4 Steps to Solving a Mold Problem in Your Home

Written by Jason Harris of Same Day Mold Testing
Updated June 24, 2011
Many homes in humid climates are susceptible to mold growth on furniture, clothing and even structural walls if there is inadequate ventilation, says Belk. (Photo courtesy of Gold Coast Flood Restorations)

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This four step process will help you safely deal with mold contamination in your home.

Initial inspection

If you are suspicious of mold contamination, contact a mold inspector. Signs of suspect conditions include: moisture on surfaces, like walls and flooring; malodors such as damp, musty odors; and visible signs of discoloration or dark stains on surfaces.

The inspector should be certified, and there are many certifying organizations. Licensure is not required in all states. An inspector should offer value in terms of service, product and price. The inspection process typically includes a visual inspection, temperature and humidity readings, moisture readings of building materials and sampling.

The inspection report should provide findings of all aspects of inspection and testing. The conclusions and recommendations should offer advice as to whether or not a mold remediation company should correct the problem.

Remediation and removal

If a problem has been positively identified, the next step typically involves a destructive, invasive process known as mold remediation. First, the source of moisture intrusion has to be identified and eliminated. For example, if a leaky pipe is producing moisture behind the wall, a plumber needs to correct the problem. That way you know the moisture will not reoccur or produce the mold contamination again.

Once the problem is fixed, a mold remediation company should be employed to remove the moldy materials and clean the air of the affected area. This work should not be relegated to a handyperson. The remediation company should be licensed and insured, because they are usually going to be employing workers, destroying parts of the structure and potentially rebuilding it. As a rule, if there is going to be more than $500 worth of work being performed, it should be done by a licensed contractor.

Clearance inspection

After mold remediation has been completed, a post-remediation inspection should be performed to verify the area is cleared prior to reconstruction. A documented report of the findings should be provided by the inspection company. It is prudent to use the same company that performed the initial inspection so that the process is administered consistently from beginning to end. The inspection company should be a separate company than the remediation company to avoid conflict of interest. There are companies that perform all four steps of the process; however, chances for improprieties exist and may compromise your legal standing in a lawsuit.

Reconstruction

Once the structure or area has been deemed ready for reconstruction following the clearance inspection, the final step is to rebuild the area so that occupants can resume normal activities of daily living. This final step can be performed by the remediation company or by general labor that specializes in the work needed. Quality, timeliness and cost are all considerations at this step. As an apartment owner, returning tenants to the unit is top priority to mitigate further loss of rental income and/or costs for displacement.

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Jason Harris of Same Day Mold Testing offers fast, affordable results for owners and occupants concerned about the indoor environment of their structures. The company was established in 2005 to serve owners, managers and tenants in the arena of mold contamination.

As of June 24, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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