Just like a pop quiz in high school chemistry class, navigating the waters of mold testing can be a tricky business.
Before you consider testing for mold within your home, keep in mind that it is not necessary to test for mold if you simply suspect that there may be a problem brewing. Because a small bit of mold is present in every home, it is unnecessary to test as a precautionary measure rather than to assess the scope of an actual problem.
Examine Roof Shingles
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
Check Outside Faucets
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
Service the AC Unit
Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis.
One of the best tried-and-true methods of testing for mold is by simply letting your nose do the sniffing. Most often, a mold problem will be readily identified by a musty smell that becomes obvious in damp environments.
Mold also likes to play a bit of hide and seek, so if you suspect there is a problem, then begin to check under carpets, behind drywall, inside ductwork, in between bathroom tiles and in other moisture-prone areas.
If you prefer a more formal form of testing, then consider a home testing kit to help keep your home healthy. You could also call in an expert, who will take a sample of the mold and determine the root of the problem.