You’re getting your house ready to sell, and you notice a small patch of black or green creeping up your drywall in the basement. Your thoughts go right to potential respiratory problems and expensive renovations that a toxic mold problem could bring. But is it the time to panic?

Experts say several things should be noted immediately — mold occurs almost everywhere, and not all molds are toxic. The severity of a problem depends on the comparative air quality of the indoor space to the surrounding area, and the severity of a leak or other source of moisture that could be causing the mold.

What do I do if I suspect mold in the house?

If you suspect you have a mold issue on your rented property, either through sight, smell or the presence of water in your home, you should alert your landlord. If you own the home, contact a mold assessment professional to inspect the area or take air samples to determine the potential presence of mold in your living space.

Home inspectors typically can’t address a mold issue.