Most homeowners perform mold removal on a regular basis, as mold often grows around shower walls and floors or might be found on outside wood decks and fences. Cleaning common household mold in the shower or which is clinging to exterior timber features is often simple and straightforward; however, removing black mold and large patches of this contaminant from the home's framework and other spaces is not a DIY job!
Professional mold removal ensures that all traces of mold spores are removed thoroughly and adequately, protecting your home from damage and eliminating risks to your health caused by mold exposure.
As a homeowner, it's vital that you understand the risk of mold and similar contaminants, to your house and your health! Proper mold cleaning and removal is also often more complicated and hazardous than homeowners realize. To protect your home from dangerous mold, mildew, algae, moss, and other types of living contaminants, both inside or outside your property, note some detailed information about how these substances grow and spread, and why it's good to rely on professional black mold removal and cleanup services as needed.
What Causes Mold In a Home
Mold is a type of fungus, a living organism that feeds off biological materials. One favorite food source for mold is cellulose, found in gypsum board or drywall.
This cellulose is why mold often grows along the inside of walls and ceilings. Mold and mildew can also develop underneath carpet padding or along cloth materials sitting against a damp surface, such as a basement wall.
Mold also thrives in warm, dark, and humid environments. Plumbing leaks behind walls or under floorboards might lead to mold growth, as the wood of a home’s framework or sheets of drywall often absorb water from these leaks and then fail to dry correctly. Since light doesn't reach these spaces, mold then develops and spreads. Homes located in tropical areas are also prone to mold growth, and houses without proper ventilation or that trap heat and humidity for any reason may see more mold development than other homes.
It's also not uncommon to see mold develop in basements and crawlspaces. Moisture often seeps into basements or crawlspaces through the home's foundation or concrete flooring, and this moisture then gets trapped along those lower levels. Since basements and crawlspaces typically receive very little light, mold can then form and spread.
Dangers of Mold in the Home
To ensure you understand the importance of professional mold cleaning in your home, note some dangers of this contaminant in your home, to your health and to the house itself!
Mold holds moisture against surfaces, including wood studs, floorboards, and drywall. These materials absorb this moisture and then soften and weaken over time.
Mold and other such contaminants, including mildew and algae, often produce very unpleasant odors that are bothersome to the sinuses. A person can even suffer headaches and lightheadedness because of these smells alone!
Mold spores and other similar contaminants are irritating to the skin. When these spores become airborne and settle onto your skin or scalp, you might notice itchiness, flaking, and other such irritation.
Not all forms of mold are toxic, but breathing in certain types of mold can be dangerous for your sinuses and your lungs. Prolonged exposure to toxic mold leads to headaches, breathing disorders, coughing, asthma, and other serious health concerns.
Why You Need Professional Mold Cleaning
Cleaning thick or large patches of mold from your home is not a DIY job! This type of work is not something you can learn by visiting “how to remove mold” videos or tutorials online. Note why professional black mold removal is well worth the cost, and why a homeowner should avoid trying to manage this job on their own.
You must identify and address the cause of mold growth before cleanup, or mold will return. A homeowner might assume that they've capped off a water leak or other such issue, but it's best to rely on the expertise of a mold remediation professional, to ensure mold doesn't return once removed from the home.
After cleaning certain building materials with sprays and scrub brushes, a surface might seem free of mold. However, mold spores might still be embedded deep inside drywall, wood beams, and other such materials, so that this mold returns over time.
If mold has softened wood studs and other building materials, they need replacing! Soft or otherwise damaged building materials can shift, chip, or crack, leading to more extensive damage to your home. A mold cleaning specialist will know what materials are damaged beyond repair and which then need outright replacement.
A simple face mask and everyday rubber gloves are not sufficient protection for mold cleaning, as spores can cling to your clothes, shoes, hair, and skin. A mold remediation specialist will know the proper protective gear to wear when addressing mold growth in the home.
Reducing the Risk of Mold in the Home
A home might develop mold simply due to local climate conditions, but ensuring your home is adequately maintained and repaired as needed can help prevent the development of mold. Note some simple but useful tips for reducing the risk of mold in your home.
Maintain your home's plumbing properly. Have the pipes cleaned out and checked for leaks as needed, and familiarize yourself with the signs of a plumbing leak. Have any such leaks repaired quickly, no matter their severity.
A home should have proper ventilation to let out trapped humidity. If your house always feels hot and stuffy during summer months, consider adding a roof vent or other ventilation, to allow trapped moisture to escape the home properly.
Have the basement or crawlspace checked regularly for needed repairs. Apply waterproofing paint or coatings to concrete walls and floors as needed, to keep out moisture and prevent water leaks.
Regular, professional carpet cleaning will remove trapped moisture from underneath rugs and padding, and help kill mildew and mold spores. Avoid shampooing carpets yourself, as it's easy to leave behind rinse water, which can then lead to mildew and mold growth.
Professional power washing of outside decks and wood fences will help eliminate mold and mildew that grow along their surfaces, reducing the risk of mold spores becoming airborne and making their way inside the home.
Regular roof washing and exterior house washing will kill developing mold spores, reducing the risk of outside mold making its way inside the home and then clinging to walls, carpets, and other such surfaces.
Prevent flooding in the home by ensuring waterbeds, aquariums, and other such items are always in good repair. Insulate pipes to reduce the risk of having one freeze and then burst, and never leave running water unattended in a bathroom or kitchen.
A homeowner should also call on a water restoration expert after any flood or fire in the home, no matter how small. Floodwaters from outside the home or water from an overflowing bathtub, burst pipe, and the like are easily absorbed by drywall and carpeting, leading to mold growth. Water used to extinguish a fire can also lead to mold, mildew, and other contaminants in the home. A water cleanup expert can ensure your house is appropriately cleaned, to reduce this risk.
How Much Is Mold Removal?
Your mold removal cost will vary according to the work involved and the equipment needed by a cleanup crew. Note a few considerations that might affect this work and your final prices from a cleaning expert:
If a mold cleanup expert determines that drywall, carpeting, and other such materials need removal and replacement, they may need to rent a dumpster for disposing of these items.
A cleanup expert might need to use a heavy-duty saw and other equipment to cut away contaminated materials. He or she might also need to purchase construction materials for bracing up a home's framework during this removal and replacement process.
Humid environments might require the rental and use of heavy-duty fans or dehumidifiers.
Airborne mold spores might require the use of air sanitizers, to kill spores in the air and create a safe environment for the cleaning crew.
It often takes some time to access areas such as crawlspaces, and a cleanup crew might charge a higher fee for their labor to clean mold in these spaces.
Are there legal restrictions for homeowners cleaning mold in their home?
Many areas have regulations regarding residential mold cleaning and disposal. Check with your city or county clerk's office for restrictions and requirements in your area before attempting any mold cleaning and removal on your own.
Does homeowner's insurance cover mold cleaning?
Typically a homeowner's insurance policy will take into consideration the cause of mold growth; for example, if you shampoo your carpets and fail to extract rinse water, resultant mold may not be covered. Mold removal needed after a flood, however, might be reimbursed.