Your home inspector has turned up mold in your home and now you have questions. Is it possible for me to get rid of it, or do you need to call in a professional mold remediation company?
There are situations where you can remediate, or halt the mold growth on your own. Remediation is removal of contaminated and/or hazardous materials from your home. If the problem is small, a good dousing of bleach should stop the mold infestation. If the invasion is less than ten square feet, you can probably attack the problem on your own and do the repairs.
There is one thing to remember though. Even though bleach can kill the mold, once the spore is dead it can still release harmful toxins into the air of your home. You must also consider that the fumes in bleach chloride are not the healthiest things for your lungs either. The bleach you buy in the stores is watered down. It has to be or it would be a public hazard to handle. And what does mold like? You guessed it, water. While bleach can do some good, it is not the most reliable method of mold remediation.
Antibacterial products are effective deterrent to mold growth. They will retard mold growth, but will not prevent dried (even dead) mold spores form floating in the air, releasing toxins and causing health problems in some people. However, once the mold and its’ source are removed, antibacterial gels can be a good deterrent to future mold infestations.
So, how do you know if you got it all? Mold and mildew can seep into microscopic cracks and porous materials. There are a lot of places in your house that are porous - concrete slabs, drywall, wood and brick, etc. It may be worth it to call in a professional who handle this stuff on a daily basis.
Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center of Disease Control (CDC) have explicit standards and instructions on how to remove mold. A respirator ( N-95 dust mask) should be worn at all times in the presence of mold per the EPA. If the mold is spread over 30 square feet, the regulations state that you have a choice whether to call in a professional or to let a cleaning or maintenance company handle the job. More than 30 square feet and it is always best to contact a professional mold remediation company.
Not only do you have to stop the mold, you also have to stop the entrance of moisture into your home. If you can keep the mold from growing back, your battle is won. The EPA has a list of registered chemicals and even biodegradable substances specifically for mold remediation. These are contained in anti-bacterial sealants that professionals must registered to handle and trained to use. The professional mold remediation technician may need to use methods of sanding or other abrasive techniques to help the sealant stick. Let them. You should be wary of companies that just want to spray a filmy substance before the moldy or dirt laden surfaces are cleaned and treated. There are several tings to consider when dealing with mold: Invasive treatment v/s non-invasive treatment. Treat or tear it all out. As a home owner, how would you know what is best? It may be in your best interest to contact a local mold remediation company.
So how do you find a reputable mold remediator? Visit their web site. Make sure they are using EPA approved equipment, chemicals and HEPA filtration devices. Check their permits and references. Check for nationally recognized accreditations or associations. Also keep in mind that with all the scare out there pertaining to mold in homes, there are some flim-flam artists out there ready to prey on worried home owners.