Anytime there is unchecked moisture, there could be a bigger problem growing as well: mold. Mold is dangerous for a number of reasons. First, it gets into your lungs and could cause serious infections and other chronic conditions. For those who have weakened or poorly developed immune systems, the mold could cause serious, life-threatening problems and even death. The longer you let a mold problem grow unchecked, the worse it will be and the harder it will be to remove from the walls and floors. If the problem goes on for too long the structures that it affects will need to be removed and replaced. If the problem is too extensive, the entire structure will be deemed unsafe and the family will have to move out permanently.
First, to prevent mold from becoming an issue:
- Check for signs of roof leaks. Watch for telltale brown stains on the ceiling or down interior walls.
- Check the floors around floorboards for dampness as well.
- Do a sniff test for musty smells that could indicate dampness or beginning mold.
- Carefully check your basement or crawl space frequently.
If you do find signs of mold, do not disturb it yourself. If you stir up the spores they can be inhaled and cause health problems. The larger the mold problem, the more important it will be to take immediate action. Your first plan of action is to make sure that no one goes into that area and then to call a professional mold remediation service. When talking to the service, make sure that:
- The service is licensed and bonded in the Washington area.
- They are insured against illness and injury.
- They use all known safety precautions to protect your family and themselves.
- They will use disposal techniques that will minimize exposure to your family and others.
- They will give you a free, no-obligation estimate of how much the job will cost to do properly.
When the mold removal crew arrives for the estimate, make sure that they give you an idea of how extensive the damage is and how much you will have to rebuild if they must tear walls or flooring out. Also, make sure that you know how long they estimate they will need to complete the job and if they think you should move younger children or older adults to a new location until the job is finished.