According to a CPSC report, between 30 and 50% of surveyed homes were found to have damp conditions, which represents a perfect environment for mold development. What many are unaware of is the fact that not only can the mold cause structural damage to the building, but it can also cause and exacerbate respiratory issues and other health problems. For example, research shows that dampness increases the risk of asthma by up to 50%, and there are currently more than 4.5 million asthma patients in the U.S. alone.
Taking all of this into consideration, it is evident that mold prevention, both in your home and place of business, should be of prime importance. In some cases, it can be quite difficult to discover, and a multitude of people are not even aware of the existing issue. The following article will list the warning signs you should take notice of early on, as well as the most effective ways to remove it permanently.
In order to ensure there are no health hazards in your home, we advise you to pay close attention to the following things:
- Fishy Odor. Not literally fishy – more of a pungent smell. If you notice the air in one part of your home is rather stuffy, it is highly likely there is a mold hidden behind a wallpaper or in the wall.
- Detecting Mold. There are places in your home where you will easily notice its appearance, for instance, in your bathroom. In your shower or a bathtub, it will be really easy to distinguish mold from the regular soap scum; still, in your basement, you will have to dig a little deeper. We recommend using scientifically proven mold detection methods like these EC3 Test Plates - which are both simple to use and affordable.
- Health Issues. As already mentioned, mold is one of the biggest causes of asthma; however, even if you feel a bit listless, congested, or notice you have watery eyes, these too can be the signs of mold. Furthermore, often those who have mold problem at home feel much better when they leave for work, or even for just two or three hours (see Sick Building Syndrome).
Depending on the severity of the situation, you will either be able to clean up the mold yourself, or you will have to call a professional.
DIY Mold Removal
If the situation is still under control, you can grab a par of rubber gloves and a protection for your eyes. Prior to starting with the entire cleansing process, it is essential to remove all your valuables from that room. If your place is too small and you don’t know what to do with the items, opt for a self storage solution and have everything safely packed behind the lock. Once you have cleared the area, wash the problematic surface with some water mixed with detergent, or specifically formulated cleaning products designed to kill mold such as EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate. Also, if you have a carpet or tiles around that area, eliminate them immediately, since removing the mold will not be enough – you will have to get rid of all items that might possibly be the source of dampness.
If you notice mold appearing after only a few weeks (or even days), try locating the source of moisture, or finding any signs of leaks.
Hiring A Professional
On the other hand, if the mold problem is a severe one, you will have to hire a professional to conduct detailed cleaning. It is always good to have a qualified mold inspection firm test the mold, locate its source and determine the extent of the issue. Still, note that if you have previously hired someone to inspect your place, it is advisable not to contact the same people for the remediation. What you should insist on is that the professional mold removal services have a contractor’s license and that a person is certified. Ask your friends and neighbors for references (as it is highly likely they have had the same problem before) and ensure you get to someone who will do their job on time and within the agreed-upon budget. After a professional finishes their work, check whether they have conducted one final mold test. At this point you can always retest with EC3 Test Plates yourself as well.
The Bottom Line
If there has been a water intrusion, like a broken pipe, roof leak, flooded basement, and the surface was not completely dried out in less than 48 hours, chances are you will notice a musty smell. When there are persistent physical symptoms, such as runny noses, skin rashes or red eyes, what you are probably suffering from is – mold-related illness. If it is less than a 3 by 3-foot patch, attempt to remove it on your own; if its anything more severe, refer to a professional immediately.