Mold is a scary word. Whenever it’s around, it means something has gone bad. It’s a shame, really, because it sounds like and is spelled similar to “mole,” which carries an entirely different connotation. Moles, as in the animal, are cute.
But no one thinks mold is cute. And the side effects it causes aren’t either.
Stop Denying It
You may think, “So what’s a little mold?” Well, you won’t think that after you develop allergic reactions like asthma and other breathing problems. It’s time to stop blaming the pets and start considering that maybe, just maybe, your home has mold in it.
How Can I Tell If There Is Mold In My Home?
One telltale sign that may point to a mold infestation in your home is the smell. Mold smells like, well, mold. It’s musty and gross. When you’ve cleaned out the entire house and made sure all the trash is taken out and the plumbing is clear, and you still detect an odor coming from an area with moisture in it like a bathroom or kitchen, you might have mold.
Another obvious indicator is, of course, little black or green or white fuzzy things growing on any of your surfaces. You’ll typically find these in areas where moisture collects, like the walls in bathrooms. But if you don’t see it, don’t think it’s not there. It could still be in the ceiling, in the walls or under the floorboards.
Finally, if you’ve developed allergic reactions and respiratory problems that you never had before, and nothing else in your house has changed… you guessed it: you may have mold in your home.
Okay, I Admit There Might Be Mold In My Home. Now What?
If you think there might be mold in your house, the best thing you can do is call a professional. Now, hold on. You might be thinking, “Why can’t I just clean it up myself?” We’ve got three good reasons why you shouldn’t do that.
1. A professional mold inspector can find the mold 95% of the time, no matter where it’s growing. You can go nose to nose with your bathroom all day, but you probably don’t know how to check for it in other unlikely places, like the attic or the walls. Mold inspectors use special tools that help them find the mold in your house, wherever it may lurk.
2. A professional mold inspector will identify the mold and decide how best to remove it. They can also teach you how to prevent it from coming back.
3. A professional mold inspector can recommend a mold remediation contractor. A mold remediation contractor can remove the growth.
Better Call BNF
Justin H. Joe, PhD, CIH, CSP, CPE, is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and
a principal consultant of BNF Consulting, Inc. Dr. Joe graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with PhD and MS degrees in nuclear engineering. Dr. Joe has provided industrial hygiene consulting as a core function with his diverse background of experience and education.