Mold Remediation: The Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment
While mold may make for a delicious cheese, it can wreak havoc on your home and personal health. Between the smell, structural damage, and potential health risks (ranging from a stuffy nose to lung infections, in more complicated cases), mold is a spore best avoided; unfortunately, this is not always possible. Read on to discover how to prevent mold in your home, what mold symptoms look like, and how to get rid of mold.
How to Prevent Mold
Thankfully, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and your home from a full-blown mold infestation.
The first step to take is to figure out what areas in your home are regularly exposed to moisture and damp. These areas are generally the kitchen, bathroom, and basement; in older homes, this could extend to any room with windows and door frames that have not been updated in a while.
After you have noted the areas where mold is most likely, here are some simple steps to prevent mold in your home:
1. During, or after, bathing make sure to open a door or windows to let the moisture out (wiping down the walls where any condensation has built up is also a good idea!)
2. Clean spills immediately, it only takes a day or two for mold to begin growing on wet surfaces
3. When cooking, turn on your exhaust fans or vents to prevent condensation build up
4. Run a dehumidifier in the most mold-susceptible places in your home (generally the basement
5. Make sure your gutters are clean, and the water is draining away from your home
In addition to these quick fixes, you can find some more in-depth mold prevention methods here (think insulation and carpet removal).
Mold Symptoms in the Home and Body
If you suspect your home may have mold, but don’t want to spend the time and money to pay a professional before you’re sure, here’s a couple things to lookout for:
1. Physical symptoms: If you’ve got a cold you just can’t kick, it might be mold. These symptoms are usually mild, such as runny nose, red eyes, and skin irritation. If these symptoms don’t seem so bad when you’re away from the house, odds are it’s the mold in the house causing you to feel so lousy.
2. Odor: If there’s a musty smell, and you can’t figure out where it’s coming from, chances are there’s mold in your h
3. Water Damage: If you’ve noticed a lot of moisture in your home, or water spots on your ceiling, there’s a very good chance that a mold infestation is also present.
While there are other signs that there is mold in your home, these three are the best indicators.
Once you have verified that mold is indeed present in your home, there are several things to consider before taking action.
- Is the mold present in an area that is larger than 3’ X 3’?
- According to the EPA, if the moldy area is less than 3’ X 3’, you should be able to handle the cleanup yourself. However, if there has been a significant amount of water damage, or if the mold covers more than 10 square feet, it’s best to call a professional.
- If you think the mold may be caused by your HVAC system, you need a professional air duct cleaning, to prevent the spread of mold all throughout your home.
If the mold is confined to a small area and is not due to significant water damage, you are more than qualified to remove the mold yourself.
However, if you cannot visually identify the mold (meaning it seems to be hiding in your air ducts or the walls), if your home has been exposed to water damage or prolonged moisture, give the experts at Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration a call.