Many homeowners are looking for remedies for dealing with the aftermath of the devastating floods that have hit so many homes around the country.
While seemingly a small hazard amidst all the water damage, mold can be a pesky problem that, if not dealt with properly, can last forever. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB), along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are advising homeowners to be proactive when it comes to dealing with mold and mildew.
When looking to eradicate mold, homeowners may choose to either tackle the problem on their own or consult the expertise of a contractor. Either way, the BBB advises homeowners to do their research. According to the EPA’s Mold Guide, many types of mold may begin growing indoors when spores land on surfaces that are wet. Mold can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and food.
“In 2010, the BBB received nearly 30,000 inquires on mold and mildew eradicators,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB. “As mold can ultimately destroy anything that it lands on, it’s important to act quickly.”
While homeowners should always avoid touching or disturbing mold without wearing proper equipment, there are also many other things to keep in mind. The BBB and the EPA advise homeowners to consider the following:
Be aware of the risks. There are many health risks associated with mold and mold growth. Many may experience an allergic reaction and other respiratory conditions when mold is present in the home.
Be proactive. The EPA states that there is no practical way to completely eliminate mold and mold spores in an indoor environment. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. If you notice a leak in your shower faucet or sink, repair it immediately to avoid the ideal habitat for mold to grow. Clean and dry any wet or damp surfaces within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Vent all bathrooms, kitchens and other moisture-generating sources to reduce indoor humidity.
Choose wisely when picking a contractor. Some mold eradicators can be impostors. It’s important to check a business’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org before selecting a contractor. Ask for referrals from friends and family members and get at least three estimates before deciding on one. Make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA’s Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
For more tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org/us/bbb-news.
The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to promote, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the general public.
BBB hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at www.bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll free at 1-800-646-6222.
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For home inspection services in the Sacramento and Bay Area please contact Golden State Home Inspections at 800.441.0804 or visit http://www.goldenstatehomeinspections.com.
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