Why is mold growing in my home?
Molds come in many colors; both white and black molds are shown here. During our Grand Rapids home inspections it is not uncommon for us to run across some.
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; the spores are invisible to the
naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when
mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them
will grow without water or moisture.
Health and Mold
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and
begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens
(substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic
substances (mycotoxins). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or
delayed. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both
mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people,
exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or
skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more
severe reactions. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with
chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their
Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma
should avoid contact with or exposure to molds.
How do I get my home tested for mold?
Harold Van Dyk of HJ Home Inspections, Inc. from Grand Rapids, MI, is a Certified Mold Inspector. Mold inspecting and
testing starts with a General Visual Mold Inspection of the home and most often concludes with
air-sampling and/or swab sampling. The samples are sent to an AIHA accredited EMLAP where
the samples are analyzed and a report is generated by Registered Clinical Laboratory Technician.
The report is then emailed to HJ Home Inspections. HJ Home Inspections will then review the
report with you in conjunction with the findings of the initial General Visual Mold Inspection of
the home. Should elevated conditions exist; a corrective remediation plan of action can then be
Providing Home Inspection services in the Greater Grand Rapids area and all of West Michigan.
Harold Van Dyk, Home Inspector, HJ Home Inspections, Grand Rapids, MI, Certified Master Inspector, Certified Mold Inspector