Getting mold out of your home can be an intimidating process. However, you need not let your home be haunted by the specter of mold, as mold cleaning professionals can exorcise even the trickiest of mold problems with the right tools and know-how.
Our team at Service Direct connects more than 7,000 mold removal service seekers a year with mold removal companies, and drawing from 17+ years of experience connecting service seekers with home service professionals, we’d like to help guide you through some of the decisions you’ll make when deciding whether and how to call a professional to remedy your mold problem. Along the way, we’ll help you consider when it’s time to hire an expert, provide you with helpful suggestions about booking remediation service, and provide tips about preparing your home for mold removal.
Ultimately, our goal is to make sure your journey through the mold removal process is as simple, successful, and short as it can be!
When Should You Hire a Mold Removal Expert
Mold problems can emerge in any home–old as well as new. They can occur anywhere that water can enter or get trapped in a home, and virtually anywhere within a home, from the roof to the basement. Common causes and sites of mold infestation include leaking pipes and water damage events, roof leaks that proliferate mold in attics and ceilings, broken or poorly-constructed walls that let water in or prevent evaporation, and anywhere there is poor ventilation and high humidity.
Since mold colonies tend to grow larger and get more deeply entrenched in homes over time, tackling a mold problem quickly is important. In addition to being unsightly and smelly, mold can sometimes cause health issues such as allergic reactions, respiratory difficulties, and – in extreme cases – neurological issues as well.
Watch out for these tell-tale signs:
Mold-like patches in damp or humid areas
Water spots on ceilings
Water spots on walls or carpets,
Musty odors that linger around your property
If you spot any of these warning signs in your home then it may be time to call a mold removal expert for remediation service. A mold removal expert will contain the mold, remove all affected areas, assess for potential sources, and give detailed advice on what needs to be done to eliminate the mold from your home and prevent it from returning.
Can You Do It Yourself?
The answer of whether you ought to hire a mold remediation company should depend upon the size of the mold problem, your comfort level with cleaning it up, and the level of care you can provide around mold and mold cleanup materials.
The EPA’s rule of thumb is that if a patch of mold is less than roughly a 3 ft x 3 ft. area, you can probably do the job yourself, particularly if the surface affected is smooth and not porous. In cases where simple wiping and cleaning won’t get the job done, things can get more complicated quickly. For example, deeply infiltrated drywall will need to be removed if it has been tainted with mold; or if mold is lingering behind wallpaper, peeling back that paper might release millions of allergen-causing spores. When these complications arise, you can likely benefit a great deal from professional help.
Also, you generally don’t need to call a mold remediation expert if you have shower mold. Most shower mold can be treated with home remedies or readily accessible cleaning products. If you find that your shower grout and caulk are untreatable, the best course of action is to simply regrout and recaulk your shower and take proper precautions to prevent recurrence. Meanwhile, that pinkish slime that frequently grows in your shower is actually a generally harmless bacteria called serratia marcescens. The pesky growth thrives in damp environments like bathrooms, and feeds off common toiletries, such as soap and shampoo. You can clean that up yourself with common household cleaning products.
Do I Need a Mold Assessment?
Once you have identified a mold problem in your home, you might be considering whether it’s best to have the mold inspected and assessed before you make decisions about removal.
If you are uncertain about the presence of mold in your home, if you are having an allergic reaction to mold in your home and are interested in which strain is causing it, or if you are interested in having mold tested as part of a real estate transaction, you always have the option to hire a mold assessor before taking steps toward remediation. Mold assessors can determine whether mold is present in the home, and if so, the type of mold that has been identified. They can then come up with a mold remediation plan to guide a mold removal team.
It is important to note, as the EPA reports, that there are no Federal guidelines on mold removal, or limits to the amount of mold or spores allowed in a building, for that matter. In fact, the EPA states that sampling is usually unnecessary in cases of visible mold. But a number of states do have special regulations pertaining to testing and removal.
The three states with the most distinct regulations are Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. These states require that assessments be performed before remediation can take place by a professional who is separate from the professional who performs remediation. These requirements are in place to prevent potential conflicts of interest. So in these states it’s typically best to call a mold assessor before you call a remediation team. In most other states, a mold removal company will do inspections before and after any removal takes place in any case.
Follow these tips for common mold removal identification and remediation tips for your home. Many steps can be done by homeowners but others need the services of a trusted local mold removal company.
Preparing For Mold Removal Service
When it comes to mold removal, every bit of knowledge a mold removal expert has is important. Knowing exactly what needs to be done and understanding the mold remediation process can make the difference between a successful mold removal job and one that falls short.
Prepare yourself ahead of time for a mold removal expert by doing some research and asking the right questions will ensure that you get the best mold professional for the job. Not only will they properly address your mold issue, but they could potentially identify more serious issues lurking beneath the surface as well!
