Most people live in a home with mold and never realize it until the mold becomes a problem that affects their health. However, if the homeowner finds the mold before it is a major issue then the remediation/ removal process is simpler and cheaper. So, what are the warning signs of mold that most people ignore?
Mold has a very distinct smell. When mold is in a confined area people notice the odd smell in the area. However, mold can live within walls or behind wallpaper and could potentially mask the scent. If you are unsure if a persistent smell is related to mold or not, you can hire a certified mold inspector who will come inspect the home and conduct some tests.
In some areas it is very easy to spot mold, i.e. in the bathtub/shower. However, in other spots in the home, i.e. the basement/cellar, the homeowner may have to do some further investigating for mold. Mold likes to grow in areas that are usually damp but can also be found in corners and dark areas. So, when inspecting the house for mold, remember to look in damp areas, dark areas, or areas that are known to collect water. Most mold can be easily seen, and a quick perusal of the home may alert the homeowner to any mold problems or potential mold problems. Remember that catching mold before it becomes a major issue saves time and money.
Known Moisture Sources
Moisture is a leading cause of mold. Flooding, roof leaks, pipes bursting, and overflow are all sources of moisture into a home and could cause a potential for mold if not cleaned up and treated properly. Even if there is moisture in the house with no known cause there is still a potential for mold. To prevent or stop the growth of mold in the house, it is important to identify and fix the source of moisture.
Changes in the homeowner’s health, or the health of others living in the home, should not be ignored. If a person living in the house experiences certain symptoms while in the home that disappear while out of the house, then the dwelling may have mold. The people living in the home should take note of when and where these symptoms occur. If the start to happen immediately after walking into one room or into the house but disappear in a different room or outside, then the homeowners should get their home checked for mold. Some symptoms to look out for would be listlessness, congestion, watery eyes.
Currently there are no widely accepted levels of mold that are deemed “safe” or “normal”. This is mostly because mold spore species differ from state to state. Therefore, when conducting air tests in a home, mold inspectors will test to see the level in the home compared to the levels outside of the home.
What to do if there is Mold
If mold was discovered, and the moisture source identified, by the certified mold inspector or by the homeowner’s perusal of the house, then it is time to take care of the mold. A certified mold tester would be able to tell the homeowner the mold levels within the home. However, most people do not know what the next step in the process is. How do people get rid of mold? Who should the homeowner be calling about this problem? Can they take care of the mold themselves? These are all good questions. Below are the steps that a homeowner should take.
- The homeowner should call their insurance company to see if the removal is covered. In most cases it should be covered, depending on the cause. The insurance company may ask the homeowner to get a consultation with a remediation company to see what they might be paying.
- The homeowner must decide if they want to take care of the mold themselves or if they want to hire a professional to do the work. Homeowners should read up on the complexity of mold removal/remediation before making this decision.
- If the homeowner decides to do it themselves, they should make sure there is a containment area, so the mold does not spread. Personal Safety Gear, i.e. respirator masks and disposable jumpsuits, should be worn so as not get sick from the mold. Homeowners should also read up on the state/municipal guidelines for waste disposal.
- If the homeowner decides to use a professional, they should get at least 3 estimates from different companies. To decide on some companies, look at reviews online, check with the Better Business Bureau, and the Health Department. The homeowner could also ask the mold inspector/tester what he knows about the companies.
- Once the homeowner has decided whether to do the work themselves or to hire a professional, the mold should be removed from the property.
- When the mold is removed, the homeowner should have a mold tester come back out to do test the air. This second test will only be testing for acceptable levels of mold in the air as it is impossible to remove all of the mold. The goal of the mold remediation is to get the mold levels inside the home the same as the levels outside of the home.
First Choice Restoration’s highly trained mold cleanup and restoration team will take the needed professional approach to solving your mold issues. To help restore your home and get back your peace of mind, call us now at 800.370.0770.
When disaster strikes, and you need mold cleanup! Call First Choice Restoration! We are here for you!