Homes that develop mold often have an underlying issue that contributes to the mold. A home that is dry will not develop mold. Therefore, if you notice that your home has a mold problem, you likely also have a moisture problem that is causing the mold to grow. Once you discover the mold in your home, you must evaluate its extent and determine if the problem is small enough to handle on your own or if you need a professional mold removal company to complete mold remediation.
How To Get Mold Out / How To Treat Mold
The first step in the mold removal process is to determine the cause of the mold. In some cases, you may have a water leak somewhere in your home that is feeding the mold. In others, the mold may be caused by a damp basement. Discovering the source of the water that causes the mold to grow is important. If you remedy the mold problem without fixing its source, the mold will keep recurring, costing you more money to fix in the end. Therefore, you must find the source and fix that problem first.
After you have corrected the moisture problem that contributed to your mold problem, you need to evaluate the extent of the mold damage. The types of damage you find will have an impact on the mold removal techniques you use through the remediation process. The types of materials damaged by the mold will also impact your cleaning techniques. Depending on the extent of damage and the materials involved, you may need to use more than one method during your clean-up process.
Cleaning up a mold problem requires more than just washing the area with bleach. Even though bleach kills mold, it isn’t approved by the environmental protection agency for the purpose of cleaning mold problems. If liquid is present along with the mold, use a wet-dry vacuum to remove the liquid and mold from the area. However, if the area is simply damp, do not use a wet-dry vac or you will spread the spores instead. On hard, dry surfaces, wipe the area with wipes or a cloth dipped in a water and detergent mixture. Dry the area thoroughly after mold removal to prevent recurrence. If you must vacuum a dry area, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to ensure proper mold removal. If you don’t use a HEPA filter, the vacuum will spread the spores around instead of removing them.
While you should be able to succeed in mold removal from most materials, some items can’t be salvaged when mold is involved. Items made from paper typically must be thrown out if they are impacted by the mold. Any material that is porous should be discarded. However, you shouldn’t simply throw these items in your trash cans. The infected materials must be sealed completely in two polyethylene plastic bags before you throw them away. If items are too large for plastic bags, wrap the items in polyethylene sheets and use duct tape to seal the wrapping.
Signs of a Mold Problem
- If you notice a water leak or moisture problem in an area of your home, chances of finding a corresponding mold problem is high. A pipe break, sewer backup or even steam from your shower can result in a mold problem.
- A musty smell in your home can be an indicator of the existence of a mold problem in your home, especially if you didn’t notice the smell before.
- Many people are allergic to molds. If you or someone else in your home suddenly experiences allergy-type symptoms, particularly respiratory problems, that aren’t related to a cold or other illness, you may be dealing with a mold problem.
- Some people also experience other health-related problems when exposed to mold. Other sudden symptoms to watch for in your family include memory loss, skin irritation and fatigue. The sudden onset of any of these symptoms can be an indicator of mold.
- Changes to your home that are commonly associated with moisture problems can help you identify a mold problem. Some changes to watch for include yellowing of the walls, black spots or warped wood.
- Visible mold is often one of the last signs that you have a mold problem. The mold problem often starts long before you can actually see the mold. If you can see mold, you have a much bigger problem and will likely need professional help to clean it up properly.