Be aware of the potential health risks. This substance can lead to skin irritation, difficulty breathing, a stuffy nose, and eye irritation. If you have asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions, you may be more sensitive and it could present serious risks for you. Individuals with suppressed immune systems, including people with HIV infection and people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment, are at greater risk of developing complications from exposure to this substance. They may experience infections in their lungs.
You may be able to spot this substance by sight. If your walls or ceiling are discolored with patches of growths or even simply with water damage, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re going to have a problem. In addition, you may be able to recognize it by a musty, earthy stench.
After your home suffers water damage, the first thing you’ll want to do is aerate the space by opening the doors and windows. You can use fans to dry out your carpet, furniture, and belongings. If you’re unable to dry some of your items, you’ll want to remove them from your home immediately. While you’re waiting for your insurance claim to go through, you may want to find a place to store your items outside your home.
Meanwhile, before you bring in a contractor, you can take care of some basic mold removal duties yourself by cleaning items and surfaces with detergent and water. This will prevent the growth from returning. Still, it’s much safer to leave the mold removal job in the hands of a qualified contractor.
To find a suitable contractor, you can contact the Better Business Bureau and ask for a list of highly rated specialists in your area. They will be able to tell you whether any given contractor receives a high number of customer complaints, and they also keep track of how companies handle such disputes. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few contractors, ask them for estimates. They should be able to provide you with copies of the standards they follow for remediation. If a contractor refuses to show you the guidelines he or she follows, that throws up a big red flag. Your contractor should also detail his or her experience, training, and certifications for you.
Remediation is not a regulated profession in all states. You can contact your local health representative to find out whether your contractor needs a license to perform mold removal work. If so, ask to see the license and ensure that your contractor is in good standing with that regulatory agency.