If you discover mold growing on your ceiling, walls, floors, or other surfaces, it’s important to get a mold assessment to evaluate the source of the moisture that is causing the mold. Mold loves moist and humid climates, so some of the most common causes of mold in a home include:
- A roof leak
- Indoor humidity of over 60%
- Excess bathroom moisture (due to a lack of a fan or poor ventilation)
- Poor ventilation in the high-humidity kitchen area
- Leaks in the walls
- Leaky pipes under sinks and elsewhere
- Poorly vented clothing dryer
- Incorrect grading on a house’s foundation (leading ground water toward the house instead of away from it)
Determining the source of mold is critical if you want to truly fix the problem. You’ll also want to make sure you remediate the infestation the right way.
It is possible to clean small areas of mold with a bleach and water solution (wearing gloves, protective eye gear, and a face mask, since mold spores are airborne). However, you might want to think twice before attempting to take on the job yourself, especially if it is a larger area or you suspect there is mold where you cannot see it. Here are a few things to consider about mold cleanup and doing it yourself:
Mold is a health hazard
Some mold strains (like black mold) can be very harmful to people, especially those who might be allergic to it. Mold can cause issues such as congestion, cough, headaches, and nausea or more serious problems such as lung infections. Exposing yourself to mold is a risk you do not want to take, especially if you have asthma, allergies, or a weakened immune system.
You can make the problem worse
If you attempt to clean up mold yourself, take the time to read through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommendations. Improper cleanup techniques and tools can spread the mold or be ineffective at removing all of it.
Not all methods are created equal
While it’s fairly easy to remove a small amount of mold from an area with a damp wipe approach, larger areas require the right equipment and disinfectant solution. A wet vacuum cleaner collects water, but improper use can actually spread the mold spores. A professional mold remediation company might use a High-Efficiency Particulate Air vacuum to remediate an area, which is far more effective than using a regular vacuum.
Mold must be killed and removed
Most people don’t realize that dead mold is still an allergenic and some dead molds are dangerous. While it is impossible to remove all mold and mold spores, after cleaning, no mold should be visible and no mold odor should be present. As for the proper cleanup method, corrosive disinfectants kill and remove mold, but using them properly and safely is very important. When cleaning, it’s also important to seal off an area (and fix your home’s moisture problem), otherwise the mold/black mold can spread and return.
Mold cleanup is more complicated than it sounds, and it’s a job best left to professionals. AOA Cleaning and Restoration is a licensed mold remediation contractor, certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification and the Restoration Science Academy. If you see mold in your home and would like a professional mold assessment from a trusted Bergen County mold removal expert, call us at 201-848-8600.