Mold remediation is essential before more issues occur. Opting to not seek professional help can be detrimental to you and your family’s health. Besides, you can also risk re-infestation if you attempt to get rid of mold on your own. Over-the-counter mold test kits are expensive and don’t actually tell you how serious the problem is or where it is concentrated.
However, mold strains affecting limited areas, such as a very small growth in the bathroom tub or on a small section of drywall near a leaky tap, can be easily treated. A mold cleaner can be used to thoroughly wipe an affected area, along with grout and caulking replacement. A small portion of drywall (about 10 square feet or less) with mold is not considered severe either. It can be isolated from the rest of the house and wiped down with a mold remover. But do remember to always look out for additional warning signs it may be elsewhere in your home.
Mold spores grow rapidly in certain environments, and the faster you take steps to get the situation under control the better. The longer you wait, the more you risk letting the growth fester and incur significant mold remediation costs to fix the problem.
Mold thrives in warm and humid conditions. And, as a homeowner, it is vital to inspect for mold growth in these areas on a regular basis. Early detection of mold in your home is important for your health and that of your family and pets. Moreover, while it may be difficult to realize that you have a mold problem, you should immediately contact mold remediation experts as soon as you notice any of the following signs:
1. Mold Odor
Although this is not the same in all cases, some molds give off a strong mildew-like or musty smell. You need to take note of any new strange smells, especially if you’ve just returned from a long trip and your home had been locked up for a while. If you notice a really strong musty smell, it invariably points to a mold problem. While you may not be able to actually see the growth, going by smell is a great way to detect mold infestations.
2. Dark-Colored Spots
This is especially important if you are moving into a new home. If you notice dark spots on the walls of the basement or the bathrooms, the new space may have a mold problem. Molds feed on organic materials, and if the growth is left unchecked for a long enough time it can result in discoloration.
3. Water Damage
Molds thrive in humid areas of the house. Whenever there is a water leak, you risk creating a habitat suited for mold growth, so it’s best to have leaks fixed on time. Furthermore, if leaks occur in hard-to-reach areas, like inside your walls, you should call a mold remediation professional to inspect it and nip any mold growth in the bud.
Signs of water damage may be peeling wallpaper, and cracks in the paint on the walls, or ceiling. Also, homes with a history of flooding are prone to mold growth and would need mold remediation to be considered safe.
Condensation happens when warm, moisture-rich air meets a cold surface. This causes the surface to cool down quickly, releasing water droplets on the surface. This can happen on walls, windows, and in air ducts. This type of moisture build-up encourages mold growth, especially if it happens regularly.
5. Allergic Reactions
People with sensitive or weakened immune systems suffer mold allergies, such as irritated eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing, and in some cases, parched or scaly skin. If you or any of your family members suffer from these conditions, chances are you may have a mold allergy and your home has a mold infestation. Take note to see if these symptoms subside whenever you are away from home
Mold in the basement can be persistent, given the nature of basements – they tend to be much more humid than above-ground levels and typically have poor ventilation and little air flow, a combination that can cause mold to flourish. And of course, basements can be prone to flooding, due to extreme weather or undetected leaks in the pipes or sump pump. In addition, once mold develops, cinder blocks or concrete walls can be difficult to clean due to their rough texture.
To get rid of mold in the basement, scrub the walls using a large brush, and keep in mind that porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles or drywall might need to be removed and replaced. If basement carpet has become moldy, sweep it (while wearing a mask) to loosen the mold and let it dry in the sun if you can move it, or use high-powered fans to remove moisture if it’s affixed to the floor.
To prevent mold in the basement, you need to alter the conditions that can cause it to grow. First, remove dampness by installing a dehumidifier and making sure the dryer vent exhausts externally, if you use your basement for laundry. Then turn your attention outside: Shore up cracks and other foundation issues, and make sure that your soil is properly graded so that rainwater or melting snow goes away from the house, rather than collecting near your foundation.
Much like the basement, the dark, damp atmosphere of an attic is conducive to mold. You should clean it as you would other areas by scrubbing the walls and making sure it hasn’t permeated porous materials.
To prevent mold in the attic, make sure that the vents are directed outside of your house rather than just ending in the attic. It’s also important to check the roof to alleviate issues that can contribute to moisture entering the attic, such as roof leaks, raised shingles and gaps in skylights. Be sure vents and skylights are well-sealed to prevent moisture from coming in.