Household mold isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and part of this is due to the sheer variety of different ways that it can impact health when people are exposed to it for a long period of time. In some cases, it may be mild discomfort, indistinguishable from some common allergies. In other situations, it may present a more serious health issue.
No matter how your body reacts to mold, no one wants to take a chance, especially with the different species of mold that can grow in your house if left unchecked. Because of this, it’s essential that you take the time to consider mold remediation services as a solution to your greater issues.
The #1 Question Everybody Asks??
How Do You Know It’s Time For Mold Remediation Services?
Some sources would have you believe that if you see a small patch of mold in your home, that you’re in good shape to deal with it yourself via a few DIY treatments or cleaning products that you can buy over the counter. Not necessarily, and here are a few reasons why.
- Store-bought “test kits” aren’t always reliable, and if you try to apply a specific treatment to the wrong species of mold, you may not get the results you want.
- This approach only works for mold that is easily visible or detectable. As we will mention later, there’s a variety of ways mold gets into areas that are much harder to see.
- There are other elements that you need to keep in mind, including the presence of dead spores and comparing levels before or after your “remediation” process.
With this said, how can you determine the difference between a smaller mold issue and something that requires full-scale remediation? The truth is, it can be difficult to detect the difference. Mold can grow in any situation where there is humidity or moisture. A lot of the horror stories you hear about mold involve flooding or another water intrusion because it adds a lot of moisture at once, but some summers in certain climates should always be accompanied by a mold inspection. If your home is flooded, though, you should include mold remediation as part of your recovery, no questions asked.
Aside from that, the biggest signs that you should look for mold remediation versus smaller-scale efforts is if you see prolonged signs of mold exposure. For example, mold has a distinct smell, and if you apply some DIY methods and see little results, this may mean that you have it in more areas than anticipated. In addition, if you see a prolonged health impact related to mold, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get mold remediation services before these issues go any further.
Finally, there’s the simple matter of confidence. If you can smell or detect mold in a certain area and aren’t confident about your ability to properly remove it or if there may be mold in other places, you’re better off looking into mold remediation services. Even if you save money upfront with a DIY method, if it doesn’t work, you may have to do it again and again, with no guarantee that you will remove all mold. This will erode the price advantage pretty quickly.
One reason why profession mold remediation services are preferable to DIY options is the timeline that you have to work with when it comes to mold. In optimal conditions (dark, damp, humid) mold can grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Note that this is the initial germination. It can take up to a week or longer until the mold is actually visible, which could mean a week of potential health symptoms and issues before you have an idea of what you are dealing with. Going the professional route saves you from dealing with this for even longer.
Sources Of Mold In The Home (and how mold remediation services target them)
One thing you want to do yourself before calling mold remediation services is to get a basic idea of where mold is growing in your home. The biggest reason for this is for your personal and financial benefit. Mold remediation is an essential process but can get expensive if there needs to be additional steps taken to get to the mold, like tearing down drywall or other similar procedures. By knowing how and where mold has gotten into your home, you can budget accordingly.
The easiest way to break this down is by explaining the different components any mold species needs to grow. If any one part of the following list is missing, mold won’t be able to grow.
- A food source: In nature, mold will grow on fallen trees or other plant matter. In the home, wood and drywall are some of the most common sources they turn to.
- Darkness: Ultraviolet light is harmful for mold, so there needs to be some degree of darkness or cover present.
- Oxygen: Although mold can grow without light, it cannot grow without sufficient oxygen.
- Warmth: Freezing temperatures and below make it impossible for mold to grow. This is why people in year-round warm climates need to pay special attention to mold.
- Moisture: As mentioned before, doesn’t need to be standing water in order for mold to grow. Any moisture can provide a home for mold.
In your typical home setting, there are a variety of different situations that can lead to mold growing. The bathroom and kitchen are always good places to look because certain appliances can lead to more humidity. Combine these with forgotten areas that have shade and aren’t cleaned often, and you have an ideal home for mold.
Aside from these, water leaks of any size are also a prime candidate for mold. For example, if you have a leaky pipe, the dripping water from here provides a constant source of moisture for mold to grow. The same situation applies to moisture from outdoors that comes in through a leak in the roof or attic. In general, on top of acting quickly if you smell mold or have any sudden symptoms that could reflect growing mold, a good practice is to check your roof, attic, and other areas after any rough storm, even if it doesn’t seem like there was major damage. Even a small leak can provide enough moisture for mold to grow, leading to larger issues in the future.
