Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
Tips For Black Mold Removal
Are you looking the other way when you see a moldy substance growing in the dark and damp areas of your home? You shouldnt be if that substance is greenish-black. Its a mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra. This is more commonly known as black mold and its very toxic and very deadly. Thats why when youre dealing with molds, you need to know all of the facts. And when youre dealing with Black Mold Removal you need to be very aware of this dangerous fungus and know how to stop it dead in its tracks. Immediately!
Black mold symptoms can be severe. A person who has been exposed to black mold may have the following mold health symptoms: difficulty breathing, they may experience headaches, coughing, nausea, memory loss, dizziness, asthma, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and over time they may even experience infertility.
Black mold is responsible for more than 100 types of lung conditions. But worst of all, Stachybotrys chartarum can cause respiratory bleeding, which is fatal in infants.
And while thats pretty darn scary, many people refuse to believe that they even have this nasty substance in their home. They believe that if they keep their house clean, they will never encounter this dangerous fungus. Unfortunately that just isnt true! Even the cleanest home can create the perfect place for fungus to grow.
How To Identify Mold On Walls
Before you can start to remove molds from a wall, it is important that you identify all areas that have been contaminated. The most common areas where it is found typically include the basement, bathroom, kitchen, garage and bedroom, especially a bedroom that is next to a bathroom or a bedroom next to the laundry room. You should look in areas that have a lot of dampness or moisture, such as the laundry room, basement and kitchen. You should also look at the grout between the bathroom tiles, above ceiling tiles that water stains, in any area where you smell mildew or there is a musty smell and any area that has been subjected to flooding. If you have water stains on the wall, or peeling or bubbling paint, it may be inside of the wall, which means you may need to remove the drywall to look behind it, especially if you smell a musty odor. Identifying black mold is fairly easy, because it is as the name suggests, black in color. It also usually has a slimy appearance.
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What Does Mold On Soil Looks Like
Sometimes, homeowners and gardeners dont know what mold looks like on soil. White mold has a white fuzzy or woolly appearance on your soil, similar to the type you found on rotten food. Green mold appears as powdery shades of green.
Black mold can be identified as black sooty-looking or dark green patches on your soil and around the base of the plant. Brown powdery mold appears as tiny brown powdery spores, which become noticeable as the dusty look on the leaves of your plants. Both black and brown powdery mold can be hideous, so you may need to consult mold remediation professional for help.
What Type Of Mold Can Grow On Plant Soil
The types of mold that can grow on your plant soil are classified by their color. The common ones are white, black, green, and brown powdery molds, respectively. Each type of mold has different species with dissimilar effects on your soil. But how would you differentiate each mold on your houseplant soil?
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Basement Mold Remediation Basement Mold Removal Costs
Basement mold is more common than it should be with the common causes being leaky foundations, improper HVAC draining, plumbing leaks, and malfunctioning sump pumps.
If you notice mold growth or smell the musty mold odor, call a mold removal company that specializes in basement mold removal.
Tell them what you have found, where you found it, how bad it is, and the approximate size of the area affected. Some companies will give free estimates so you can help to determine the average cost you can expect.
They will send an investigator to your home to see the extent of the mold growth.
They may sample the air and perform a pre-test in some areas.
This evaluation will help them determine the cost and the amount of time it will take to remove the mold.
Here are a few basic questions to ask of your basement mold specialist. As usual, it is best to get all the information you possibly can to ensure that you know what to expect out of the process. :
- What are your qualifications?
- What kind of quality assurance does your company use?
- Could you tell me about your experience?
- What black mold removal methods do you use?
- Can I stay in my home while you work or do I need to leave?
You can expect the removal process to go a little like this:
Basement mold remediation costs can range from $1,000 to $8,000 and upwards based on a national industry average.
The amount of time, method, square footage and the effort expected to go into the mold remediation is what will determine the cost.
