Discovering mold in your home can be scary. You’ve probably heard of all of the horror stories related to mold illnesses and the costs associated with removing it from your home. Now that you have found it in your own home, a bunch of questions are probably floating through your head.
If you have a mold issue on the walls of your home, it can be an unsightly view. The black and green spots don’t typically make for a beautiful home. Mold grows quickly so if your walls are wet, they may quickly become covered in it. Looking for a quick fix and wondering if you can paint over mold?
Painting over mold is one of the most common methods to hide mold. But that is the problem – you are only hiding the mold temporarily. Many people choose this solution because it is the quickest solution to hide the ugly signs of mold on their walls. Often, when people choose to paint over mold it is because of ignorance. They simply are not educated about the seriousness of mold in the home. However, it is all too common for landlords, propery managers and even some homeowners to paint over mold because it is the cheapest and fastest way to cover mold.
Mold related illnesses may be one of the most prominent health issues that doctors are missing today. They can be a true hidden illness that goes undiagnosed for years. What a scary thought!
There are potentially millions of people who are currently suffering from a mystery illness, and their doctors don’t have a clue what is causing their ailments. They are often referred to doctor after doctor, repeatedly being turned away.
Mold toxins are so unique, and their effects are wide and far-reaching. Symptoms of mold related illnesses are complex and they can be mistaken for many other illnesses. All of this makes it difficult for doctors to find the correct diagnosis.
DIY vs Professional
Are you a “DIY-er” at heart? A lot of people love the thrill of taking on home projects from building their own furniture to remodeling a kitchen. DIY can be a great hobby, involve the entire family and save a lot of money. But what about when it comes to major issues like mold remediation?
Mold inside your house is a serious condition. If you’ve seen some or suspect it in your home, you may be wondering what the best method is to remove it. No matter what, mold is definitely different than your typical home maintenance project. When it comes to mold remediation in your home, should you try to DIY or should you call in the professionals?
Q. Being advocates for healthy homes, how often do you get contacted concerning black mold and how to remove it?
Lisa: We get contacted quite often for mold inquiries from people all across the country, but most people are unaware if they actually have mold, the scope of the problem or how to properly remove it. Many people will experience hay fever like symptoms, but if they can’t see visible mold, they tend to think it doesn’t exist or isn’t a real threat.
Ron: We always start by advising the person test, not guess. Too many people unknowingly put themselves and/or their loved ones in danger by ignoring the visible signs of moisture or water damage and/or a musty smell. They assume it will go away on its own. Many people wait too long before addressing the root cause of the issue – typically a leaky water source.
Mold in Basements: Mold Symptoms
Mold in the basement can be a major problem and can seriously worry you. Mold can easily grow in the basement of your house or apartment building, especially in old buildings. This can create a very unhealthy living environment. How can you recognize the existence of basement mold?
Mold is the last thing you want to deal with in your home. Not only does it spread quickly, potentially damaging the structure of your home, it can also cause serious health problems to you or your family members. If you know, or even suspect, you have mold, it’s crucial that you take care of it quickly.
Mold Prevention in the Home
Mold is a common issue for many homeowners and renters. It is important to know how to prevent mold as well as when you need a professional to remedy your mold problem.
This infographic includes:
- How to identify mold growing in your home
- How mold can affect your health
- When to go professional for mold removal
This infographic is provided by 1-800 WATER DAMAGE.
Finding mold can make your stomach drop. Not only is it unsightly, but it can cause serious damage to your health. When you see mold, your first thought may be one of fear and panic. Is this mold dangerous? How far has it spread? How much is it going to cost to get rid of it?
Mold Remediation Tactics Used to Rack Up High Bills
(Secrets mold remediation companies don’t want you to know.)
A few bad apples can ruin the bunch. As a result, mold remediation companies have a bad reputation. We are known to bill for remedies to problems that don’t exist. With high insurance deductibles and outrageous estimates, it’s no wonder most home owners feel used and abused after an initial mold inspection. There’s hope. We’ve put together a list of billing tactics other restoration companies don’t want you to know to help consumers protect themselves and rebuild trust for honest restoration companies who believe integrity and transparency should be the rule, not the exception.
A Silent Threat
It creeps uninvited into damp, dark places, silently infiltrating your basement, your crawlspace, and your bathroom. It’s mold — and it’s one of the most dreaded household infestations a homeowner can face. The slightest indication of mold can leave homeowners filled with dread because the unpleasant fungi are notoriously difficult to eliminate. What is worse is that mold thrives on moisture as a means to multiply in size and scope. Once a small patch of mold has been remediated, it can often remain hanging in the air or clinging to a crack in a surface, only to return with a vengeance.
