Seeing mold growth in your home can trigger strong emotions: disgust, fear, embarrassment, anxiety. Reasons for these feelings arise from the damage that mold can cause to your health and general welfare.
Dangers of Mold
Left untreated, mold can cause reactions that are similar to allergies, like watery, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and runny nose. If you didn’t have these symptoms before the mold was discovered, they are likely being caused by the mold. If you already have allergies, mold can exacerbate them and make them worse.
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Serious illnesses can result from exposure to mold, especially when “Stachybotrys Mold” (black mold) is present. Respiratory issues, like asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis can result. Even illnesses like multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases can appear if exposed to mold.
What Is Mold, Anyway?
Mold is a fungus that is always present outdoors except in the cold, dry months of winter. It releases spores that travel through the air. If it makes contact with a warm, moist surface, it forms a colony that continues to grow if left untreated.
Mold is usually found inside the home where water leaks or flooding have occurred. It requires a damp environment in order to live. Allowed to thrive, mold will destroy foundations, furniture, carpeting and drywall.
Worst of all, mold can be present without you even noticing it. It can grow behind walls, under flooring or in insulation. You may never see it but still suffer from its toxic effects.
Do I Really Need to Hire a Professional Mold Remediation Company?
You may be able to effectively remove small amounts of mold yourself. You can purchase a mold test kit to check for mold growth. If you can detect and see the mold, you may be able to wipe it clean.
If you choose this do-it-yourself method, you’ll need to be aware of some precautions:
Make sure you use proper masks and gear when cleaning the mold. If you inhale it, you can have breathing issues.
Don’t use a dry brush to remove the mold. This method can actually disturb the spores and send them floating through the air again.
Make sure you remove ALL the mold, or your problem will just recur. Ensure all surfaces are dry and circulate air throughout the area.
Keep in mind that this DIY method only works if the mold is visible and on solid surfaces. If mold is growing on porous surfaces, like carpeting or drywall, it cannot be effectively cleaned. These items may be damaged beyond remediation or need to be cleaned by a professional mold remediation expert.
If you do try to clean the mold yourself, beware of a persisting musty smell after you clean. That could mean mold is hiding where you can’t see it. Again, that will require the professionals to remediate the situation.
6 Important Reasons to Hire a Professional Mold Remediation Company
Sure, it’s cheaper to try to clean the mold yourself. That’s only true, however, if it’s effective. If you don’t get all of it cleaned, it can make the situation worse than it was before. You could wind up spending a lot of money on equipment and supplies and wasting a lot of your valuable time and still fail to remove all the mold.
Here are some excellent reasons why you should consider hiring a professional to take care of your mold problem.
Proper Mold Assessment.
The professionals will evaluate the situation and determine where the mold is growing and why. They will locate the source of the mold so that it can be mitigated and not continue to grow. Once the source is identified, the experts will advise you on how to remedy the problem.
2. Thorough Cleaning
The affected area will be properly cordoned off to prevent mold from spreading. All areas will be treated using the appropriate chemicals and procedures. Mold spores may have infiltrated your HVAC system, which the amateur will not be able to detect. The professional mold remediation company has tests to ascertain if that’s the case. They may recommend a thorough air duct cleaning to eliminate that problem.
3. Your Health Could Be at Risk.
Attempting to clean up the mold yourself could expose you to its spores and cause health issues for you and your family. The professionals will ensure all mold is removed and the process is completed in a safe environment.
4. They Have the Resources.
Professional mold remediation companies employ technicians thoroughly trained in the process of mold removal. They wear the protective gear needed for safe removal, as well as the equipment and chemicals needed to thoroughly treat the environment. Their equipment can detect mold that is not visible and reach areas that the typical layperson cannot.
5. They Will Educate You.
The professionals don’t only provide mold removal, they will help you avoid the situation from recurring. They’ll give you tips on preventing mold in the future, including proper air ventilation, detecting leaks, addressing moisture, etc.
6. Save Money
You may think you can get rid of mold yourself, but it may actually cost you more in the long run. If mold is not thoroughly removed, it will continue to damage your property. Illness from exposure can cost you more in medical bills. If the environment is not effectively remediated, the cost to repair and treat it will just continue to increase.
What to Expect from a Professional Mold Remediation Company
When you hire a professional mold remediation company to remove the mold in your home, there are certain things you should expect.
They will provide a free consultation. Reputable companies should provide you with a free initial consultation. They will assess the extent of the mold infiltration and apprise you of the estimate of damages and costs.
They will track the source causing the mold. The cause of the mold is usually a leaky or damaged pipe, or areas that remain damp due to flooding or other water damage. This must be mitigated before treating the mold.
They should be wearing proper safety gear. These include high-filtration face masks, vinyl or neoprene gloves and a full body suit. These will protect them from injury from exposure to harsh chemicals used to treat the mold.
They seal off the work area. The area being treated should be cordoned off with plastic sheeting to prevent the mold spores from escaping into other areas of the building.
They have the proper equipment. A professional mold remediation company will have commercial-grade equipment like HEPA air scrubbers, HEPA vacuums, dehumidifiers, etc. This equipment is necessary to thoroughly clean the environment of airborne mold spores. The air scrubber will replace the dirty, moldy air with clean, fresh air. Only HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters should be used, as they will capture particles as small as mold spores, whereas regular filters can make the situation worse.
They dispose of damaged materials. Materials and furnishings affected by the mold should be removed from the premises. Drywall, insulation, carpeting, baseboards--all should be removed and replaced if mold has permeated their porous surfaces.
They use appropriate chemicals. Mold remediation professionals will use an antimicrobial chemical to remove any mold from solid surfaces. They will apply a sealant to the treated area to make it more resistant to mold re-growth and eliminate any remaining odors.
Do Your Research before Hiring a Professional Mold Remediation Company
Don’t just hire the local handyman to do the very critical job of mold remediation. You need to check the companies to make sure they are reputable and trustworthy. They should have lots of experience in the field. Visit websites, read reviews, check out their credentials. They should be properly licensed and bonded. Make sure the company uses professional, commercial-grade equipment and materials to clean the mold.
Be wary of companies offering “special deals” for low-cost mold remediation services. If it sounds too good to be true it is! They will likely compensate by taking shortcuts and using the wrong procedures and materials. This will result in the problem not being resolved or becoming worse.
They should maintain a brick-and-mortar location. Don’t ever hire an “on-line” company for mold remediation. In fact, some companies have a location large enough to place household items for treatment and drying out. This can decrease the disruption within your home during the process.
If you suspect you have a mold problem, contact St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration immediately. We have the knowledge, expertise and equipment to properly clean your home of mold and prevent it from recurring.
We’ve been in the mold remediation business since 1991, providing service to homeowners and businesses. Our technicians are highly trained and certified with The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration (IICRC), which is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. This ensures you’ll receive the highest quality professional services possible.
As a local family-owned company, our mission is to exceed our client’s expectations and provide fair and honest pricing, quality service, innovative technology and unprecedented customer service. We offer 24/7 emergency response service so we’re available when you need us.