Always Use Protective Gear
If you choose to remove the problem on your own, it is important to wear protective gear, including eyewear, gloves and long sleeves. In many situations, it is best to contact a professional mold remediation company to remove the mould for you. You should contact a professional if it covers an area of the wall that is ten square feet or more, if you suspect a problem inside the walls, unless you are experienced in replacing drywall and insulation, if you suspect problem inside the heating and air ducts or if you have a respiratory disorder.
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What Is Epa Mold Remediation
EPA mold remediation is the guidelines that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published in order to protect people from the dangers of mold exposure. Many people dont realize how serious mold can be, and health problems can occur because they dont follow a proper home mold remediation process.
Learning about the EPAs guidelines for mold can help you to identify the supplies and techniques that are needed to effectively clean up the area and completely get rid of the mold. If you follow the steps as outlined, then the mold spores will be killed and you will be able to prevent future mold problems.
According to the EPA, you should not attempt a mold cleanup yourself if the mold covers more than 10 square feet, if the mold was caused by contaminated water, if the mold has gotten into the HVAC systems or if you have health issues that can be affected by additional exposure. You should hire a professional mold removal contractor Healthy Air Mold Remediation.
The EPA mold remediation guidelines outline steps that need to be taken to clean up water damage kill mold spores, sanitize all surfaces, prevent cross contamination, prevent health complications from mold exposure, and finishing up the job. Be sure to have a specific plan in place before you begin home mold remediation
Black Mold Removal Cost
The cost of professional removal varies widely depending on the location and severity of the problem. Thorough treatment of a minor infestation in an accessible area can run as low as $500, while a larger, more established problem can stretch well into the thousands, as remediation specialists may need to remove affected drywall, enter your walls in order to fully treat the problem, etc. While this may seem expensive, black mold can be intractable and if an infestation isnt completely wiped out it can quickly come back with a vengeance, necessitating further treatment and driving the cost up even higher.
Infestations in air vents and other out of the way locations are necessarily more expensive, requiring special expertise and equipment to kill established colonies in cramped quarters. Extremely severe infestations that have spread extensively through walls, air vents, etc. can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Each infestation is different, and an inspection by a remediation specialist is necessary to evaluate the extent of your problem and provide you with an accurate estimate of your removal cost.
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Dont Want To Use Chemicals Heres How To Get Rid Of Mold In Your Basement Naturally
Understandably, some households want to avoid using harsh chemicals in the home to treat mold, especially if its a small and manageable amount. Thankfully, there are several natural and less-harsh products to clean mold away.
For example, vinegar and baking soda are both acidic and can be used to scrub away mold and help kill the spores in its wake. Simply make a half-water, half-vinegar solution, spray on the mold, leave overnight, and come back the next day to scrub with soapy water. For baking soda, make a paste of 50:50 baking soda and water to use as an abrasive scrub, or mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spray the solution on the affected area before scrubbing.
Though these methods are usually effective in getting rid of mold in basements, more serious problems may require stronger solutions or professional intervention.
Types Of Black Mold Remediation
There are three primary methods of black mold removal and remediation.
These methods are Negative Air Pressure, HEPA Vacuuming, and Air Scrubbing.
Two of these mold removal methods were mentioned in the process for removing mold from crawl spaces.
Here is a brief description of each of these methods:
Negative Air Pressure Mold Removal
Negative air containment is done by strategically positioning blower fans in the area to be remediated.
Clean air is pulled into the area so that contaminated air is blown to the outside of the home.
This prevents the spread of mold to other areas of the home.
HEPA Vacuuming Mold Remediation
A vacuum containing a HEPA filter is used to vacuum the moldy area.
This takes up any of the loose molds with the HEPA filter trapping small particles and mold spores so they do not make their way into the air.
The filter must be disposed of properly by the mold removal company.
They may properly seal the filter before depositing it into the trash or they will destroy the filter.
Air Scrubber Mold Elimination
Air scrubbers clean the air, as mold spores will easily become airborne.
The scrubbers, which look like air purifiers, are outfitted with filters that catch any mold particles or spores.
The end result is much cleaner air.
If an air sample reveals spores in then air, the air scrubbers are almost always used.
If mold is very difficult to remove by vacuum, then scrubbing pads may be used to scrub out the mold.
