Have you ever walked into your home after a trip and thought it smelled musty? Or did you recently pick at some peeling wallpaper and see something black behind the paper? Or maybe the hot water heater flooded when you were out of town and the water sat on the floor for a week? These are all things that might lead you to think your house has mold. This article will discuss some generally recommended next steps.
First, keep in mind that mold is a naturally occurring organism. We encounter thousands of spores every day, especially if we live in a warm tropical place like Florida. While some people may have an allergy to certain mold, mold affects everyone differently. Mold is not normally a problem indoors but with that said, you should always consult a licensed physician to discuss health issues you may be experiencing.
Second, find out whether there is actually mold in your home. If there is visible mold, such as seen in the included photo, then sampling of the air is not necessary. It must be removed. If there is no visible mold but a musty odor, or if building materials have been wet or damp for an extended period of time then it’s time to call in the professionals to conduct a thorough inspection. Mold may be present inside wall cavities, behind appliances, or in other typically inaccessible spaces.
Third, what is leading to the mold growth? Typically, the one condition that is possible to control is moisture availability. Sometimes moisture occurs in a one-time event, such as a flood. Other times, it is a result of recurring conditions such as high indoor humidity, a water leak, a roof leak, an air conditioning duct leak, or other chronic water intrusion.
Finally, the mold or water damaged building materials must be removed and/or cleaned, preferably by a mold remediation contractor to prevent the unnecessary spread of mold spores into other areas not previously affected.
While regulations vary state by state, in Florida at least, an inspector that samples for or otherwise identifies molds must be state licensed as a Florida Licensed Mold Assessor (FLMA). This professional can help to find the mold, as well as the conditions that led to the indoor mold activity and create a remediation plan to address the mold or water damaged materials. The remediation plan advises the licensed remediation contractor as to how the remediation should proceed. It is also recommended that you retain the FLMA to oversee the remediation, at least at critical points, and when the project is complete, which is called a post-remediation verification inspection.
If you have any further questions about mold or a recent water intrusion event, or would like Eco Advisors’ FLMAs to conduct an inspection at your home or business, please give us a call at 561-627-1810 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.