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Think You Have Mold? Take These Steps Immediately.

A side view of a shocked young woman looking at mold on wall.

Maybe one of the rooms in your home smells musty. Or you notice you’ve been coughing and sneezing more than usual. Or you see a white, thread-like material or a cluster of black dots near an old water stain. No matter how you discover it, finding mold in your house can be a troubling experience. If you’re hesitant about trying to get rid of the mold yourself, you’ve made a smart decision. DIY mold removal can be ineffective and even dangerous—but there are steps you can take to ensure mold is removed quickly and completely before it has a chance to spread.

Don’t Use a Fan

Although good airflow can reduce excess moisture and help prevent mold from forming, once mold has appeared you shouldn’t attempt to dry the affected area by using a fan. Molds reproduce via spores—tiny, lightweight “seeds”—that travel through the air. Turning on a fan in an area with mold will only help the mold spread to other areas of your home where it can cause even more damage. If possible, also try to limit the use of your air conditioner until you can have the mold removed. Your air conditioner can also spread mold spores and might even be harboring spores in its vents.

Don’t Try to Remove the Mold Yourself

Trying to remove mold yourself can actually do more harm than good. Not only are you unlikely to know what kind of mold you have, but most homeowner don’t have the training, tools, or protective clothing necessary to get rid of mold safely and completely. Calling a professional mold remediation specialist is the best way to handle a mold problem.

Keep People and Pets Away

Keep the door closed to help prevent the mold from spreading to other areas. If possible, keep everyone, including pets, out of the room where mold is growing. Mold exposure can be just as dangerous to your pets as it is to humans—sometimes even more so. Pets can breathe in or ingest mold spores, which can cause respiratory or digestive problems. Your furry friends can even get mold spores trapped on their coat or skin and inadvertently spread the mold to other areas of your home.

See a Doctor

If you or a family member have a mold allergy, mold in your home can increase symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose, coughing, watery eyes, and itchy nose or throat. Even if you don’t have a mold allergy, long-term exposure to mold can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. If you suspect mold is making you or a family member sick, see a doctor as soon as possible. Untreated mold exposure symptoms can intensify into serious illnesses like mold-induced asthma, allergic fungal sinusitis, and even inflammation of the lungs due to hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Related Topic: Mold Symptoms: Is Mold Making Me Sick?

Contact Your Insurance Company

If mold in your home is the result of water damage, most insurance companies will cover its removal. Water damage includes events like a burst water pipe, ruptured water heater, or an appliance malfunction that floods your home. You may also be covered if there’s a fire and mold develops after firefighters extinguish the flames with water. Insurance companies may vary on what they will and won’t cover, so be sure to call your insurer to understand the scope and amount of your coverage.

Related Topic: After the Flood—Watch Out for These 7 Hazardous Situations

Professional Mold Remediation

Mold remediation specialists determine your mold’s location and scope, and then safely remove or kill the mold. When you need help getting rid of mold, Rainbow International’s professional mold remediation services include:

  • Inspection—identifying mold areas and finding the source of the problem.

  • Containment—the affected area is closed off to avoid cross-contamination during removal

  • Air Filtration—using HEPA filters to cleanse the air of mold spores.

  • Removal—usually involves cleaning non-porous materials and getting rid of porous materials to ensure the mold doesn’t return.

  • Structural Drying—all cleaned and repaired items are thoroughly dried, and you’re given moisture management strategies to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  • Repair—the contaminated materials clean, mold-free materials replace.

Mold damage can’t wait. If left unresolved it can lead to serious health issues for you, your family and pets. If you think you have mold, contact Rainbow International as soon as possible. Call them at (855) 724-6269 or request an appointment online and one of their IICRC-certified technicians will help get your house back to normal as soon as possible.