Detecting and Dealing with Mold in Your Home

Mold’s not so bad when it stays outside on rocks and trees!

Most people feel a sense of anxiety when they consider the idea of mold being in their home. Not only can the damage caused by mold be costly to repair, but its mere presence in your home can pose serious health risks. And, depending on the kind of mold present, even trying to clean it up can put your life in danger.

Not all mold is created equal. Some molds pose significant risks to the population at large while other are predominately dangerous to those that are young or elderly with certain conditions such as asthma. Some of the more dangerous variants found in homes include Stachybotrys chartarum and Trichoderma, or more commonly called Black Mold.

Warning Signs of Mold Growth

Sometimes you can identify mold simply by sight. However, other conditions may suggest that mold is present. For example, a musty smell could indicate mold growth, especially if the area could be holding moisture such as a bathroom or a floor that is below ground level. Additionally, if your property was recently water damaged, such as by a flood, roof leak, or burst pipe, then completing a mold test is an extremely wise move.

In-Home Mold Testing

Often, it is difficult to ascertain the kind of mold present simply by looking at it. To properly assess the mold type in your home, sophisticated and comprehensive mold testing should be performed. The best way to do this quickly and cheaply is to purchase a recommended in-home testing kit. These testing kits are usually a great way to initially find out if there is any mold in an area. If these inexpensive tests confirm the presence of mold, then a professional should be consulted to attempt to remedy it.

Mold Removal and Remediation

Depending on the kinds of mold present and the amount of growth, professional mold removal may be required. Mold abatement can – at times – be a very intensive process. If the affected areas include walls, damaged sections of sheetrock, studs, joists and insulation may need to be removed and replaced. Remember that it is important to always work in a well-ventilated area when removing mold, especially when using various cleaning agents and certain disinfectants. You should also wear proper protective clothing and masks to protect against mold spores.

Some of these tasks are beyond the capabilities of the average homeowner, especially when structural components are involved. Additionally, black mold removal will require special precautions to ensure the safety of others and to prevent nearby areas from being contaminated. These dangerous types of mold should only be removed by a licensed professional.

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