Actions to Take When You Notice Mold in Your House

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Water/Mold Damage

After some water damage, expect mold in house corners, on and behind walls, and under carpets or between woody materials. Unfortunately, mold is an inevitable part of life, and its spores are present everywhere around us. When moisture accumulates in a house, the risk of mold growth increases significantly. 

When mold in your house grows, start by identifying all the affected areas and understanding the type of mold by testing with a home kit or calling in experts. You’ll need protective gear, like gloves, a mask, disposable coveralls, and goggles. Then clean out the mold, disinfect the area, dry it, and repair any leaks. 

We’ve worked with many property owners in Kentucky seeking to recover after unexpected disasters, such as water damage that led to mold growth. We’ve condensed our decades of experience into this easy-to-follow guide to help you take quick action and minimize the damage.

Recognizing Mold in Your Home

Some mold may be visible, but others show up in less obvious forms. For example, you may notice a musty smell in your home or allergic reactions such as sneezing and watery eyes without seeing any visible signs of mold. The key is to know where to look for it.

If you’re looking for a roofing company in Danville, Kentucky, then contact the team at Jacob’s Ladder today for a quote.

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Mold usually grows in damp, warm areas with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics. Common signs of mold growth include:

  • Discoloration or black spots on walls, ceilings, floors, or fabrics.
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper.
  • Bulging or warped surfaces.
  • Musty odors.

The amount of mold you see doesn’t tell the whole story. Mold can be invisible inside walls, under carpets, and other hidden areas. You would need to home mold test these areas for an accurate estimate of mold growth in your house.

Types of Mold and Their Potential Health Impacts

There are thousands of mold species, but the most common types found in homes include:

  • Alternaria: It is usually black or dark brown and can cause asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and skin or eye irritation.
  • Aspergillus: It’s usually green, brown, or yellow and can cause respiratory infections and inflammation.
  • Cladosporium: It’s usually black or olive-green and could cause breathing issues or allergic reactions.
  • Penicillium: It’s often blue-green or white and can cause allergies, asthma attacks, and lung infections.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum : Alias black mold, it’s usually dark green or black and can cause respiratory issues, skin irritation, and headaches.

Not all molds harm humans, but it’s crucial to quickly stop mold growth in your home. If you or anyone in your household experiences unexplained health issues without apparent cause, it may be due to mold exposure.

We already discussed how to check for mold after water damage, and it covers how to conduct a DIY home mold test. 

Immediate Steps Upon Discovering Mold

Safety and health should be your top priorities when dealing with mold in your home. Start by taking precautions to protect yourself and others from mold spores before taking steps to remove and disinfect the area. 

Safety precaution tools and equipment include:

  • Protective gloves.
  • Safety glasses or goggles. 
  • Protective face mask.
  • Disposable coveralls. 
  • Closed-toe shoes. 

Remember to switch off your HVAC system so it doesn’t fan around mold spores faster. Mold can grow anywhere, so wearing protective gear is essential, even in areas without visible mold growth.

How to Get Rid of Mold in House

Once you have taken safety precautions, here are some initial steps to contain and minimize mold spread:

  1. Identify and address the source of moisture or water intrusion that led to mold growth.
  2. Increase natural air circulation that lets out the dampness, decreasing the spores inside the house. Open windows and doors so fresh air comes in, but don’t use fans, as they can spread mold spores.
  3. Remove any visible mold growth by scrubbing it off with soapy water or diluted liquid detergent.
  4. Disinfect the area with antifungal solutions, such as bleach or vinegar. 
  5. Dry the area thoroughly using dehumidifiers or hot air blowers.
  6. Safely remove any contaminated materials, like carpets, drywall, or insulation.
  7. Seal all water leaks and repair all water damage causing mold growth.
  8. Be vigilant and keep checking for any signs of recurring mold growth.

It’s crucial to note that proper ventilation and containment are essential during mold removal. It helps to stop mold spores from spreading to other areas of your home, which can lead to further contamination.

Caution Against DIY Mold Removal

While small-scale mold removal in easily accessible areas is possible, you could easily make the same mistakes as many homeowners during DIY mold removal:

  • Not wearing protective gear.
  • Failing to identify and address all sources of moisture or water intrusion.
  • Using fans to dry the affected area, which can spread mold spores.
  • Inadequate containment and ventilation during removal.

Remember, no matter how thorough you are in eliminating mold in some areas; mold will likely return if you don’t address the root cause of moisture or water intrusion. Also, missing a spot where mold grows or failing to dispose of contaminated materials can result in recurring mold growth.

Moreover, the mistakes you’re likely to make could cause health risks for you and your family. You don’t want anyone in your home inhaling those mold spores that cause all manner of breathing problems, allergies, and other health issues. 

So, it’s best to seek professional help if you’re unsure how to remove mold properly or if the affected area is too large for DIY methods.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to call certified mold remediation experts:

  • The contamination has spread over ten square feet.
  • Mold growth in hidden or inaccessible areas, such as behind walls or under carpets.
  • You and your family members are experiencing health issues related to mold exposure.
  • You’ve attempted DIY mold removal, but the problem persists.

Hiring professionals for mold removal has several advantages. Certified mold remediation experts have the proper training and equipment to safely remove mold without spreading it further. 

They also have the expertise to identify and address all moisture or water intrusion sources, ensuring that mold doesn’t return.

Preventing Mold Recurrence

In a previous post, we answered, “What do you do to prevent mold and water damage?”. Here’s another post you should read related to mold recurrence, “Will a metal roof cause mold?” 

As mentioned, preventive measures such as fixing leaks and controlling moisture can help prevent mold growth. However, even with proper prevention methods, disasters can still happen. 

If you discover mold in your house, taking immediate steps to contain and minimize its spread is crucial.

Final Thoughts on Removing Mold from Home

Mold is a common household problem that could pose serious health risks if left untreated. While DIY methods can remove mold in small-scale and accessible areas, seeking professional help is necessary for larger mold infestations or hidden growth. 

Remember to use protective gear and take all the necessary precautions when removing mold. Your best bet is always to prevent mold from growing in the first place, but if you do encounter it in your home, your next best bet is to ask the Jacob’s Ladder team to help. 

Our water-mold damage services address all levels of mold damage and provide long-term solutions to prevent recurrence. Contact us today if you have any questions or need to recoup from a disaster in Danville, Kentucky. 

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