Staging Your Home For Mold Remediation Services
At this point, you’ve established, or at least have an idea, of what is causing your mold and are ready to call in professional help. There are a few steps you can take as a caring homeowner in order to slow the growth and make the work a little easier for your mold remediation professionals when they come.
- Take Care of Water: While it may not halt the growth of mold, you can prevent things from getting too out of hand by taking the initiative for outstanding water. In fact, it’s generally recommended that you wear some sort of protective clothing, including a N-95 respirator, protective gloves, and some sort of apron. Most homeowners don’t have these, so you’re probably better off calling a plumber to handle any leaks, as many mold remediation services can’t start until those leaks are fixed.
- Be Ready To Fix Adjacent Issues: As we alluded to before, mold growth can also be a symptom of another problem in your house, like a leak. Depending on what contractors you use, you may be able to get mold remediation services and the necessary other repairs done at once, but it’s good to start budgeting for both now.
- Check With Your Insurance Company: In general, insurance companies only cover mold remediation costs if the mold issue stems from what is called a “covered peril.” Generally, this includes sudden, accidental situations, like an ice dam in your gutters causing a roof leak and sudden mold. By comparison, mold that slowly grows in your shower likely won’t be covered. Situations like natural disasters generally require their own insurance.
- Test For Mold?: The question mark may surprise you, but remember, we mentioned how unreliable home mold tests can be. You’re better off paying the extra money and bringing in a professional before getting your mold remediation services done. This helps you know exactly what type and how much mold you are dealing with. It’s possible that mold remediation services offer these tests as a part of their package. Choosing the right contractor means one less piece of work for you.
As a final side note, we’ve mentioned how mold leads to different medical issues for different people. Once you’re set with the staging process, it may not be a bad idea to talk to your doctor and mention that you’ve found mold in your home. This can give them additional insight to provide treatment.
The Process of Selecting Mold Remediation Services
After staging your home for mold remediation services, the time has come to choose your ideal contractor. You have a lot of different options as far as this is concerned, so it’s important to know what separates the best from the rest of the pack.
For starters, in the world of mold remediation, you need to take a close look at certifications when looking for who is qualified. Unfortunately, there are a lot of certifications out there that may sound official but carry little actual weight when it comes to showing how skilled an organization is. There are a few standing exceptions, though. For example, at Total Care Restoration, we are fully certified by the IICRC, a long-standing organization that requires in-person training.
Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to mold remediation services is that racing to the bottom in terms of price rarely works out well for you. The reason for this is that mold remediation can be a prolonged and sometimes expensive process. For example, if it’s just about removing some carpet, it may take a few days, while it can take far longer if mold needs to be cleared from attics or if demolition and rebuilding is involved. Make sure that you are working with professionals who will follow all the steps needed to remove both living and dead mold from your home, as both can cause issues.
When it comes to online reviews, it’s always a good idea to practice some caution. Because of the nature of mold remediation services, there may not be a lot of reviews for a given contractor, which means you need to weigh each one carefully. Look at trends across multiple reviews rather than single responses.
After things are done, it may be a good idea to hire an outside mold inspector to test how well the remediators did their job. Remember, mold remediation services are more about cleaning things up and replacing areas damaged by mold. It’s also about removing mold spores from the environment to make sure that they don’t start growing again the next time there is a little moisture present. Of course, it falls on you to make sure you are hiring a qualified mold inspector.
Why TCR Stands Above Other Mold Remediation Services
There are a variety of mold remediation services out there, so you want to make sure that you are not only picking the right type of services, but also working with a company with a proven track record of not only helping minimize mold, but also properly staging a home to ensure that mold doesn’t get to unsafe levels in the future. For help in the Miami area, be sure to contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. On top of doing the most to help our customers, we are also:
- 5 Star Rated on Yelp
- IICRC Certified
- BBB A+ Rated
This means that we have the skills and expertise to help you with mold remediation, no matter the stage of growth, type, or cause of mold that you are dealing with. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and create a remediation solution that matches their needs. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.