Finding mold in your house can feel scary. After all, mold is a health hazard, and big infestations are costly to fix. As soon as you see signs of mold, you need to address the problem. Discover how big the infestation is, kill off any moisture sources, and start remediation. Some homeowners take care of small mold problems on their own, but if you’re ever unsure of the steps forward, professional help is the way to go.
Look for All Household Mold
You’ve discovered mold in one spot in your home. But mold might be lurking elsewhere in the house, so grab a face mask and a flashlight and go searching for it. Mold loves the dark and the damp, so check the bathroom, under the sink, in the basement or crawl space, and in the attic. Even if you don’t see any mold, get a mold testing kit and test a few other spots in the house.
Seek Sources of Moisture
The reason mold grew in your home is most likely excess moisture. Pipe leaks, roof leaks, and trapped condensation are places where a mold colony may have started. Unless you address the places moisture enters your house, mold will come back even after you remediate it. Call a plumber to have leaky pipes sealed or replaced. Get caulk and seal your windows, doors, and around your plumbing fixtures. Get a roofer over to fix any damaged shingles that are allowing a roof leak to occur.
Scour and Contain
When mold is in a small, isolated spot, you can take care of it yourself if you use the right safety measures. First, you must wear a mask so you don’t inhale the spores. Also, wear gloves and clothes that you can wash in hot water after you’ve finished.
Next, hang plastic sheeting to seal the spot where the mold is. You don’t want any mold spores to float through the house while you’re trying to get rid of them. Take a fungicide and scrub at the mold. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, paint over the area with mold containment paint.
Call for Professional Remediation
While some homeowners try to take care of mold themselves, remediation is often more complicated than what you can handle on your own. Professional mold remediation involves a containment and cleaning process that’s hard to duplicate by yourself. After containing and sealing the mold infestation, they use air scrubbers to remove any mold spores that are floating throughout your house. That way, no spores will escape and start a colony somewhere else. If you have any doubts about taking care of mold yourself, always call someone to help.
Though you should take immediate action when you find mold, you don’t need to panic. The tools and professionals to help you take care of this problem are at your disposal. Be diligent about fixing the mold problem right away, and stay vigilant so you catch any additional mold very early.
Have you ever had a mold problem in your home? Do you have any tips for dealing with mold? Do share in a comment below.
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Picture credit: via Flickr by jonny2love