Try not to panic. Finding mold in your home may seem like a scary thing, but there are some things you need to remember. Mold is everywhere and finding it does not necessarily mean you’ve been exposed.
Exposure is when toxins from mold have been inhaled, ingested, or absorbed. If mold is hiding in a wall, for instance, it may not have made its way into the air yet. However, it does not mean that you should ignore the problem. If exposed to mold, especially over a period of time, it can cause serious health problems and even destroy the structure of your home. If mold is not cleaned up properly then it will continue to grow, putting you and your home at risk.
How Do I Know There is Mold?
- Mold is typically easy to spot. It looks like white or black spots. You may see it as a stain on walls, or ceilings. It can grow on almost any surface including ceilings, wallpaper, flooring, wood, and insulation.
- Mold will give off a musty or damp odor.
Can I Clean Up Mold on My Own?
- 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.
When Should I Call a Professional?
- 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.
Do I Need to Have My Home Tested for Mold?
- Mold sampling can be very expensive and there are no set standards for testing. It is not recommended by the CDC to do mold testing. Health effects are different for different people so testing is not reliable enough to know if a person in your home may become sick. The best thing to do is to remove the mold safely and do the work necessary to prevent mold growth in the future.
If you do find mold in your home, it needs to be taken care of. Mold growth means risk of health problems and damage to your home’s structure. Although it’s not fun to deal with, most mold problems are small and can be taken care of with a little bit of scrubbing. If a larger leak is found or flooding has occurred, you will need to call in professional water restoration specialists to properly address and eliminate the water damage.
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