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Why Should You Contact A Remediation Professional
- Not all white woolly and black discolorations are molds.
- Black or green mold can exist in your soil without you seeing it.
- Dont risk the health of your plant soil and family before taking action.
- Only mold remediation companies have state-of-the-art mold testing tools.
So, only a remediation company can confirm if what you see is mold or just a look-alike. They are in the best position to tell what type of mold it is and how dangerous it can be on your plant, soil, and family.
Tips For Mold Prevention
After you learn how to remove mold, focus on preventing it in the future. Controlling dampness is the key to stopping most mold. The worst infestations usually occur in damp crawl spaces, attics, walls where water leaked in from the outside, and in basements with poor foundation drainage. Stopping leaks, ensuring good ventilation in attics, keeping crawl spaces dry and routing water away from the foundation are the best defenses against mold.
Mildewcide in paint is usually effective for controlling surface mold in damp rooms like bathrooms, and outside in shady areas. Many paints already have mildewcide in them. Check with your paint dealer about mold removal products.
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Determine If Mold Cleanup Has Been Successful
Just because the mold is gone and there’s no dirt or dust doesn’t mean that you’re done. Your last step is to determine if your clean-up efforts have been successful. While this last step is a judgment call, there are some options and guidelines to follow.
The EPA document, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, is a great resource that provides guidelines for helping you complete your clean up efforts. Some of these guidelines include:
- The moisture problem has been fixed. Verify this by revisiting the home soon after remediation you shouldn’t see any signs of recurring water damage.
- No sign of visible mold, mold-damaged materials or moldy odors.
- Homeowners should be able to occupy or re-occupy the home without physical symptoms or aggravated health complaints.
Depending on your company and the specific details of a mold problem, additional testing by an environmental testing company may be performed after the clean up to verify that all mold has been removed.
When it comes to mold, the key is to implement a comprehensive moisture management strategy. Potential liability and health issues from mold can be dramatically decreased by doing it right the first time. Clean up must be immediate and thorough, following a process like the above steps. It may sound over-simplified, but the primary failure in response to homeowner complaints is simply the fact that builders don’t respond fast enough, or with the emphasis that the issue is potentially serious.
How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Once an area has been thoroughly cleaned, it can be rinsed to remove any leftover detergent or disinfectant. The area should then, of course, be completely dried and appropriately ventilated. This is also a good opportunity to check that nothing has been overlooked.
A high-efficiency particulate, or HEPA, vacuum should be used for the final black mold cleanup. This can be used to clean up dust, dirt and anything else that may hold stray spores or black mold particles. Unlike a standard vacuum, a HEPA vacuum has a filtration system that helps prevent harmful materials from being spread during cleaning.
Finally, all affected materials should be handled with care. All ruined items that are being discarded should be carefully sealed in a plastic bag before being removed from the area. If possible, mobile items should be cleaned and brushed off outdoors.
Black mold removal can be a difficult process, and it is a good idea to check the cleaned area in the future to be sure that no new growth has occurred. Prevention is the easiest way to deal with mold. Proper housekeeping, decisive action regarding leaks and spills and the use of a dehumidifier can save a person a lot of time, effort and money.
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How To Remove From Shower
Warm and damp, a shower is the perfect environment for an infestation to become established.
Limited, isolated surface infestations can again be killed using the 1:10 bleach solution and thorough cleaning, but fungus found along grout and shower tile borders may be a sign of deeper infiltration, necessitating removal of the tiles and possibly the underlying structure of the wall to assess and adequately treat the problem. Care should be taken not to spread the infestation to other parts of your bathroom. Read our in-depth removal guide: black mold in shower
To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home
- Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you canno higher than 50%all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. You can buy a meter to check your homes humidity at a home improvement store. Humidity levels change over the course of a day so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be sure the air in your home flows freely. Use exhaust fans that vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your homes roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up and dry out your home fully and quickly after a flood.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting. You can buy mold inhibitors at paint and home improvement stores.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried right away. Think about not using carpet in places like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
- To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agencys book A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at .
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