Q: How can I tell if I have a mold problem?

A: If there is visible mold growing in your home, then it is likely that you have a mold problem. Many times mold grows unbeknownst to the homeowner, in the walls, carpet or other areas of the home. Once mold is visually recognizable, many times there is a large amount of damage that has been done without the knowledge of the homeowner. In order to determine whether or not mold is growing in your home, a certified mold inspector must perform a mold test. This test will allow the inspector to positively identify the type of mold growing in your home, and suggest effective courses of action for mold remediation. You should contact a mold inspector if: • There is mold visibly growing in your home • Your home smells “musty” or “earthy” • Your home has consistently high levels of moisture • You have had problems with flooding or other water-related issues • You are considering purchasing a home that has not been approved by a certified mold inspector • You are experiencing persistent, flu or cold like symptoms with no known cause

Q: How do I get rid of mold?

A: You will hear technicians talk about “mold remediation” rather than “mold removal.” This is because it is impossible to remove all mold spores from the air in your home. Mold will, however, not be able to grow after the remediation process if moisture is not present. Mold remediation involves not only removing mold particles, but addresses the cause of the mold growth so it does not return. Attempting to remove the mold without enlisting the help of a certified mold inspector can release mold spores into the air and ultimately worsen the problem. A great deal of care must be taken when dealing with mold, particularly because the presence and removal of mold may pose health risks to your or your family. MOLD INSPECTION ILLINOIS does not condone the removal of mold without the assistance of a certified technician.

Q: Should I use bleach to clean up mold?

A: No. Bleach does not entirely eradicate mold or thoroughly address a mold problem. Although bleach has been found to kill mold, if the cause of the mold is not addressed then the mold with continue to spread throughout your home. Using bleach also poses a health risk to you and your family. Using bleach in an area without proper ventilation can have serious side effects on your health. We do not recommend using bleach in order to “clean up” mold. The EPA does not recommend that you use bleach for mold removal, simply because the toxins in bleach are both corrosive and dangerous to humans. Bleach may deteriorate the materials that it comes into contact with; it is corrosive and can even burn your skin. Bleach may also leave dioxins, or carcinogenic, highly toxic substances. The remediation should not be attempted without first consulting a certified mold inspector.

Q: Can mold cause health problems?

A: Absolutely. There have been many cases where mold has been determined to be the cause of a variety of health problems in both humans and animals. Allergic reactions to mold are very common, and in some cases may not appear until weeks after initial exposure to the mold. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have mold in your home: • Sneezing • Runny nose • Coughing • Wheezing • Watery eyes • Redness of the eyes • Itchy eyes • Skin irritation or rash • Asthma attacks • Shortness of breath • GI problems • Fatigue • Immune system disturbances • Joint and muscle pain • Anxiety, depression, memory loss or headache

Q: Why is mold growing in my home?

A: There are many reasons that mold could be growing in your home. If your home has high levels of moisture, has undergone any sort of water-related trauma, or is older with various structural issues, there may be areas where mold is growing. New homes are also prone to mold growth, as many times they are hurriedly made and designed with improper ventilation. The homeowner is rarely to blame for mold growth, unless the home has been neglected or moisture problem has been left unaddressed.

Q: How can I prevent mold from growing in my home?

A: There are many preventative ways to combat mold growth: • Fix any leaks or problems that you may have with your water pipes • Moderate your use of a humidifier and make sure it is cleaned frequently • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners in order to reduce moisture in the air. Make sure they are cleaned frequently • Be aware of moisture collecting on your windows — it can be a sign that the humidity level in your home is too high • Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces • Only grow plants in the sunny areas of your home • Keep your basement free of unnecessary clutter • Insulate water pipes in the basement • Increase air circulation in your home