The 'M' Word

The 'M' Word

Mold is a word homeowners and property managers cringe at imagining. How did it get there? Where did it come from? Why is it growing there? How do I get rid of it? Where do I begin... ?

People take great measures and pride in maintaining their property and their home so finding mold is unsettling, to say the least. Here are the questions that need to be asked before hiring a certified mold remediation company:

What is mold?What does the mold look like? Is it splotchy? What color is it? Is there an odor?

Mold is a common fungus that grows inside and outside, wherever there is moisture and an organic food source, like wood or drywall. There are thousands of different kinds of mold spores and they all have characteristics in color, growth and sometimes, odor.

  • How did it get there? Is there water damage to a wall or a moisture problem in the space like a leaky pipe, condensation coming from a window, or a ventilation problem? Mold needs water and organic material to survive so it is important to understand the source of its growth in order to eliminate it.
  • When did you notice the mold? Did the exterminator tell you about standing water in your crawl space recently? Did you move the refrigerator and discover black "stuff" creeping up the wall? Have you recently noticed mold symptoms like a runny nose, allergic reactions or foul smell in a particular area of your home or property?

Whatever the situation may be, what you see and when you notice it are important factors in determining the course of action. The amount of visible mold along with how long the indicators have been around helps determine the extent of potential damage. What you see may be only the tip of the iceberg.

  • Where is the mold growing? Is it sneaking up in the caulk between the bath tub and tile? Is it crawling up the cinder blocks in your basement? The location of the mold and its environment are important factors in determining the root cause.
  • Why is it growing in the particular location? Typically mold will show up where there has been water damage or a recurring moisture problem. It will repeatedly intrude your home if the source of its survival is not eliminated properly.

When hiring a mold remediation specialist, let them ask the questions, test the air and evaluate the property. Always verify the contractor is a certified mold specialist . If you aren't sure, just ask.

* Remember: It's your right as the homeowner and property manager to protect the structure you've invested in.