|How To Find Your Mold Problem – A Homeowner’s Guide|
4 signs that you have a mold problem:
Moisture – Moisture can be caused by a number of different factors including condensation from HVAC systems, persistent humidity, plumbing failures, flooding, or a number of other sources. If you see moisture, chances are you already have a mold problem.
Odor – Ever noticed a musty smell that just won’t go away no matter how much you clean? Sometimes molds are hidden and cannot be seen. A musty or earthy smell often indicates that mold is hiding, but a smell may not be present for all molds.
Leaking – This goes hand-in-hand with moisture. A leaky roof or pipe in your home is a sure source of food for mold. If you see leaking water, fix it fast! It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Discoloration – The only sure sign that you have mold is if there is visible growth. Mold comes in all colors and textures, so if you notice a change in color on drywall, studs, carpet, concrete, or other building materials, you almost certainly have a mold infestation.
If you’ve identified any of these symptoms, it’s time to determine how much mold is growing:
Small Areas – Mold is considered to cover a “small area” if the patch is no larger than ten square feet. Small areas can easily be cleaned by using UrthPRO™, household rubber gloves and a dust mask for protection. Refer to Small Area Mold Clean-Up for the procedure. Small moldy areas in homes may become larger over time, if ignored, so it’s important to clean up and remove even small patches of mold.
Moderate Areas — The mold area is considered “moderate” if there are more than three patches, each patch smaller than ten square feet, or there is one or more isolated patches larger than 10 square feet but smaller than 32 square feet (size of a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood or drywall). Assessment by a professional is recommended, but you can clean up moderate amounts of mold but you must follow the proper procedures and use the proper protective equipment. Refer to Moderate Area Mold Clean-Up for the procedure.
Extensive Areas — A mold area is considered “extensive” if a single patch of mold is larger in area than a sheet of plywood (32 square feet). Being exposed to this much mold is not a good idea. Do not attempt to clean up large areas of mold yourself. You need professional help to determine why the mold is there in the first place and how to clean it up.
When should you seek professional help?
You may need professional help when:
How do you get professional help?
A trained Restoration Professional who operates a private business and sells his/her services can examine the indoor air quality of your home and document your concerns. They are trained to identify moisture problems, find their sources and suggest solutions. Recommendations are usually provided to you in an action plan that consists of various options to improve the indoor air quality in your home. Restoration Professionals are usually trained to handle a number of different “disaster” situations besides mold such as sewage backups and fire damage cleanup. For help finding a Restoration Professional, refer to How To Hire A Mold Contractor.