Do you have a cluttered basement or garage that needs clearing and reorganizing that you keep putting off? Do you know what could be lingering in and around your personal belongings? Mold tends to occur in high moisture environments and areas that aren’t ventilated, such as storage areas. And if you’ve been procrastinating, it has only made it worse, allowing mold to grow.
Calling a professional is by far the best way to properly handle mold removal. However, there is a safe process that needs to be followed, if you do decide to try clean up the clutter on your own. Simply throwing out your belongings may not take care of the problem. The mold can spread.
Do it right by following these steps:
- Know your reaction to mold – Before anything, it might be best to know your weaknesses. Do you have allergies to mold? *If you happen to be allergic to mold or the mold damage seems too catastrophic, don’t be a hero. Skip to step 7 and Call a professional.
- Check before you touch – Before moving your belongings, inspect the area for water damage, leaking pipes, ceilings and roofs. This is usually a sure sign that there could be mold damage.
- Prioritize what you want to keep – If you do see some water damage to your belongings, organize your belongings into lists of what you want to keep and what you want to toss.
- Toss the rest!– Throw out all of the things you don’t want anymore. If you’re unsure about tossing something, just ask yourself, ‘is it worth cleaning?’ If not, toss it.
- Salvage other items – Make sure the items you do want to keep can be cleaned fairly easy. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the mold removal process to be completed correctly. For difficult items, or items that seem unsalvageable, call a professional. Keep in mind, even dead mold can still be allergenic, and some even toxic.
- Thoroughly inspect the area – Upon completion, scrutinize the area again once the items have been removed and see if the water damage is on or in anything else that would be impossible for you to finish the mold removal process, such as walls.
- Call a professional – If there is more water damage, do it right. Professional mold removal is the safest option, regardless of the damage.
Mold can be detrimental to your personal environment and to your health, which can vary depending on the type of mold and your body’s reaction to mold. Be safe when dealing with mold removal, but more importantly, be smart.
This guest post was contributed by Samuel Ott, a mold removal specialist with Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling. He is currently completing his studies at the University of Missouri.