Have you seen a spot or patch on your wall that’s a slightly different color than it should be, or perhaps caught the scent of some mustiness in your basement? These are both common signs that mold may have colonized somewhere in your home. What’s more, is that mold isn’t just something that looks unsightly, it can lead to serious health effects and medical complications for those in the home. It can even begin to negatively impact the structural integrity of your home, and jeopardize your ability to live there, so it’s critical to do something about it at the first sign that it has developed.
But what are the first signs? How do you know for sure if you have mold, and what do you do about it? In this post, we’re going to take you through the steps and processes that will help you get the help you need to address mold problems in your home. We’ll start with how to identify it, and cover why getting professional help is crucial to effective remediation and preventing its return. While it may seem like a daunting project, taking care of mold quickly can help keep you and your family safe from dangers to your health as well as extensive repairs that have substantial costs associated with them. Let’s get into it.
Having some mold in the home is more common than you might think, but that doesn’t mean it’s something to ignore. Mold will appear in many different forms and colors, with patches or spots that can appear to be black, white, green, and even orange. Mold requires a dark area that’s also exposed to some sort of moisture, such as condensation, humidity, a leaky pipe, or poor drainage. This means prime spots to find mold in your home are going to include bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and around doors, windows, and pipes, which should all be checked for a fuzzy substance growing on the surface.
Another major sign is that mold will always create a distinct odor, typically described as musty, which is what you might smell in a damp, dank basement. This means if you’re in your basement, or any other area of your home, and catch a whiff of that smell, there’s a good chance you have some mold somewhere that needs to be addressed.
Now that you know what you’re looking for and where you can generally find it, it’s time to cover some of the risks of mold in your home and why you want to be able to identify it. Mold is more than a gross patch or unsightly blemish on your walls or ceilings, and it poses a significant threat to anyone in the home with a compromised immune system, or chronic conditions like allergies, asthma, or more serious respiratory conditions.
Being exposed to mold can lead to a range of symptoms, depending on the individual, and can include coughing, wheezing, eye irritation, and even skin irritation in some cases. Individuals with known allergies to mold should take care, as they will typically have more serious reactions, and those with compromised immune systems are more prone to infections of the airway or lungs.
Beyond health risks, mold colonization in your home poses a very real risk of damage to the structure itself. Once mold has taken hold, it can cause rot and damage to materials like wood, drywall, ceiling tiles, carpeting, wallpaper, paneling, and more. This damage isn’t just costly to repair, it can significantly reduce the overall value of the property.
If you think you found mold in your home, the first step is to not panic. You may have felt your stomach drop when you saw those fuzzy patches, but there are things you can do immediately to help mitigate the damage until you can get a professional to take a look.
One of the first things you want to do is to try to identify the source of the moisture that’s feeding the mold. You’ll be looking for leaky pipes, areas of general dampness, and more. Once you find these spots, use fans and dehumidifiers to circulate the air while removing evaporated water from it.
Try not to disturb the mold, since that can cause it to spread. Take note of what kind of surface it’s growing on since glass or tile aren’t porous, but wood, drywall, and carpeting are.
Once you’ve got some preliminary measures set up to stop the problem from getting worse, but now it’s time to call in an expert for a professional mold inspection. These assessments won’t be just by eye, they’ll involve determining the full extent of the issue, the type of mold that is present, and creating a remediation plan.
It might be tempting to try the DIY route, but in most cases, the average homeowner won’t have the needed equipment or expertise to get the project done quickly enough to stop the damage from getting worse.
Most homeowners have taken a DIY approach to more than one project, but mold remediation isn’t one you want to gamble with. A professional assessor will not only have the specialized equipment to get rid of the excess moisture fast, but the practical experience to measure the remaining levels to make sure nothing is missed.
In some cases, the remediation will require additional steps beyond simply drying out and cleaning up. This might mean making improvements to existing ventilation, fixing structural damage, or installing equipment to help manage your home’s humidity levels.
Working with a professional can help ensure that not only is the problem addressed effectively, but that your home is restored to its pre-mold condition. If you’re concerned about mold in your home, don’t wait until it’s too late, reach out to a professional today to have expert assessment and testing done.