Most household molds grow on wood or fiber that has been wet for more than a few days. Slimy black or green in appearance, patches of mold can readily hide behind leaky toilets, under waterbeds, or in carpeting you may not realize is wet.
Undetected, mold can cause asthma patients to get markedly sicker or it may cause asthma-like symptoms such as sneezing, coughing or difficulty breathing in normally healthy people. Eyes, ears and noses may also become irritated.
If you suspect mold is making you or your family sick, or if you see it growing in a damp area of your home, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), look to find where the moisture is coming from. You need to have the mold removed. As important, you need to eliminate the cause of the moisture in which it grew or the mold will come back again.
Once you find out how and where moisture is seeping into your home, deal with it accordingly. Then, if the area where the mold is found isn’t too large, you may want to tackle it yourself. If it’s a large area, covering 10 square feet or more, contact a local environmental protection group for advice. Most likely, a professional mold removal expert will need to be called in.
If you plan to tackle the mold yourself, buy a surgical face mask and wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Scrub the area with warm water and detergent, and dry it well, perhaps using fans or a hair dryer. Disinfect the area with a solution of one gallon of water to 1/4 cup of bleach. Then let the area air dry and repeat the process to ensure that more if not all of the mold is eliminated.
If the leak or other moisture problem has been eliminated, mold shouldn’t be an issue anymore. If, after all of that work, the mold comes back, it’s time to call in a professional. Not only will he remove the mold, he’ll eliminate the source. If the moisture isn’t completely removed from the home, it’s just an invitation for the mold to come back.