Do you have a musty smell in your home? There’s a good chance it could be mold. If you smell mold, you most likely have some mold present. It might not be visible, but it can still be present. The rule of thumb is if it’s under 10 square feet it can be cleaned up by the homeowner. Anything over 10 square feet is recommended to be dealt with by licensed mold professionals.
How you clean it depends on what kind of material the mold is on. You should speak to a professional before undertaking any mold cleanup to make sure you aren’t going to make the problem worse. There are antimicrobial solutions available in stores that can be used to clean nonporous materials. Porous materials can sometimes be cleaned by other methods but in some cases its best to discard them. If it’s a very porous surface like furniture, carpeting or clothing it’s probably best to throw it away.
If you have had water intrusion such as flooding, or even minor long term water intrusion, the indoor air quality in your home may be seriously compromised. Even high humidity can lead to mold growth. If you don’t remove the contaminated materials and reduce moisture and humidity it can present serious long-term health risks. Some people are more susceptible to mold allergies than others, but everyone is affected by toxic molds such as stachybotrys which releases mycotoxins. There are many different types of molds so don’t be fooled by mold because it isn’t black as well as there are many types of molds that release mycotoxins.
If you need professional assistance, here’s how it works. New York State has instituted a licensing program to help people deal with mold problems. First, you contact a licensed mold assessor who will visit the property, analyze the situation, take samples, and send them to a laboratory, and ultimately come up with a remediation plan. Then, you can give the remediation plan to a Mold Remediator who will provide a price based on the plan the Mold Assessor designed. Once the project is completed, the Mold Assessor will come back and confirm the work was done properly and that there is no longer a mold problem.
As an aside, we recommend a dehumidifier for every basement or crawl space. We also recommend that the dehumidifier have an internal pump and hose to dispose of the water without needing to empty a bucket.
Safe Harbor has several licensed Mold Assessors on staff so if you ever have a question about mold, feel free to contact us.
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