What Do To If You Think You Have Mold
Trust your intuition.
Listen to it. Many people ignore it and it costs them dearly. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you suspect your family is suffering from mold-related health issues, we strongly advise you to follow this list on your path to answers. If it is mold- the faster you get proper treatment, the better.
Take It One Day at a Time.
Exposure to mold can be overwhelming. There are very specific remediation treatments to undertake at home and exhaustive measures to overcome the health affects of long-term exposure.
If you’re dealing with long-term exposure, know it is a long, tedious but necessary process to begin the road to healing. Be patient, have grace for all parties involved and keep going; you’re not alone.
Write Everything Down
We mean everything! Start a daily symptom tracker to define a timeline and document all communications with doctors, landlords, insurance agencies, etc. Don’t forget to keep it in a safe place!
If You’re a Homeowner …
In addition to making your family sick, mold can compromise the integrity of your home as it can weaken walls, ceilings and floors. If you suspect mold, we recommend hiring a mold inspection company. Though more expensive than a $10-$50 home kit, home kits have a reputation for being unreliable. The threat that mold poses is worth the investment of professional help. the ERMI is one DIY test that you can buy yourself, that we do find is a good test to do. You can buy it from Envirobiomics. The US Environmental Protection Authority developed ERMI to provide a straightforward, objective, sensitive and standardized way to assess mold and indoor air quality investigations. The USEPA developed the ERMI as a ranking system based on dust samples collected from homes, the ERMI will help predict the moldiness of homes.
Please note if you find mold in a brand new home, you should send the mold inspection results to the contractor via certified mail. Be sure to keep the receipt as it has the tracking information to prove it was mailed.
If You’re Renting …
Many states require landlords to promptly clean up and eliminate mold as soon as they are notified at their own expense. However, your landlord may attempt to hold you liable if you fail to notify him of the appearance of mold, leaks, or water accumulation in a timely manner. If you are renting your residence and suspect the presence of mold, we recommend the following steps be taken.
Check your lease thoroughly for any amendment or clause in regards to how to proceed if you suspect the presence of mold. Follow steps listed in lease, again keep thorough documentation of every step and of all communications.
Read through your renters insurance agreement (or just call your agent) to identify mold-related coverage that could potential assist you in addressing potential home damages. Visit HERE for insurance policy insight.
If a mold inspection is administered through your leasing agency/ landlord, ask to see the lab results and the Mold Assessment report. If they withhold the either of the reports, don’t take them at their word. You have every right to hire a mold inspector privately.
Documents for Landlords
If you administer your own mold inspection and mold is found, be sure to send a copy of the results to your landlord and/or leasing agency via certified first class mail and be sure to keep record of your receipt.
Living with Mold
Mold is all around us and in every breath we take. If allowed to grow unchecked inside your home, mold can result in damage to both the structure and your health. If you do have mold in your home, don’t panic yet- it could be a minor problem. The proper precaution to take is to have a Mold Consultant come to your home to assess it and make sure to not only confirm that it has not spread to other areas of your home but to also identify the source of moisture. The moisture source must be resolved otherwise the mold will eventually come back. If the mold is confined to a small area, generally less than 10 square feet, and this is not a recommendation, you may be able to clean it up yourself. The key is to educate yourself and do it right the first time so the mold does not return. We’ve compiled a list of resources that will assist you in properly removing the threat of mold; from what to wear, what supplies you’ll need to buy, and how to maximize treatment effectiveness.
Breathe Cleaner Air
An air purifier circulates air through a filter that traps air-borne pollutants and irritants like dust, smoke and pollen.
A dehumidifier sucks in moisture and reduces the humidity levels in the air, killing mold and microbes that thrive in moisture.
Common household items can be used to clean mold in your home. Check out our shopping list for mold cleanup.
The Little Things
There are many things you can do around the house to clean up mold. Learn everything from what to do to what you’ll need to wear.
Certain foods can help
Certain foods can help rid your body of inhaled mold spores. Find out what to eat to help expedite your recovery and what foods to avoid.
The Power to Heal
Studies show certain essential oils help with home mold issues, as well as support immune function to aid in recovery from toxic exposure.
