Accurate Home Inspection

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(540) 439-4960

Our 25th Year in Business
Over 25,000 Inspections completed

Accurate Home Inspection

(540) 439-4960

Our 25th Year in Business
Over 25,000 Inspections completed

Frequently Asked Questions About Mold


Mold is a serious problem in any home. It affects the integrity of the home and adversely affects your health. AHI offers information to help you be informed about mold.


Why is Mold Growing in My Home?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. But indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on wet surfaces. There are many types of mold, and none of them can grow without water or moisture.

Can Mold Cause Health Problems?

Molds are not usually a problem indoors unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin to multiply. Molds do have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances.

Allergic reactions to mold are common. They include symptoms similar to hay fever, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.

How Do I Get Rid of Mold?

It's impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors. But indoor mold growth can be controlled by controlling indoor moisture. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem as well. If you clean up the mold but don't fix the water problem, the mold will most likely return.

Mold Images

Who Should Do the Cleanup?

If the moldy area is less than about 10 sq. ft., you can probably handle the job yourself. However, if there has been a lot of water damage and the mold growth covers more than 10 sq. ft., consult the EPA's Mold Remediation page. There's information on homes, schools, and commercial buildings. The information is also applicable to other types of buildings.

If you choose to hire a contractor (or another professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check their references, and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations of the EPA or the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

If you suspect that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold, consult the EPA's Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold — it could spread mold throughout your home.

If the water and mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water. If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup yourself.

More Information

For more information, read the EPA's Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home, which you can find on their website. The information is provided as a public service by the Environmental Protection Agency for educational purposes. You can get more information on mold abatement here, and get an estimate on cleaning as well.