Mold can become a large problem this time of year, and it is important to know some of the places that this fungus can come into form. Mold likes to hide out in bathrooms of homes and businesses, and it can occur anywhere where moisture is present. Here are some steps that can help you find hidden mold in bathrooms and restrooms of commercial buildings:
1) During your search, the person who is inspecting the area (whether it is a manager, employee, tenant, or property owner) should wear an N-95 breathing mask. This mask runs about $3 dollars at your local hardware store. The inspector should also wear eye goggles with no holes, which can run about $5, to keep mold spores out of the eyes. The last thing that the inspector will want to wear is disposable vinyl gloves.
2) Use a high-powered flashlight to help you pinpoint areas that could possibly have mold.
3) Look for visible mold growth in the following areas of the restroom:
– Inside of the toilet tank. Mold grows fairly quickly with a consistent source of moisture present, so the toilet bowl would make it the perfect place to hide.
– Both sides of the shower curtains.
– Inside of the exhaust fan vent pipe.
– Inside of the cabinets underneath the sink, especially if there are leaks in the drains or pipes.
– Inside the drain pipes of sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
– In the grout of ceramic tiles and flooring (make sure to check for coloration, especially black, in the grout. Also, if you can smell a musty odor, it means that mold is more than likely in that area).
4) Use the Scotch Tape “lift sampling” to collect some samples of the surface in the areas that you are inspecting to send to a laboratory for both mold and bacterial analysis.
Some people are embarrassed because they believe that if you have mold, your home must be dirty. But, this is quite far from the truth. All homes contain mold spores in small amounts, but it becomes a problem once there is enough moisture for the mold to growing sporadically. Mold affects all types of homes, both expensive and average-priced.
5) After you have completed the “lift sampling” in the areas that were specified earlier in the article, you will also want to repeat this process in other areas of the home such as the top of the window trimming, and also light fixtures.
6) Use a moisture meter, which can be found for about $50 dollars at your local hardware store, to scan the walls and floors for elevated levels of moisture. High levels of moisture can only mean one thing: You either have a leak, or the humidity in the area is very high as well. If there is a high level of moisture present, then you know that your search efforts were not in vain; mold thrives off of moisture, and a heightened level in the area usually means that it is present.
7) You will want to then use a hygrometer (about $50 online) to check the humidity of the bathroom. If the indoor humidity level exceeds 70%, then chances are you more than likely have a mold issue that you should address in a timely manner.