Over the past 8 years, I've run across many homes infested with mold. I've seen mold in virtually every room in the house, but the most common area to find mold is in the kitchen. Mold will begin to grow due to water leaking into an area because of roof leaks, plumbing leaks, floods and poor upkeep of the house. My team and I usually discover it behind the refrigerator or underneath and inside the kitchen cabinets. Mold can grow for months and years undetected. My suggestion is to check behind the refrigerator and look into the back of your kitchen cabinets along the drywall at least 3 times a year. I've seen entire kitchens ruined from mold and replaced at a cost of 25k-60k.
Not only can mold in your house be extremely expensive, there are potential health hazards as well. Mold has been linked to Lung Damage, Brain Damage, Cancer and even Death. Mold exposure and exposure to Mold Fine Particulates can cause sickness and disease.
Whether you are looking at Homes for Sale in San Diego or currently own home, if you suspect you have mold in your home, you should hire a professional Mold Diagnostic company to determine the level of Mold in the home. They will most likely do the following.
The first step of the environmental site assessment process involves a visual evaluation of the property, interviews with owners and/or occupants, and records review. The second step would entail the gathering of site samples (air samples of the infected areas) are collected on site. Samples may be collected in a variety of ways, and are usually analyzed for heavy metal content, hydrocarbon content, and physical parameters. Below is an actual write up from a profession inspector....
The following diagnostic tools were used in the physical investigation:
Visual assessment of interior and exterior areas of the subject property
Infrared camera scan: indicates variations in temperature of building materials
Perimeter moisture meter: indicates relative moisture of building materials up to one inch deep;
used along walls, floors, ceilings, and other building materials
o Less than 15% moisture indicates normal moisture levels (low moisture)
o Between 15% and 25% warrant further investigation (moderate moisture)
o Greater than 25% indicates excessive moisture (high moisture)
Five samples were collected at the subject property. Air-o-cell cassettes and sampling pump calibrated to 15 liters per minute were used to collect air samples. All ambient air samples were collected for 5 minutes. An outdoor ambient air sample was collected to establish background levels of mold spores naturally occurring in the area. Indoor ambient air samples were collected in the kitchen, living room, laundry room, and upstairs bathroom. All samples were delivered to EM Lab P&K for analysis.
High moisture levels (up to 100% relative saturation) were detected in the lower cabinets of the kitchen. The affected area includes the cabinets on the east and north walls. There was a recent leak from the refrigerator supply on the north wall. Moisture in the drywall to the left of this area has wicked up to four feet high. The cabinets and drywall in and around the refrigerator area had visible staining and mold growth. The lower cabinets on the east wall may also be impacted by exterior moisture intrusion due to excess vegetation and high soil levels against the exterior wall.
The baseboard on the west wall leading toward the family room also showed moisture damage (swelling) though moisture levels were low (<15% relative saturation) at the time of the evaluation. This may be part of the damage caused by a previous water loss, as discussed in the living room.
Results of the air sample collected in the kitchen showed elevated concentrations of Penicillium/Aspergillus mold spores. These results confirm the presence of an abnormal mold condition in the kitchen.
Due to the presence of high moisture levels, visible mold growth, and highambient spore concentrations remediation (treatment) is recommended in the kitchen. The area should be contained prior to removal of affected materials. All lower cabinets on the north and east walls should be removed. The lower three feet (minimum) of drywall should be removed from the north and east walls. On the wall left of the refrigerator, removal should extend up to a minimum height of five to six feet. On the west wall leading into the family room, the baseboard and lower one to two feet should be removed. The exposed wall cavities should be treated. Recommendations for removal should be considered a minimum or starting point. Additional removal and/or treatment may be necessary and can be determined as part of the remediation process.All sources of moisture should be evaluated and corrected as part of the remediation process. A plumber should be retained to correct any plumbing leaks. Outside of the home, the soil level should be maintained several inches below the weep screed at the base of the stucco wall. The soil should be graded to move excess moisture away from the home and vegetation should be kept a minimum of one foot away from exterior walls in all areas.
What is Mold Remediation? Mold remediation is a process in which mold is cleaned and removed from the subject property by professional methods. Mold remediation is necessary in cases where significant growth is present in various possible areas of a building, including carpets, ceilings and drywall. Typically, mold remediation involves special chemicals and cleaners to remove existing mold and prevent future growth. Or you can literally remove and throw away anything the mold has contaminated.
As you can tell, MOLD is not something you want to mess around with. So whether you are considering buying a San Diego home for sale or currently own a home in San Diego, and you think you may have a MOLD problem, contact a professional immediately.