There are myriad cleaning products that promise to eliminate mold completely. Aside from calling a cleanup crew, the following steps are one of the most effective ways to safely and effectively oust unwelcome mold from your home. To stop a mold infestation, you must understand where mold comes from, how it spreads, and why it’s so difficult to eliminate.
Mold is a fungus that is mostly present in areas with damp and it lives in the air or on the surfaces of it. It can be found almost everywhere and it tends to be harmless when outside in the fresh air. Still, if it grows inside a building it can be a cause of many problems. In case you are thinking of buying a new house or apartment, have it checked for mold to avoid any later surprises.
The Dangers of Mold Spores
Having mold circulating in the air of a home can lead to multiple health problems, including allergic symptoms such as itchy skin, watery eyes and chronic coughing. There are many species of mold spores living outside that enter homes through venting systems such as air conditioning, in addition to doorways and windows. There are types of mold with mycotoxins that can weaken an individual’s immune system. Mold spores settle on everything in a building, including carpeting, walls and bedding. While homeowners may find it easy to clean these surfaces thoroughly, it is more difficult to clean mold from ductwork and vents.
The thought of mold, wherever you might find it, is icky – it’s slimy, fuzzy and smelly. Yes, it might be a necessary organism, given how it helps to decompose organic waste in our eco-system. Mold is a great friend of nature, but it isn’t that great of a thing to have growing at home. When left undetected, it can cause serious allergic reactions and infections in your family. The effects are far worse if you have infants, young children, elderly family members and individuals with compromised immune systems in your family. Here’s a simple guide that allows you to assess your home and look out for specific kinds of molds in specific areas:
It is frustrating and sometimes downright scary to notice mold growth on your walls, favorite furniture, and personal belongings. In such cases moldy drywall and other porous items typically have to be discarded by professional mold remediators. Fortunately, you can often salvage some specific types of moldy semi porous and non porous or hard items yourself. In this post we share some tips on removing mold from hard or semi porous and non porous surfaces.
Most fungi and fungi-like parasites, especially those found at houses or any kind of structures, are most often known and called as molds. These molds thrive and live on dead and living organisms.
Is Your Home Mold Infested?
Your first reaction when you discover mold in your home is to grab a sponge and some disinfectant, roll up your sleeves and scrub it clean. If the area is small this can be the best approach.
However, if you are dealing with a larger space or the mold is within the confines of a wall or heating vent, you will need to call in the services of a professional.
A mold remediator does much more than simply taking on the task of removing the mold. Their services include:
- Inspecting your home for mold contamination: If you suspect that you may have a mold problem in your home, yet you have been unable to locate it yourself, a professional has the insight and tools to find it.
- Identify the underlying cause of the mold: Mold is actually a symptom of a larger problem. If you have mold in your home, it is indicative of a collection of moisture. A professional who specializes in mold remediation will be able to explain why the mold is there and how to treat the root cause.
- Treat the underlying cause of the mold: After identifying the cause of the mold they can help treat the problem so that once the mold is removed, it won’t reoccur.
- Mold remediation: They will remove the mold for you. Removing mold can be a dangerous operation and needs to be done with the least amount of danger to those living there.
- Arrange for contractors to fix any mold-damaged areas: Sometimes during mold remediation, damage is done to the home. This is usually unavoidable because if the mold has invested the walls, they may need to be removed.
- Testing of the home after remediation: After the home has been cleared of mold, the homeowner should insist on air quality tests to ensure the mold has indeed been completely removed.
How Do I Find a Mold Remediation Service?
Finding a company that handles mold remediation services can be as simple as perusing the local yellow pages. It’s important to choose a company that is experienced in mold removal as opposed to a company that specializes in general cleaning.
The mold spores need to be removed properly without the risk of re-infestation. It’s also very important that the reason the mold appeared be treated. Simply removing the mold may solve the temporary problem but it will do little long-term.
It is also important to consider that the mold may have migrated into the heating or cooling systems of your home. If this is the case, the mold can spread quickly and also can become a health risk because you are constantly breathing the spores in.
Simply calling a cleaning company that specializes in cleaning vents may not be enough. They need to be aware that there is a for mold and take the necessary precautions to remove it safely.
If you are facing removing a large amount of mold from your home you should call a mold removal professional. They have the knowledge and equipment you need to ensure the safety of everyone who lives in your home.
Further Recommended Reading
Do You Suspect Mold in Your Home?
If you suspect mold in your home, you are probably anxious to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. If you have small children, older adults, or animals in your home, it is even more important to rid your home of mold effectively so that it doesn’t adversely affect their health.
Follow these three tips for choosing a reliable and competent mold remediator:
Only choose mold remediators that are certified
To ensure the highest quality of service, go with mold remediators that perform all of their own inspections and remediations. You can find this out by asking if they hire subcontractors.You can also find out if a mold remediation company is reliable by asking for a list of past clients. Generally, mold remediators who have been in business for a while and who have worked in a variety of settings including commercial and residential areas will be able to perform the most reliable services for you and your home.
