If universities offered degrees in homebuying or homeownership, Mold Remediation 101 would be a required class. After all, mold can be a serious threat to your property, its value, and the health of those who call it home. Whether you’re a homeowner or hope to be one soon, having a good grasp of mold basics is a must. What do you need to know?
Mold Remediation 101
What would you find on the syllabus for Mold Remediation 101? A good introduction would cover what mold is and why it can pose a problem for homeowners. Then, the focus would move to when a mold inspection is needed and what mold remediation involves.
As the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences explains, molds are microscopic organisms that are found virtually everywhere. Countless species exist, and when disturbed, they release tiny spores into the air, which travel freely until they find appealing conditions in which to establish a colony.
In nature, these fungi play an important role in the breakdown and decomposition of organic matter. In a human home, they’re far less useful and have the potential to be dangerous. Molds crave moisture, warmth, and cellulose, which is found in organic materials, woods, papers, fabrics, drywall, carpets, and more. When mold latches onto a location and begins to grow, it feeds on the material. This can cause staining or more severe damages to the material. If left unchecked, mold’s feeding habits can even compromise the structural integrity of a building. The spores and chemicals released by mold can also aggravate the skin and respiratory system, so the presence of mold can cause problems with indoor air quality and create a health hazard.
When is a mold inspection needed? Molekule offers some handy guidelines that make it easy to tell when you should contact a professional for a mold inspection:
- A property has experienced water damage. Molds love moisture, and they consider spaces damaged by water exceptionally delightful. A mold infestation can take off in as little as 24 hours, so if a property has experienced water damage, it’s important to verify whether or not mold has moved in.
- The home has been empty. Humidity often builds up in buildings that are closed up and unoccupied, and that can provide enough moisture to launch a mold infestation.
- You suspect a mold problem. If you see or smell mold, there is likely more growing in other areas. A professional knows where to look to ensure that all impacted areas are identified.
- You’re buying a new home. When buying a new home, it’s impossible to know what’s happened there before. Since you can’t rule out prior water damage or issues with humidity, it’s smart to arrange for a mold inspection.
- You’ve been through mold remediation. Mold can be tenacious. If your home has recently undergone mold remediation, it’s a good idea to schedule periodic inspections to make sure the problem doesn’t return.
What is involved in mold remediation? That depends on the severity of the mold issue and its location. As Moldpedia explains, it’s generally best to leave remediation in the hands of professionals. After all, any mistake in the cleanup effort can trigger the release of mold spores and cause the infestation to spread to new areas. The first step in mold remediation involves fixing the moisture problem that is feeding the mold’s growth. Once that’s addressed, containment measures are installed to prevent any accidental spread. Then, the mold is removed and the surface is treated with an antimicrobial product to prevent reoccurrence. If necessary, special air filters can be used to cleanse the air of spores and other debris. Materials that cannot be cleaned will need to be removed and replaced.
The Cost of Mold
The cost of a mold inspection will vary depending on your location and the intensity of the inspection. According to HouseLogic, you should expect to pay a qualified inspector between $200 and $600 for an inspection. As for mold remediation, the average price can range from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars; the worse your situation, the more it will cost to fix it.
At PrimeLending of Springfield, Missouri, we understand that buying a home gives you a lot to think about – from mold and maintenance to insurance and interest rates. To discover how we can help you achieve your housing goals, contact us today.