Finding the Right Treatment
Pick a Doctor
Most mainstream medical doctors aren’t educated on environmental illnesses, such a mold. You should consult your family or general health care provider on who they may recommend. But you can also look up functional and environmental doctors yourself that practice in your state. Before selecting a provider, do your research (website, BBB, reviews) and reach out to those with that claim to deal with toxic mold detox specifically.
You’ll want to make sure your doctor tests you and your family’s mycotoxin levels. This will be crucial in leaving your property and/or in fighting a lawsuit. Though the technology to detect mycotoxins wasn’t available until fairly recently, testing today can be as simple as a urine test.
It helps to SHARE our journey’s with one another. It’s comforting to surround ourselves with people who can understand and it helps both parties to heal. So read people’s stories and ask them about their symptoms and treatments. Real experiences from real people there to help YOU.
The CMDR form is advantageous for homeowners in several ways
It improves underwriting accuracy
It prevents an insurer from making an underwriting decision on the residential property based on previous mold damage or previous claims for mold damage.
It helps to protect future buyers
If you sell your property, the law requires that you provide the buyer a copy of all certificates you have received for that property within the preceding five years.
It protects you
A property owner is not liable for damages related to mold remediation on a property if a Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation has been issued under §295.327 of this title (relating to Photographs; Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation; Duty of Property Owner) for that property and the damages accrued on or before the date of the issuance of the Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation.
It mitigates legal liability
A person is not liable in a civil lawsuit for damages related to a decision to allow occupancy of a property after mold remediation has been performed on the property if a Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation has been issued under §295.327 of this title for the property, the property is owned or occupied by a governmental entity, including a school, and the decision was made by the owner, the occupier, or any person authorized by the owner or occupier to make the decision.
Successful Remediation is Key!
Step One: It is critical to engage a Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant; in order to identify any/all area(s) in your home that will need to be remediated. Along with identifying the water/ condensation/ humidity source(s) that are acting as a catalyst for the self-originating mold growth.
Step Two: Contract your Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant, to produce a Mold Remediation Protocol for your project. Protocols help protect the client, when it comes to the actual remediation and the clearance criteria of which the remediation company will have to adhere.
Step Three: Hire a Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor to execute the directives contained within the Mold Remediation Protocol specific for your project (It is always a good idea to obtain competitive bids from several independent mold remediation contractors, before making your choice).
Step Four: Lastly, and most important, contract your Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant to perform a Post Remediation Assessment, also known as “Clearance Testing.” This is critical! As a Post Remediation Assessment will verify that the, “Clearance Criteria” (as delineated within your mold remediation protocol), has been satisfied Visually, Procedurally & Analytically. A Post Remediation Assessment verifies that your Mold Remediation Protocol has been properly executed. Upon receiving notice that your mold remediation project has satisfied the, “Clearance Criteria” within your Mold Remediation Protocol, your project is to be issued a Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation (Form MDR-1). The Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation, created by the Texas Department of Insurance, certifies that the source(s), of self-originating mold growth and underlying cause(s) of the self-originating mold growth, were remediated.
A Final Note …
If a Remediation Company tells you that they only work with a specific Mold Assessment Consultant and/or vice versa. If the mold assessment consultant states they only recommend a specific mold remediation contractor, be weary of this.
A common practice I (Emily) have witnessed within this industry, is for Mold Assessment Consultants blatantly ignoring deficiencies and/or, ignorantly fail to identify deficiencies, listed within the Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules’ requirement(s) associated with a Post Remediation Assessment (Clearance Testing).
I can not say they are ignoring deficiencies on purpose; but we have noticed that it is a common practice for Mold Assessment Consultants to receive compensation from Mold Remediation Contractors for expeditiously favorable outcomes as they relate to your mold remediation project receiving the “All Clear.” We have also been approached by contractors to give them an all clear / to do a mediocre clearance testing / or to refer them business in exchange for compensation ranging from $500 up to 30% of the total Mold remediation project. So please… be cautious if one of your contractors says anything like this. It is one thing to refer a company; but it is another to say they will only work with a specific company. You as a homeowner have a right to choose who you want. We always recommend to get several recommendations and to ask people whom don’t have a financial interset in your project, for said recommendations. Always verify that any contractor recommendation is properly licensed and holds the proper liability insurance.
The majority of remediation information on this page was derived from Texas.gov’s article entitled, “Hurricane Harvey: Recovering and Rebuilding. Mold remediation and assessment guidance for Texas counties in the governor’s disaster declaration.”