Find a mold remediator that will inspect your home before they begin work
You can find mold remediation companies that will test for asbestos and lead as well as different types of mold. When the mold remediators visit your home for the first time, expect them to do a visual pre-inspection of your property before proceeding. Later, the mold remediators should perform both an air-quality check and a swab check to test for mold.After your home is checked by the mold remediators, get a proposal of services that the remediators plan on providing for you home. Look for a remediation company that will give you general information about mold and its health risks, thorough lab results, and a detailed list of the procedures that will be performed on your behalf to fix the mold problem. Make sure that contact information is included in the proposal so you’ll know who to get in touch with in case of problems.The best mold remediators will be prepared to stand by their service. After your home has been disinfected, it should be retested for any remaining traces of mold. Even a little leftover mold can reproduce quickly and undo all the work that you paid for. Look for a mold remediator that will give you a written document certifying that your home has been cleared of all mold.
Check for a warranty
Check that the mold remediator also offers to come back and redo any area that shows signs of mold within six months to a year. If the mold remediator is not confident enough to back up their service with this guarantee, look elsewhere.
By taking a little extra time to choose the best mold remediator for your home, you will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have hired the very best to take care of a serious problem.
Further Recommended Reading
When Can I Safely Re-Occupy My Home?
This is the most common question often asked after a major calamity. Homes that have sustained any flood damage should expect to have a mold contamination with visible growth, and should not be re-occupied until the necessary mold remediation is performed.
Mold is a now considered as a national health crisis of epidemic proportions due to the health effects from exposure that most commonly occur by inhalation, skin contact, and sometimes, ingestion can be extremely dangerous to anyone, depending on indoor air counts and length of exposure.
It is strongly advised that mold remediation work involving large areas (100 sq ft or 10 ft x 10 ft) should be performed by trained mold remediation experts.
In normal circumstances, areas exceeding 25 to 30 sq ft should also be remediated by trained personnel who can contain the area and remove the mold effectively and safely. By following this suggestion, you don’t risk being exposed to harmful molds and their effects.
Do-It-Yourself Mold Remediation
If you decide to do mold clean up by yourselves, it is strongly advised to use protective equipment and dutifully follow these tips. Use dust masks and gloves, when inspecting areas small that have severe presence of molds.
Always remember to stay for a maximum of 15 minutes only on places were there is severe mold contamination. As much as possible minimize dust release as it also includes mold spores.
If you are trying to clean up an area of at least 100 square feet or a total area of 10 feet by 10 feet, use half-face air purifying respirators with goggles and gloves for safety purposes.
In the event that you are covering an area of 100 square feet it is highly advised to use a full-face air purifying respirator, gloves and disposable cover all. Doing so lowers your chance to exposure to mold spore to zero. But it is still highly suggested that a professional do this.
Mold Remediation in a Two Story Home
If you are doing clean up on a two story house, thoroughly seal-off the second floor by using poly sheeting. Remember to always run a high power exhaust fan in the area where you are working to provide ventilation and prevent possible infiltration of any airborne mold or bacteria into adjoining spaces.
To clean up small debris and dust, use vacuum cleaners with filters. After all these, clean off and disinfect the area with a detergent and bleach solution.
Health and safety advisories to remember when cleaning up after flooding:
- Be aware of black mold that are growing on sheetrock. There is a possibility that it may be Stachybotrys chartarum. This kind of mold produces a toxin which has been associated with severe health problems in humans.
- Be vigilant in looking for a whitish or yellowish cotton candy-like mold growth that is observed in many homes.This mold growth has been identified in some testing as Fusarium, which like the black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum, also produces a toxin that is associated with adverse health problems in humans.
- If you smell a gas leak, it is highly advised to call your utility company. Doing so prevents the possibility of fire or explosion that may lead to more damaged property or loss of life.
- Be aware to stay away from downed power lines and damaged electrical wires. A sudden electrical surge may prove fatal.
- Usually, mold clean-up activities may result in the release of lead paint dust. It is recommended for households that have children under the age of 7 to have a lead dust wipe post clearance testing.Doing this ensures the safety of everyone in your household from possible lead poisoning.
- There is a probability that the plaster that you may be working on may contain asbestos. More extensive testing is required to really understand and know the scope of this potential problem.It is good to know that plaster can be inexpensively tested for asbestos content. Cleaning-up of asbestos-containing plaster surfaces poses a very severe health risk to workers and occupants.
- In the event that you are using a gas powered generator, place them outside the house. Long term exposure to carbon monoxide will kill anyone.