How to Remediate Mold in Your Home
Mold in Boulder homes can be a common occurrence for many owners. From the bathroom to the basement to the kitchen, there are plenty of water-logged places where a colony can form. Mildew and mold may have similar roots, but mold can't be killed with just simple household cleaners. Those who notice a formation will need to take serious remediation steps to make their home safe for all.
Evaluating the Damage
Mold isn't necessarily a reason to panic, but homeowners also need to treat it with the gravity it deserves. Untreated mold can cause illness and even death if it continues to spread. Scraping off a small sample can help determine the individual risks of the species in the home. If anyone in the home has unexplained chronic symptoms, they'll need to see a doctor for an official diagnosis. Mold poisoning can affect the body in a variety of ways, but it typically manifests in cold-like symptoms. All residents should avoid infected areas until the home has been treated.
Look for the Cause
Leaky pipes, appliances, showers: these are all common culprits for mold. However, even if homeowners successfully identify the cause, it's not always easy to determine just how deep the problem goes. For example, homeowners may be able to easily tighten a pipe under the sink and eradicate the visible mold that surrounds it, but if the mold spread behind the walls, they may not notice it until it causes serious devastation to the structural integrity of the home.
DIY testing kits may be able to shed some light on the subject, but homeowners should be careful when testing. It's not uncommon for more than one species to form, which can compromise results if homeowners only test one patch.
DIY Home Mold Removal
Most experts advise against DIY removal for the following reasons:
- Ventilation: Most homeowners don't have the equipment they need to ensure proper ventilation in an infested area.
- Disease: Mold spreads disease and extended exposure can be harmful—especially for those with a weak immune system.
- Expense: Purchasing equipment can be more expensive than calling a professional.
- Efficacy: Many homeowners may miss important signs when they're performing DIY remediation.
If homeowners do choose to hire a professional they should insist on third-party retesting after treatment. Even the best professionals may miss part of the colony, and third-party retesting can give homeowners peace of mind that all mold is truly gone from the property.
Home Insurance and Mold Remediation
Home insurance may cover home mold if the mold stems from a covered reason under the policy. If the basement experiences mild flooding from a storm, home insurance may cover the costs of mold remediation in this case. However, if the mold starts because a homeowner didn't complete proper home maintenance in time, then the homeowner would be responsible for the full removal costs.
The chances of mold can be greatly reduced with proper home maintenance. Homeowners should take a thorough tour of their property once every few months and note any necessary repairs that need to be made. This may include anything from fixing a leak on the roof to buying a new gasket for the dishwasher. Hiring a professional home inspector once a year may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can also be the key to solving small issues before they have a chance to become large problems.