Don’t wait too long – mold won’t magically go away on its own!
Ask For an Air Quality Sample
An air quality sample will provide insight into substances and organic compounds that may be present from mold growth. Knowing this information ahead of time will allow you and the mold removal expert to tackle the mold problem efficiently and safely with the right plan of action–which is why it’s so important! Ask away!
Ask Your Pros About Their Mold Removal Methods
Mold removal companies have a variety of tools at their disposal. Some teams specialize in using a “dry fog” process that can disinfect large interiors, and can even be piped in between walls. Others have a more hands-on approach, spraying the mold directly. In some cases, mold remediation crews of either type may need to remove materials that cannot be completely cleaned. Once they have inspected your property, you can get a frank assessment of the methods they will use and the time it will take to get the job done. This will help you plan for the remediation process.
Address Sources of Water Intrusion
A mold removal solution can only stand the test of time if the conditions which created it are no longer in place. In many cases, a mold remediation company can help solve these problems, but you might find that you can resolve some causes yourself. For example, if the ceiling of your first floor has gotten moldy due to a leaking toilet on the first floor, you can help kick-start your long term solution by fixing that leak. Or if your home has a humidity problem, coming up with a ventilation or dehumidification solution will go a long way toward helping.
Ask Before Moving Items From Heavily Infested Areas
As a homeowner preparing to have a mold removal expert come into your home, it is important to understand that mold can spread quickly and easily. As such, disturbing mold or removing items from mold-affected areas without first consulting with a mold removal expert is not recommended.
Removing items from the affected area can cause mold spores to become airborne, which could quickly spread the mold beyond the area of infestation. Instead, you should leave all items in the mold-affected area until the mold removal specialist arrives and can assess the situation correctly. Not taking these precautions could result in a process that would take much longer and be considerably more expensive than anticipated.
You May Need a Place to Crash
A large mold removal project typically isn’t a process you’ll want to be around; in fact, depending upon the methods needed to get rid of your problem, you might want to consider staying at a friend’s home or booking a nearby hotel for a little ‘staycation.’
Some mold removal situations can be resolved in hours with demolition-free “dry fog” – and in some cases, professionals claim that you can return home within hours. However in other cases, you might need demolition and/or the spraying of certain volatile compounds that will need more time to air out or be cleaned by the remediation team. In such cases, you’ll likely need lodging. Your mold removal team will have good advice about whether this is necessary.
Regardless, by the time you return, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing that you won’t have to worry about that pesky mold anymore.
Exploring the avenues of when to hire a pro, how to prepare, and the right questions to ask your mold removal expert are crucial parts of the mold remediation process. We hope you feel more confident diving into your mold removal journey. With the knowledge you’ve gathered about mold removal, we have no doubt you’ll find the right fit for your mold removal needs. Good luck!
Hiring Mold Removal Pros FAQs
What should I do if I have mold in my ducts or ventilation system?
Mold that appears in your ducts or hvac system is best handled by either a specialized duct cleaning service or an hvac service that also handles duct cleaning. Such services can also have air quality benefits by reducing the buildup of allergens in your ventilation system.
I just had flooding in my home. How can I stop mold from taking root?
Whether your flooding event is due to a weather event, a faulty appliance, or plumbing leak, it is critical to stop the inflow of water immediately and clean and dry your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24 to 48 hours). Use water and detergent on all hard surfaces, remove or replace all carpeting or fabric that can’t be dried properly, and use fans, dehumidifier and/or air conditioning to dry out your property quickly. Call a water remediation company quickly if the job is too big for you to handle yourself.
Is all black mold harmful?
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t always tell what mold you’re dealing with based on appearances. Not all black-colored mold is Stachybotrys chartarum, which is frequently what is referred to when one speaks of ‘toxic black mold.’ And Stachybotrys chartarum isn’t always black–it can also be greenish in color. Black mold in the shower, meanwhile, is largely more unsightly than it is harmful. A mold professional is best suited for determining the kind of mold you’re dealing with.
How do I prevent mold from growing in my home?
According to the CDC, some key ways to prevent mold from growing in your home are to keep humidity levels in your home between 30-50% all day long, use an air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid months, ensure your home has adequate ventilation, and fix leaks in your home’s roofs, walls, and plumbing. Also, consider getting rid of carpet in rooms prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and basements.
How can I find a mold removal professional in my area?
Service Direct works hard to put homeowners in contact with mold removal service providers. If you have a mold issue and are looking for a professional to eradicate it quickly, you can get in touch with a pro quickly by dialing the phone number displayed on this page and providing your zip code when prompted. You will then be quickly put in touch with a mold removal specialist who services your area. Alternatively, you can fill out a form on this page and await contact.
Hire a Local Mold Removal Pro
If you need professional help with any of your home’s mold identification or remediation issues, then don’t hesitate to contact a local service pro using the phone number or form on this page.
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