If you’ve detected musty odors or spotted what you think is mold, it can be frightening. Mold is a hazard that can crop up when you least expect it, and a surprising number of homes have hidden mold issues. The key to handling the situation effectively is to be proactive and take action as soon as possible.
Mold damage can affect your home’s structure, flooring, walls, furnishings, and is nothing nice to look at. Even worse, it can have adverse effects on the health of humans and animals, making mold problems all the more pressing. Here’s what to do if you suspect that mold is growing in your home.
1. Don’t try to touch or clean anything that you think is contaminated. Even if you only see a small bit of mold, the underlying problems can be much larger and more dangerous than you initially realize. The cleaners and chemicals available commercially won’t get rid of mold or prevent its growth, and professional remediation is needed to resolve the issue permanently.
2. Contact a trusted professional for mold removal and restoration. You want to ensure that the company you choose will handle the job safely and prevent any damage from spreading to other parts of your house. Technicians have the experience and training needed to not only remove mold damage but find its source.
3. Don’t automatically throw things out. Not only is it unsafe to place contaminated items into your garbage can, but it may also be unnecessary. In many cases, the professionals can restore items so you can avoid the expense of replacing your belongings.
A team of professionals is well equipped to get rid of mold damage in your home or business, prevent recurring issues, and give you peace of mind.
It still surprises me how many of our customers think that mold is their fault. Among our older clients, there is a mistaken belief that bad housekeeping is what causes mold to develop. One client felt that her dirty kitchen is what “gave the mold a toehold.” It just was not true, but I do not believe we ever convinced her.
As a mold remediation specialist, one of the first things I learned is that mold is everywhere. It is in every home and business in Florida and, for the most part, that is perfectly fine. Mold spores are tiny, inert particles which do not affect anything until they have enough moisture and food along with the right temperature to expand and grow.
Housekeeping plays no part in mold growth unless the home belongs to a hoarder. Even then, it still only happens when those three factors I mentioned are all in the right mix. The chance for growth in the home of a hoarder only increases because the resident cannot see around the piles of stuff to find where there is a leaking pipe or a drip down the wall from a weak spot in the roof.
When mold does get that ‘toehold,’ a remediation service sends out a work crew like mine to determine where the mold started and how far it has spread. I can usually find the source within an hour or two using my eyesight, sense of smell, and an air content meter. This device measures the percentage of mold in the air and directs me to the highest concentration very quickly.
Now, it is easy to remove mold. All we need do is take out every piece of building material (drywall and ceiling tiles for example) and personal property (curtains and furniture) that has mold. The difficult part is cleaning the mold off these items and returning them to the home.
In most cases, I can use dry cleaning cloths to wipe down surfaces to remove mold. When the level of contamination is a bit thicker, my crew and I use a cleaner in our company inventory to loosen the mold and then remove it. If the mold resists, we deploy commercial vacuums with special filters that are designed to capture even a single spore.
As a home owner or resident, you must remember that you are not responsible for mold growing in your home. To remediate the effects of it and remove it, you should contact a professional mold restoration company immediately when you first suspect there might be a problem.