If you’ve noticed an unsightly black patch growing in your kitchen or bathroom, you’re far from alone. Mold is a common issue in U.S. households, and the chances are good that you’ll run into this nuisance at least once in your life. In fact, this health hazard is so common that the WHO estimates that between 10-50% of indoor environments have conditions damp enough to make mold growth possible.
Of course, just because mold is common doesn’t mean you want to let it stick around! Though you may not know what to do if you find mold in your house, it’s worth noting that mold can spread faster than you expect—and that large amounts of it can pose a significant health risk for you and your household.
If you suspect that those black patches on your wall may be hazardous, we’ve got you covered: here’s what you should know about mold identification and removal.
Know the Signs of Mold in Your House
Before you start to panic, it’s a good idea to figure out whether or not you actually have mold growing in your home. Mold identification can be obvious if you’ve noticed mold growing in a visible location in your home. However, it’s worth noting that mold can also grow in dark and little-used spaces, so you’ll want to be aware of a few key signs of mold to look out for.
First, be on the lookout for unexplained health symptoms. Issues like lightheadedness, dizziness, rashes, and respiratory problems are common in households with mold. If anyone in your household has breathing conditions like asthma or allergies, you might notice that their condition has grown worse without explanation.
In addition, mold tends to grow in damp places, so a recent water leak should always be a sign that you should do a quick search for mold. Check any rooms where water may have lingered for a while.
Last, take note of any unusual smells. With enough mold growth, you’ll start to smell a musty, fungal smell similar to the scent of rotting wood.
When trying to identify mold growth, note that mold isn’t just black. Instead, it comes in a range of shades and types. In other words, what you might think of as a green stain may in fact be mold growth!
If you still aren’t sure whether mold is the culprit, you can test for the presence of mold. Though there are at-home test kits on the market, these tools can be inaccurate, so it’s always a good idea to reach out to a professional for a definitive answer.
What to Do if You Find Mold in Your House
Once you’re sure that you have a mold problem, it’s time to decide your next steps.
As we noted earlier, mold is a common issue—and the chances are good that you’ll be exposed to mold at least once in your life. For small amounts of mold, you may be able to tackle the issue on your own. This is especially true if the mold has grown on something you can remove with ease, such as on a curtain or peeling wallpaper.
However, you should always be aware that handling mold, even in small quantities, can be hazardous to your health. As a result, you should wear protective goggles, gloves, and a face mask even when addressing a tiny amount of mold. You should also ventilate the area by opening windows or by turning on a fan or dehumidifier.
To treat the mold, add 1½ cups of bleach to a gallon of water. Drench the surface in this mixture and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Once this time has passed, scrub the area and rinse it with clean water.
When finished, clean the area and wash your clothes right away.
Consider Professional Mold Treatment
While home remedies may work for very small amounts of mold, it’s important to remember that mold remediation experts will have tools and knowledge you don’t. For large quantities of mold—or for any homeowners who don’t want to risk their health in dealing with this issue—professional removal is the way to go.
This is especially true because DIY mold treatment can leave you open to future mold regrowth, as it can be difficult to tell when you’ve removed all of the mold in an area. What’s more, scrubbing and wiping mold can send spores into the air, posing a significant risk to you and your family’s health.
During professional mold treatment, a technician will investigate both the mold and the likely causes for it. In addition, they’ll come prepared with the personal protection and ventilation equipment necessary for the job. They’ll also use specific chemicals to destroy the mold completely, ensuring there’s no leftover mold residue to grow back in the future.
With professional mold removal, you also get the added peace of mind of knowing that your mold problem is gone for good. An experienced mold removal expert will even be able to advise you on tips for future mold prevention, such as addressing a dampness problem or fixing a leak.
Contact Our Team for Help With Mold Removal
At the end of the day, knowing what to do if you find mold in your house is simple: call our team!
Anton’s Air Conditioning and Heating has helped customers throughout the greater St. Louis area with a huge range of air quality issues, including mold removal. We’re dedicated to getting you and your family clean air through quality service and fair prices.
If you’re dealing with a mold issue, you don’t have to tackle it alone. Leave the hazardous work to our experts! Get in touch with us today by filling out our online form.