The first step you should do when you discover mold in your home is to try and determine the extent of it. Is it in a very small, well-contained area? Or, is it spreading through the walls and now you have a moist ceiling? If it’s widespread you will likely be able to smell it, though it may not be readily visible. Mold can grow on the backside of drywall and even wallpaper. Unfortunately this may involve peeling back wallpaper or ripping up sections of carpet to determine the extent of it. Save these steps for the expert mold review.
If the mold is black in color, don’t panic! Despite the horror stories you hear about black mold there are actually several different types. Some are harmless and some are indeed the panic-inducing, toxic variety. Your certified mold inspector will have to determine this for you, but don’t jump to conclusions. Entire houses have been gutted by homeowners over the presence of black mold only for them to discover later on that the black mold they had was harmless and could have been removed in a less expensive manner.
The next step is to determine the source of moisture that the mold is feeding off of. Mold spores are everywhere, and they can only touch down on damp surfaces. The best way to prevent further mold growth is to deny it any place it can reproduce in. If it’s forming under your kitchen sink because of a leak, fix the leak. If the roof is damaged and water is seeping in you need to patch that up and dry up any remaining moisture. Doing this should keep the problem from coming back once the mold has been removed from your home.
Once you have a basic idea of the extent of the spread, you can then see if it’s worth the cost of a mold review on your home. If the mold appears to be harmless and it’s in a small enough area, you can take steps to clean it up yourself. If it’s very widespread, though, don’t delay. Get a home inspector in to perform a mold review so they can determine the next, best course of action for you. Not only will I give you peace of mind to have the experts involved, it could save you a lot of money.