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Repairing Mold Damage in Your Home: Answers to Your Common Questions

March 16, 2023

Just because you see mold in your home, there’s no need to feel helpless. Contrary to many misconceptions, most types of household mold issues can be resolved. The process requires several steps, however, so it’s important to work with a professional mold removal company to ensure the growths are properly eliminated.

As we work to remove mold in local homes, we frequently hear the same questions about what we will do, why the mold growth occurred and how to prevent it. The following answers to these common questions can you help understand the mold remediation process as well as prevent mold growth in the future.

What is mold, really?

As defined by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. There are many different species in endless colors.

Molds survive outdoors on plants and other decaying matter. Indoors, mold needs moisture plus a carbon source from building materials in order to grow. Mold is a living organism that literally eats away surfaces, so it can cause serious damage to the structure of your home.

What is the difference between mold and mildew?

Although the words “mold” and “mildew” are sometimes used interchangeably, mildew is actually a certain kind of mold, according to the U.S. EPA.  Mildew can be removed with basic cleaning, and it typically doesn’t eat away at surfaces like other types of mold do.

What are common causes of mold, and where does it usually grow?

Mold grows in places with a lot of moisture, especially bathrooms and basements. This is especially so if the moisture is due to faulty construction or prior damage, such as leaks in roofs, decayed windows and damaged pipes. One very common cause of mold is flooding, especially if the flood-related damage isn’t repaired quickly and sufficiently.

Mold can grow on most household surfaces, including drywall, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, paint, insulation, carpeting and upholstery.

What steps would a professional mold removal company take to address my issue?

A professional mold removal and repair company would go through a number of steps to clear your home. The team would likely start with corrective actions, such as antimicrobial applications, general cleanup and containing the source of the growth, as well as enhancing air circulation. In many cases, the surface area would have to be removed and replaced.

How can I prevent or stop mold growth? Will a dehumidifier help?

The following tips can help you prevent mold from damaging your home and furnishings:

  • Reduce humidity levels in your home. A meter for checking humidity can be purchased at household stores.
  • Make sure air can circulate in your home. Be sure to use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom.
  • Repair leaks and floods quickly and dry the area as much as possible. If walls or carpeting have become saturated beyond repair, remove and replace them.
  • Keep bathrooms and other rooms in your home clean.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier may help prevent mold growth, but it won’t necessarily stop it once it has already started. Professional mold removal and repair would be required then.

A digital humidity meter is shown near a window. A mold removal company uses tools such as this to identify and repair mold damage in a home.
A humidity meter can help you control moisture in your home.

What is the most common type of mold that grows in homes?

According to the CDC, the most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus. Although the minute scientific details may not be important to you as a homeowner, knowing which type of mold is growing may be important to the mold repair company in order to ensure the growths are properly removed.

What health problems does it cause?

Mold can produce allergens, irritants and even mycotoxins that lead to various health concerns. Inhaling or touching mold spores may cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rashes, headaches and wheezing. Not only can mold irritate the throat and lungs of virtually anyone, but mold is also a known trigger of asthma attacks.

I can smell mold but can’t find it! Would a company that repairs mold damage be able to find the source?

There are many areas for mold growth that might not be visible to the naked eye, including:

  • Under floorboards, especially in attics
  • Underneath carpeting
  • Inside a dishwasher or clothing washer
  • Inside dryer vents
  • In HVAC units
  • Inside or behind walls

A mold removal and repair company has a variety of tools as well as the experience necessary to locate sources of growth.

The washer and dryer are common areas of mold growth in your home. Keeping up with routine maintenance may help minimize the growth and prevent damage.
The washer and dryer are common areas of mold growth in your home. Keeping up with routine maintenance may help minimize the growth and prevent damage.

Does homeowners’ insurance cover mold removal?

You would have to review your insurance policy carefully and contact your insurance company to see if mold removal is covered. We would hesitate to offer a blanket statement, as insurance policies vary greatly. However, one common theme is that mold repair is more likely to be covered if the accumulation of mold was due to an unanticipated event that the homeowner couldn’t have prevented.

How long would mold removal and the necessary repairs take?

The time frame depends on many factors, including the source of the mold and the extent of the damage. It can take anywhere from two days to several weeks. Generally, mold remediation takes about a week, but we would need to assess the damage before we can say for sure.

For more information about our mold removal services, call us at 260-217-0354 or send us a message through our website.