Imagine, you have come home from work for the day, have finally got settled in, and decide to start some laundry. While loading your washer, a sock falls somewhere you are not looking at too often. When you go to pick it up, you see something on your wall that appears to be mold.
Right away your first instinct may be to panic because you’ve heard that black mold can make you sick. You may even want to start moving things around to clean it up. But then you aren’t sure what to use to clean it. Maybe bleach? Maybe not! You are just not sure what you should or should not do and whether you should call someone and if so, who should you call that you can trust.
The best thing that you can do first is to calm down. Breathing in too much mold can influence the health of those exposed, so limiting exposure to the visibly affected and surrounding areas is always a good idea.
Putting on a mask and gloves when you return to the area is also advised. And unless your mold is seen growing on a non-organic surface such as porcelain or plastic… DO NOT use bleach!
What you can do is “take a step back.” Get your mobile device and take a few pictures of the whole room standing at the entrance Then, without disturbing the affected areas snap one or two of the staining that you see and check around for other discoloration, water or moisture nearby. If you find any take a picture of that too but do NOT disturb the area or start un-piling things or moving cardboard boxes. The rule is “No Oxygen, No Mold.”
Overall, your best decision to deal with mold properly is to contact an experienced, certified (and if possible) “Licensed Mold Professional” and ask for a FREE phone consultation.
Simply by asking you a few “right questions” and reviewing the pictures you take, as well as gaining some knowledge about the history of your property, an experienced mold assessor should be able to begin to understand the problem and offer insight as to what should be done next.
We are sure most mold removal pros would also agree that finding the source of the problem is just as important as treating and removing the mold otherwise it will just grow back. An onsite assessment with a mold service professional that has the experience, tools, and resources is necessary to write a treatment plan to completely resolve the problem.
A few tools to vet someone claiming to be a mold expert is to ask them a few questions during your free phone consultation. For example, you might want to ask them if they test to find mold or use some other method? Do they recommend pre-testing in every situation and do they back their work with Mold Pollution Liability and Errors and Omissions Insurance?
Just like any other professional such as a doctor, lawyer, architect, etc., “anyone offering mold professional services” should also be properly insured when dealing with conditions that may affect your health and leave behind contaminants.
Although undisturbed mold does not usually spread easily if you see what you suspect as mold or have a “water event” you should contact a professional willing to explain the processes for mitigating risks to your health and proper mold removal and when applicable water mitigation to stop fungal growth and preserve your property.
We highly recommend you do not try to remove the mold without speaking to us first. Improper removal can cause more issues that may become more costly to both your health and your property.
If you are a home or business owner in our service area of northeast Ohio, our SafeHouse team also offers free of charge the information you need to make good decisions based on your situation moving forward.
We are here to help. Having been the recipient of funding provided by HUD as part of a Healthy Homes research grant, SafeHouse does not want anyone to have to live with mold or water damage or worse be forced to live with the unknown. Contact us today first for a free phone consultation and to schedule an assessment so that we can work as quickly as possible to help you.