When it comes to mold, there are some jobs better left to the experts. Even if you’ve done your best to control moisture in your home or scrubbed away spots of mold growth, there are signs and warnings you’ll still want to watch out for. Unfortunately, even with maintenance and preventative measures, mold can still find its way into nooks and crannies, leading to a bigger problem that requires professional intervention. Educate yourself and know what to look for when it comes to mold and mold removal.
Warning Signs of Mold and Water Damage
- You may smell mold before you see it. Mold will give off a musty or damp odor. If the smell is stronger in one particular area or room, then that may be the source of the water damage. If smells worsen with heating or A/C on then that could mean a mold problem in the HVAC, A/C, or heater.
- Mold can grow on almost any surface including ceilings, wallpaper, flooring, wood, and insulation. It is typically easy to spot. It will appear as white or black specks. It can also appear as stains on the wall or ceilings.
- Watch for floors that are warped or popping up. Pay attention to any damp or wet spots on carpets and other flooring. Look for water along baseboards.
- Look for any changes in water pressure or on water bills. Listen for sounds of dripping, trickling, or rushing water, especially behind walls.
- Mold can hide in areas like ceiling tiles, behind walls, in attics or under flooring. Pay attention to any signs of dampness, softness of material, discoloration, bubbling, or wrinkling.
- Roof leaks are a common culprit for water damage. Signs of damage may include drips, discoloration on ceilings, crumbling drywall, shingles that are cupped or curling, musty smells in the attic, wood decay in the attic and around windows, and mold on insulation.
- Humid areas and areas with high water use are the most common places for mold growth. Be observant of bathrooms, laundry rooms, refrigerators with ice machines, kitchens, basements, and around water heaters.
When to Call a Professional
- When taking on the task of cleaning mold there are several factors to consider. Most jobs that cover only a small surface such as in a bathroom or kitchen can be handled using soapy water or a bleach and water solution. Precautions should be taken, especially if you are someone with asthma or severe allergies. If the water damaged area is larger than 10 feet, then you may need to consult a professional. You can also use recommendations from the EPA guide.
- Remember that mold does not grow without moisture. When mold is found, the source of the moisture must also be addressed, or the mold will return. If you have found mold near a window, on a ceiling, or under flooring due to a leak, then you will want to consider calling in the professionals to do the cleanup. Professionals will know how to handle the water damage properly and ensure that there is no further mold exposure.
- Never deal with contaminated water on your own. If water or mold damage was caused by water left by sewage or washing, then professionals should be called.
- If you think you may have a mold issue in your A/C Unit, Heating, or HVAC system then you will want to take precautions. Do not run the HVAC system as it may spread mold further. Consult a professional and use the EPA guide to help you.
Why Call a Professional?
- Water Restoration Professionals have all of the necessary equipment and expertise to detect even hidden moisture in walls or floors. Materials that are left wet or damp can trigger mold growth and it can spread very quickly if not taken care of properly. If mold is detected, these professionals know how to assess damages and act quickly to remove damaged areas and prevent further contamination.
- Water damage professionals have the training and expertise to help you identify which items and materials can be restored and which items will need to be replaced.
- Cleaning up water damaged areas can be difficult and pose many risks. Choosing to do repairs on your own could put your health at risk or more likely leave you spending more money in the long run.
- Repairing a home that has water damage is a process that starts with an emergency contact and ends with a home restored to its pre-loss condition.
Nobody likes to deal with mold, but if you do find it, it’s important to determine the severity and what the cause may be. You need to determine if it’s possible to take care of your own mold removal and when it may be time to call in the experts. Mold should never be ignored. If you’re ever unsure about how to proceed, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A professional should be called if there are questions, concerns, or uncertainty.
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