Having mold growing in your home can be a serious problem. Breathing in mold spores is a common trigger for allergies and asthma attacks, and it can also create issues for people with other respiratory or breathing problems. Even worse is if there is black mold present in your home as this can potentially be toxic and damage your family’s health. If you find mold in your home, it may be too late for you to take care of it without professional help. However, if you find a very small amount of mold and think it is contained, then you may be able to take care of it on your own. With these facts in mind, here is everything you need to know about removing mold from your home.
Determine the Cause of the Mold Infestation
If you see visible mold growth or smell moldy odors in your home, the first step is to determine what is causing the problem. Most cases of mold are a result of water damage due to leaky plumbing, flooding, or other similar issues. However, mold growth can also result from excess indoor humidity, and this problem will need to be tackled in a different way. If you have a hole in the wall or if you have a damaged space, these spaces tend to be more likely to have mold. Something that people tend to miss is checking around their kitchen space. There is a lot of water in the kitchen so make sure that you are reviewing the space around where the mold is. For example, behind the wall where the mold is or under the appliances so you have a better idea of what is causing the mold and what is affected by the mold. Additionally, if you have wallpaper near the mold, it is likely that the mold is under the wallpaper as well. It can be a pain to remove sections of wallpaper but it’s important to ensure that you don’t have mold under your wallpaper. The risk of ignoring mold under the wallpaper is too high when you and your family’s health is being threatened by mold.
Tackle the Underlying Source of the Mold
Before you can actually begin mold damage remediation, it is first necessary to take care of the underlying problem that is causing the mold growth. Simply attempting to clean up the mold won’t have any long-term effect if you don’t eliminate the underlying problem first since the mold will quickly come back. This can mean fixing your leaky plumbing or solving flooding issues. Even a small drip from your washing machine can turn into a mold problem down the road if it isn’t taken care of. In addition to moving your washer and dryer to check under them, also check the connectors and piping behind them for possible needs of getting them replaced.
Alternatively, if the mold problems are caused by excess indoor humidity, you may need to install a whole-home dehumidifier to prevent the problem from reoccurring. If you have something that tends to hold onto water or humidity, then you need to either relocate it to a place where it can dry or doesn’t get water on it in the first place.
Many older homes have single-pane windows or outdoor doors that don’t have proper sealing on them. If you have a single pane window, then you are at a higher risk of getting moisture from the outside inside. Mold doesn’t tend to thrive in bright light places like the pane of your window so even if you don’t have mold by your window, the moisture can still come from the windows.
Remove Contaminated Materials and Disinfect the Affected Areas
For mold caused by water damage, remediation involves removing any soaked furnishings or building materials and then using fans and other methods to fully dry out the affected areas. Once this is complete, it is then necessary to fully clean and disinfect the area and apply fungicide to kill the mold and prevent it from spreading further. In many cases, this involves removing insulation, drywall, and other building materials, which is a job usually best left to the professionals.
High humidity can cause mold to grow inside your walls, basement, attic, and other parts of the home. This type of mold growth will also need to be cleaned and disinfected in the same way. However, humidity can also cause mold to grow inside your building’s ductwork, in which case you will need to have your ducts professionally cleaned.
If you find black mold in your home, it’s likely that you’ll need professional help to fully get rid of the mold. Otherwise, the mold could just keep coming back. Most mold remediation companies will come out and evaluate how bad the mold problem is. In some cases, they will recommend that you stay somewhere else to prevent getting sick. However, there are situations where they may find that the mold problem is worse than what was seen on the surface. At that point, they may recommend completely replacing walls, flooring, and other things that take a lot of time and money to do so be prepared for that as a worst-case scenario.
Mold remediation is almost never a simple or straightforward process. Whenever mold is present inside a building, millions of spores are constantly being released and this can potentially allow the mold to quickly spread to other parts of the building. These spores can also allow the mold to quickly return if the job isn’t done properly. For these reasons and more, it is always recommended that you hire a professional for any of your mold remediation needs.