Though we often have a startled, fearful reaction when it comes to mold, mold is actually a natural part of the environment. In nature, it breaks down decomposing matter, and it plays a vital role in the world. However, when that same mold comes inside, homeowners start seeing some serious problems.
Molds reproduce through putting very tiny spores into the air, and these spores may settle on wet surfaces. When they are settled in a damp dark place, they begin to reproduce, and once mold has a acquired a foothold in your home, it becomes a problem that you need to solve!
There are several factors that make mold undesirable in the home. Molds provoke people who have allergies, and in very severe cases, they produce toxic substances that are known as mycotoxins. People who are sensitive to molds can suffer serious reactions simply from touching the mold or through inhaling the spores. Some symptoms of having a mold sensitivity triggered include runny noises, reddened eyes, and even rashes. Molds can also worsen or even provoke cases of asthma, especially in people who have weakened immune systems. This issue can also affect children and the elderly, who are more vulnerable to environmental issues than healthy adults.
Mold can be confirmed through a visual inspection, but it can also be identified through the people in a dwelling manifesting signs of mold exposure and mold sensitivity. If you are concerned that you are exhibiting signs that point to a mold infestation, go to a doctor and make sure that there are not other factors at play. If you are suffering this issue and you rent, make sure that you speak to your landlord about the issue immediately!
Mold is almost always associated with dampness, and where you find dampness in your home, you are very likely to find mold. Once mold has been identified, it must be dealt with, but now the question becomes who should deal with the issue. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should only tackle a mold cleanup on your own if the moldy area measures less than 10 feet square. If it is any larger, the EPA recommends bringing in professionals. If you are dealing with a mold issue in your home, assess it carefully before you proceed. While cleaning it up on your own is cheaper, it might not be the best option.
To clean up mold on your own, you must first fix the source of the moisture. This may involve better sealing in your home or consulting a plumber. After this has been dealt with, scrub any hard wet surfaces very thoroughly using an appropriate detergent and water, and then dry the area completely. If a soft or porous item has become infested with mold, throw it away. In the event that something that is treasured or valuable has been infested with mold, you may wish to consult with a specialist to make sure that the item can be cleaned thoroughly.
If you cannot handle the cleanup on your own, it is time to find a good professional. Choose a professional who has worked with mold before, and call their references to make sure that they can do the work that they say they can. Many experts also offer free consultations and estimates, so shop around and choose a professional with whom you feel comfortable.
In a worst-case scenario, there may be mold in your HVAC system. If you suspect that there is mold there, make sure that you ask a professional company to come in and to evaluate it. Do not turn on the system until you are sure that it is clear, as using a mold-infested HVAC system can lead to an entire building becoming infected with mold.
Mold is a serious problem that may be lurking in your home right now, but you do not have to feel helpless. Take a moment to consider how you can best move ahead against this threat.