Let’s face it, calling a professional about a possible mold infestation is not on the top of the list of great, inspirational, or fun things to do.
We get it.
Often times, it’s the opposite—downright scary.
Ok, so you smelled that musty odor commonly associated with mold, followed the scent, and, lo and behold, a specific area on the carpet is damp.
Not only that, you see a spotty, dark pattern on the wall right next to the damp carpet piece.
Sorry to say, you’ve got mold in your house.
What to do next?
Call a professional who offers quality mold inspection and mold remediation and removal services.
Ok great, you did that. Now what?
There’s always that in-between time after you’ve identified mold but before the professionals have arrived to assess the situation.
Should you go on with your normal, everyday routine?
Should you stand a couple feet away and “monitor” the mold?
That’s why we’ve come up with this list of dos and don’ts for you.
It gives you all the information you need to know for this time period, as well as some extra mold secrets.
DO limit yourself from the infested area
Limit the amount of time you spend indoors in your house before the professionals arrive. You don’t know what type of mold it is and you don’t know how far it’s spread. Mold is allergenic at best, and toxic at worst. It’s not worth subjecting your health.
Mold is known to worsen allergy symptoms in those with a mold sensitivity and will increase the risk of developing or exacerbating lung diseases in immune-compromised individuals.
If you believe you have allergies or discomfort caused by mold, go to your general physician. From there, they can see if you need to go to an allergy or infection specialist.
DO make sure children and older adults are away from the mold
Children and the elderly are more affected by mold. For children, their immune systems aren't as strong as an adult’s.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that there are recent studies that link early mold exposure with the development of asthma in children who are pre-disposed to getting that condition.
The elderly should not be near the infested area because, due to their age, their immune systems have declined, making them more susceptible to contract illnesses.
If elderly or younger family members show allergy or illness symptoms from mold, it’s best for them to see a general physician to get the symptoms checked out.
DO check for water damage
Mold and water damage tend to come in pairs. In fact, mold is usually a symptom of water damage. Especially if the moldy spot is damp, chances are you have water damage too.
Go through every room, checking for signs of water damage. For more information about this, go to Part 2: The Low-Down About Water Damage, Including Why Water Damage Restoration is Necessary.
Make sure to bring a flashlight with you to identify any mold that might have grown as a result of the damage.
While you can see some mold, others are nearly invisible to the eye. However, all mold is three-dimensional. Shine the flashlight across from the supposed mold and you’ll see the raised lumps. More mold to notify the professionals of and more to stay away from.
DO take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of another infestation
Control the humidity levels with your air conditioner and humidifier, making sure it doesn’t rise past 50%.
You can check out other preventative measures here.
DON’T breathe mold in
Mold gets in your body one of two ways: ingesting it or inhaling it. This is why it’s very important to not be around the mold infested area. While you may know whether you’ve ingested mold, it’s harder to know if you’ve inhaled it.
If you must stay inside your house, consider getting a mask with an NIOSH rating of N95 and exhale port. This isn’t your typical dust mask, so ask someone for help in finding it if you’re having trouble.
DON’T touch mold
Mold is made up of fungus spores, the spores being the seeds. Touching it could release those spores into the air, possibly spreading the mold and causing more damage.
Not only that, but touching mold could result in an allergic reaction or a fungal infection.
If you absolutely need to touch mold, make sure you use rubber and waterproof gloves and wear eye protection for your eyes.
DON’T get mold in your eyes
Just like with your skin, your eyes will become very irritated if exposed to mold. In some cases, this could lead to an eye infection.
For this reason, it’s recommended to wear eye protection should you absolutely have to interact with mold.
DON’T think the results from a store-bought mold inspection kit is 100% accurate
First off, a professional mold inspection is more accurate than a store-bought kit. Professionals know what they’re doing when they are inspecting the mold; they’ve had years of experience.
A lot of times, store-bought mold inspection kits may not be exactly right because of human error. That, and they’re cheaply made.
When you hire a professional for a mold inspection, yes you’re paying more money. But, the amount should be equivalent to the quality level of service.
If you do happen to purchase a store-bought mold inspection kit and do the test (with gloves, mask, and eye protection), make sure to follow the exact instructions on the label, and know that these kits may provide you with a solid estimate, but aren’t 100% accurate.
DON’T think of this as a DIY project
We know. We’ve mentioned this many, many times, but that’s because it needs to be stressed.
Mold (as well as water damage) are serious problems that call for expert-level service.
So, do not google “how to get rid of mold,” read the article, and, with the newfound knowledge, try to get rid of it.
That puts your health at risk and may only spread the mold and worsen the damage.
Not worth it.
Did this help? Let us know!
Also, contact us about any mold inspection and safety issues, as well as general comments or questions about mold.
Image Credit: Professional conducting a mold inspection via Union Restoration.