Protect Yourself Against The Mold: Prevention Tips
Water damage can be a real pain and can cause irreversible harm, especially to important documents, pictures, and digital devices.
Furniture, floors, and other interior elements can always be renovated, but memories erased can never be replaced.
As if this issue wasn’t challenging enough, it can also pose numerous health risks if it has already led to mold growth.
People at Greatest Risk from Mold
People suffering from respiratory issues are, particularly at risk. This is due to the airborne contaminants that mold releases which can aggravate breathing issues further.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with weakened immune systems are at great risk as well.
Those who have HIV or taking prescription medicine that directly influences one’s immunity (such as biologics and corticosteroids) are counted, along with those undergoing chemotherapy or those who have just weathered through a surgery or stem cell transplant.
They can suffer from what is referred to as invasive mold infection. The problem is, this disease is not only difficult to diagnose but it can also be life-threatening. To make matters worse, it can develop after only a few days of exposure, so it’s critical to deal with any mold issue as soon as possible.
Improve the Airflow in Your Home
While it’s ideal to wear an N95 mask (or a respirator of a higher level) the moment you suspect that your air is contaminated with mold, we recognize that this is simply not possible for a lot of us.
Not everyone has personal protective gear lying around at home, after all.
Hence, as an alternative, the best thing to do is to improve the airflow in your home. Proper ventilation will allow any airborne contaminants to dissipate and escape while also allowing fresh air to enter.
Fix Any Leaks Immediately
In the meantime, it is also recommended to lessen the existing water damage. If this is an issue caused by leaks, then attend to that immediately, or as advised by your insurance provider. We’ll talk about insurance coverage in a bit.
Monitor Humidity Indoors
Mold thrives in humidity. This is the reason why we strongly suggest draining and drying any plumbing, flooding, or water-related issue as soon as possible.
Mold remediation companies use a variety of devices such as hygrometers and moisture probes in order to determine humidity levels.
However, as you’re waiting for them to arrive, you can already help minimize the problem by using a space heater in order to dry any excess moisture in any indoor space.
Remove Early Mold Growth
It is certainly not ideal to deal with severe mold growth on your own, especially without the necessary training, protective equipment, and gear. However, there are disinfecting supplies that you can use in order to get rid of mold in its early stages and prevent it from becoming full-blown contamination.
Clean Mold from Fabric
It is always a good idea to take any mold-infested object outside to allow the mold spores to release in a well-ventilated environment. We understand, though, that this is not always possible, especially if you’re dealing with heavy furniture.
Instead, you must vacuum it (remember to remove and clean the bag outside) first. Then, create a cleaning solution made from equal parts of ammonia and water. Dip a clean rag into your solution and use it to blot on the mold-stained fabric.
Make sure that it is fully absorbed. You should start noticing the stain slowly fading away. To rinse, blot the fabric down with another rag, this time dipped in water, and allow the fabric to dry with the help of a fan or hairdryer set on cool.
Clean Mildew-Stained Carpets
Again, it is ideal to do this process outdoors, but if it’s not possible, you can start vacuuming your carpet first. Then mix a cleaning solution made of two cups of water and one tablespoon of liquid laundry soap.
Apply this solution to the stained area with a clean rag, then rinse thoroughly afterward. Allow your carpet to dry thoroughly. We recommend seeking professional carpet cleaning services for more delicate pieces.
Remove Mildew from Wood Furniture
Use a soft brush attachment when vacuuming your wood furniture in order to remove any loose mold spores. You can then simply wipe off any stain with a clean rag dipped in a cleaning solution made up of dishwashing liquid and water.
Make sure to rinse and dry it immediately in order to prevent warping. We also recommend polishing it to restore your furniture’s protective finish and shine.
You might have noticed that we didn’t recommend using bleach in any of the cleaning methods we have shared above. That’s because bleach can cause toxic fumes that can further aggravate poor indoor air quality.
This is especially true if it gets into contact with ammonia.
Contact Your Insurance Professional
Finally, as mentioned, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent regarding the issue. This is ideally the first thing that you should do before touching anything. You don’t want to void your coverage, after all.
Be sure to create proper documentation as well. Take a picture or video clip of the original state of your space. Do so after each significant mold remediation step as well.
And don’t throw away any receipts as you might need it later on when you file for reimbursement.
We take mold very seriously not just due to the damage it creates to one’s property, but also because of its potential health risks. People with respiratory disease and weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of aggravating their existing condition or contracting a new infection.
Fortunately, there are ways in order to deal with mold growth on your own or by hiring mold remediation services depending on the severity of the issue.
Just remember to notify your insurance company before taking any step in order to protect your coverage. Proper documentation is absolutely necessary during the entire process as well in order to support your claim.