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Mold Inspection and Testing

How Do I Remove Mold from My Home?

Are you a homeowner? Do you live in humid areas like the coastline or around bodies of water like lakes? Mold is rife in these areas, and it's going home shopping this summer. Don't let the mold set up shop in your home, or it gets to be a real problem.

Mold loves damp, dark places around the home. If there are heavy summer rains or pipework leaks or bursts where you don't see it, it can create the perfect conditions for the pathogen's spread. If mold starts to spread, it establishes itself quickly, releasing spores into the air in the room.

If left alone to do its thing, mold spores continue to accumulate into the air. As a result, when you open the door to a room infested with the pathogen, you'll find it has a musty smell. That's the sign that you're breathing in mold spores.  

From bathrooms to kitchens, bedrooms, attics, basements, and laundry rooms, mold isn't picky about where it starts spreading in the home. As long as the conditions favor its survival, it will continue to spread until you find it.

What do you do when you find it? What are the best practices for removing mold infestations? This post looks at how to remove mold from your home.

Where Does Mold Come from and How Can I Stop It?

When the spring starts to warm the air and the summer gets underway, the mold spores overwintering in the ground come to life. Mold comes in several varieties, and it hangs out in the soil and garden debris, like old piles of leaves.

When the summer comes around, the mold gets active, releasing more of its spores into the air. Since the spores are lightweight, they carry in the air column, sometimes for miles.

Mold spores are microscopic, and you can't see them with the naked eye. By the time you notice a mold patch on your bathroom ceiling or in your basement, it's usually a collection of millions and millions of spores.

When the spores enter the air inside your home, they might land in a damp part of the house with the right conditions catering to its spread. For instance, the spores might end up getting into the cabinet under the sink.

A dripping pipe from the sink coupling might start to rot the wood, and you won't even notice it for months. The mold spores set up in the wet and humid conditions inside the cabinet, growing and spreading quickly.

If left unattended, the mold starts releasing more spores, where it might infect other areas of the home. Sometimes it's easy to identify mold if it's in a cabinet or a visible space. However, there are times when it's challenging to find the mold source, such as when it's under the floorboards or in the walls.

The best way to ensure your home doesn't get a mold infestation is to prevent mold from entering and finding a place to hide and thrive in the first place. Here are a few ideas you can implement around the home to ensure you avoid mold infestations.

  • Regularly check pipework and attend to any drips or leaks.
  • Dry out your home immediately after flooding.
  • Run dehumidifiers indoors during the summer months in humid locations.
  • Keep RH (Relative Humidity) levels in rooms in the house between 50% to 55%.
  • Improve the ventilation in bathrooms, garages, basements, laundry rooms, and the kitchen.
  • Direct gutter drainage systems away from the base of the walls to reduce seepage into the basement.

What are the Health Risks Associated with Mold Overexposure?

In most cases, overexposure to mold spores in the home leads to the progression of respiratory systems. People with allergies have a heightened sensitivity to breathing in mold spores, and they'll present with symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and breathing problems.

Some mold varieties are more toxic than others. Black mold releases mycotoxin spores into the air. Breathing in these mycotoxins causes problems with the respiratory and nervous systems as they accumulate in the body.

Overexposure to these mold spores can result in anything from feelings of fatigue, sinus, and respiratory symptoms, to life-threatening events like seizures.

Do I Need a Mold Inspection for My Home?

If you think you have mold in your home, you can try and find it yourself by looking in the obvious spots. Checking the basement, attic, and crawlspaces around the house is a good place to start.

However, sometimes it might be harder to sport the mold than you think. If a pipe starts dripping or leaking in the wall, you might not see it for many months. If the spores find their way into the walls, they could begin growing and spreading.

Rather than taking a DIY approach to finding the mold in your home, call the professionals instead. MI&T will find the mold in your home in no time. We utilize the latest air quality assessment technology to give you a full report of the air in your home.

If there is mold present in the air, we'll find the source for you, wherever it is in your home. However, we're just a detection company, and we don't offer mold removal services. However, we can save you the time and hassle of finding it yourself.

After we find the mold, we'll suggest recommended practices for you to remove it yourself. Removing mold is easy, as long as it isn't too big of an infestation. If the mold measures a space of more than 10-square feet, you're going to need to call a professional mold removal service.

As an impartial air testing authority, MI&T can't recommend a contractor. We don't work with any mold removal companies. As a result, you can rely on our air quality testing service to give you impartial and unbiased results you can trust.

How Do I Get Rid of Mold?

After finding the mold and assuming it's a small enough infestation, you can remove it yourself. EPA guidelines state that if the footprint of the mold is under 3-feet by 3-feet, the homeowner can remove it themselves.

If it's bigger or the mold spread into the home's HVAC system, the homeowner will need to call a professional mold removal service to handle the problem. Professional removal and remediation of the air in your home can cost up to $2,000 or more, depending on the extent of the problem and the size of the house.

When hiring a contractor, make sure you go with a firm that has a solid reputation, with plenty of verified customer testimonials. If the contractor doesn't do the job right, the mold may grow back. There are no government regulations or certifications surrounding mold removal services.

As a result of the lack of industry regulation, plenty of fly-by-night mold removal companies are out there.

Safety Precautions for Air Remediation After Mold Removal

If you're removing mold from your home, you need to ensure you do it safely. Make sure your family isn't in the house during the removal process. Disturbing the mold causes spores to fly into the air, and it may release millions more than it would in a typical 24-hours period.

If there are any allergy-sensitive people in the home during the removal process, they'll experience a severe attack as the elevation in mold spores increases in the air inside the house.

First, you need to protect yourself from the mold. It's essential to use a respirator mask to prevent you from breathing in the mold spores. Choose a KN95 respirator to block out the microscopic particles, and make sure the mask has a tight fit around your face.

Wear goggles that seal around your eyes to prevent the spores from getting into your eyes, and protect your hands with gloves.

Isolate the problem area of the home or the room using plastic drop sheeting before starting the removal. Open all the windows in the room and set up fans to push the air out of the windows.

Mix a diluted solution of light bleach at an 8:1 ratio with water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Get some old rags you don't need any more and a plastic trash bag. If the mold is on porous materials, bring a scrubbing brush as well.

Spray the bleach solution onto the mold and give it a minute to settle and kill the pathogen. Ensure you spray at least a good distance around the visible foot of the mold to kill all spores in the local area.

Wipe the bleach and dead mold up, place it in the trash bag, then throw it out. Wash down the renovated area with household cleaner, water, a bucket, and a mop. Leave fans running in the room until it dries completely. Make sure you keep an eye on the room each day for the next few weeks to check for signs of regrowth.

Wrapping Up – What's the Best Way to Keep Mold Out of Your Home?

Installing an HVAC or air-conditioning system into your home is the best way to seal rooms and keep mold spores out.

If you don't have access to air purifications systems, consider closing your windows and doors on windy days during the early summer and when it rains.