You’ve suspected it’s there, possibly for months. You’ve asked your landlord about it, but he’s dragged his feet in responding. In the meantime, maybe you or another family member have been having increased bouts of asthma or feel like you have a constant cold. The prime suspect: toxic mold, lurking in the vents or behind the walls.
Up to now, it’s just been a guess, a suspicion. The good news is, there are ways to find out for sure—and there are tests that can legally prove the existence of mold so you can get relief from it, as well as compensation for any damages. Let’s talk about how it works.
When identifying toxic mold, you have to follow a path from suspecting its presence to confirming it and then proving it. Each of the following testing methods takes you progressively along that path.
The “Nose” Test
Mold frequently (though not always) has a distinctive “musty” smell, so consider this your first “test” of sorts. Not all mold species will emit an odor, or there might not be enough to detect it by smelling—but if you do smell it, it’s very likely present and in dangerous amounts. That should be enough evidence to move toward testing to confirm its presence via the next step. (As the saying goes, “The nose knows.”) If you don’t smell anything, but someone in the household is experiencing symptoms, that may also be enough reason to move to the next test.
The Home Testing Kit
There are several home mold testing kits available on the market ranging from $10-$40. When used properly, these kits are fairly reliable to confirm the presence of mold. One of the most common tests is the Mold Armor FG500 kit, which can test for mold on surfaces or spores in the air.
To use a home test, try looking for possible mold in the following areas:
· Under sinks, or anywhere else where plumbing might be accessible
· Behind the refrigerator
· HVAC coils, if you can access them
· Around leaking windows or roof leaks
· In the basement
· Any other dark place where moisture or leaks may be present
Test results take a couple of days to show up. If it shows positive for mold, you can send it off to the lab for an additional fee to confirm which type(s) of mold you have.
If a home test confirms toxic mold is present, the next step is to have your home professionally tested—and if confirmed, to have the mold professionally removed as soon as possible. This step is a bit more costly, but it’s the best way to prove and document the existence of mold in the event you have to litigate for compensation. (Note the cost and save your receipts as evidence.)
If you or someone you love is suffering from exposure to toxic mold, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our offices to learn more.