If you think you might have mold in your home, you’re probably right. Mold can be found anywhere, including inside buildings.
Mold grows in moist places. This moisture could result from water damage, weather, condensation, or just spills that are not quickly taken care of. Mold reproduces by creating new spores, which can travel through the air. They begin to grow when they land in a location with excess moisture.
The presence of mold may not always be obvious or apparent. But if the mold begins to grow and expand throughout your home, there can be many complications to the structure and functionality of your home and the health and safety of your family.
That is why it is crucial to remove mold from your home quickly and thoroughly. In many cases, proper removal of mold and restoration after mold damage has occurred requires the help of professionals with the correct knowledge, skills, and equipment to take care of the problems that come with mold in your home.
There are three steps to take care of mold found inside your home — assess, clean, and prevent.
First, you should assess the damage, determine how far the mold has spread, and identify where the moisture that is causing the mold is coming from.
If you are unsure if mold is present or how far it has grown, here are some signs of mold to be aware of. Dark spots on ceilings, floors, or walls can be signs of mold, especially if they return after cleaning. The color of the spots can vary from off-white to green to brown to black but is usually not colorful.
Another sign is a musty or rotten smell. Mold usually smells like damp soil or leaves and is fairly unpleasant. That smell comes from Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (mVOC) that are released by mold and bacteria. This mVOC can cause respiratory issues, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. So if you notice an area of your home smells dank or musty, be sure to address it immediately.
Mold can also cause drywall or flooring to warp or bubble. Even without a smell or dark stains, mold can still be present and cause damage to your home. There are many unexpected places mold can grow, including in or under wallpaper, paint, drywall, insulation, or even in dust.
The EPA suggests that any instance of mold that covers 10 square feet or more should be addressed by professional clean-up and restoration specialists. However, there are a few instances that should be handled by professionals no matter how much space is impacted.
If the mold results from “blackwater” leaking, even a small amount of mold can be dangerous to clean up without the correct products and equipment. “Blackwater” is the term for water from plumbing systems that has come into contact with human waste. If you’ve recently had a bathroom flood, there is a possibility that the mold comes from “blackwater” damage.
Professionals should always be hired to help if you think the HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system has been contaminated with mold. Continuing to run the HVAC system with the possibility of mold can contaminate multiple areas of your home and make cleaning more difficult.
The very first step to removing and cleaning areas of mold is to fix whatever is causing the problem of extra moisture that allows the mold to grow. If this problem is not resolved, the mold will come right back or even expand to other areas of your home.
Make sure all sources of excess water are appropriately repaired. These sources could be broken or ill-fitting plumbing pipes or fixtures, windows that are not sealed properly, a damaged or worn roof, or simply an environment that is too humid.
Once the source of the moisture is taken care of and the area is as dry as possible, the next step is to remove all of the mold. Be sure to wear protective equipment such as n95 masks and gloves during this part of the process. Mold must be removed entirely, not covered, caulked, or painted over.
Some absorbent materials are near impossible to completely clean of mold. Ceiling tiles, carpet, or materials that are porous or absorbent will need to be thrown away. Professional mold removal experts can offer possible solutions for items that have sentimental value that are not able to be scrubbed.
To remove the mold, scrub the area with detergent or bleach (never use bleach and ammonia together). This process might have to be repeated several times. Sometimes the cosmetic damage from mold is impossible to reverse completely, but once the mold is properly removed, the area can usually be restored.
After cleaning the area, it is just as important to ensure it dries completely. Certain products can be applied to seal the area and prevent mold from returning, but it is crucial to use these products correctly and rely on professionals if you have any questions or concerns.
Just as it is crucial to fix all sources of excessive moisture before cleaning up mold, it is essential to prevent mold by controlling the amount of moisture in your home. Your home should be well-ventilated, so it can be helpful to incorporate fans or de-humidifiers and ensure dryers are vented to the outside.
Indoor humidity can be measured with a relatively inexpensive monitoring device and should not exceed 60 percent. If you notice condensation collecting on your windows or other surfaces, that is a sign that the interior of your home is too humid.
Another vital factor of mold prevention is proper and consistent cleaning, preferably with mold-killing or resistant cleaners. The liquid should be cleaned up as quickly as possible whenever flooding or spills occur. Mold is less likely to grow if flooding is cleaned up within 48 hours.
Mold Removal and Remediation with Western Disaster Clean UpIt can be scary to discover mold in your home, but Wester Disaster Clean Up is here to help with a team of technicians ready to help any time, day or night, 24/7. We’ve got the experience and equipment to restore your home and keep your family safe as quickly as possible with high-quality results. Contact us today to get started on the remediation of your home after any disaster.