
- Eye irritation (watery, itchy or red eyes)
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
- Difficulty breathing
This list is by no means comprehensive, as there is still quite a bit about mold and its effects that we do not know. Consult a physician if you believe you or someone close to you is experiencing health problems from mold exposure.
Who is most at risk for elevated mold exposure?
- Pregnant women
- Children and infants
- Individuals with immuno-compromising diseases or conditions (e.g. those with HIV, certain cancers, etc.)
- Individuals with respiratory disorders (e.g. those with Asthma, allergies, etc.)
Again, anyone who thinks they have symptoms of mold should see a doctor. And have any visible mold removed immediately.