Unsurprisingly, the first step to dealing with any mold problem is understanding the extent of the issue you're facing. Visible evidence of mold is a clear indication of trouble, but mold problems don't always make themselves quite so apparent. In some cases, you may not see mold at all, but you might notice a persistent mildew odor or other more subtle signs.
Even worse, you can have a mold problem in your home with few, if any, signs. Mold can grow behind walls, in crawl spaces, or in other out-of-the-way areas of your home. These colonies may expand for months or even years before they become severe enough for you to notice. Recognizing these problems early on can often help prevent more damaging infestations from taking hold.
When Should You Worry About Mold?
Determining the severity of mold isn't always about the amount that you can see. For example, small amounts of mildew on your shower tiles probably aren't a cause for concern. On the other hand, you should worry about mold in unexpected areas. Any mold that appears on drywall or rooms that shouldn't experience excessive moisture may indicate a more severe problem.
Likewise, you should be concerned if you detect problems with mold without actually seeing it. A strong smell of mold or mildew with no apparent source might mean you have mold growth behind a wall or even in your basement. Since spores can travel through your home on air currents, this problem can eventually spread to inhabited parts of your house.
Finally, it's always worth checking for mold when you've experienced any significant plumbing problem. Leaking pipes or backed-up drains can allow water to enter many hard-to-reach areas. A dehumidifier can help, but you may not be able to remove moisture from hard-to-reach areas. Mold can grow in these locations and eventually spread elsewhere in your house.
Do You Need Professional Mold Removal?
Professional mold removal services will do more than just clean mold from surfaces. Instead, they will test your home for the presence of mold spores and attempt to locate any hidden colonies. This approach helps to ensure that the mold does not return shortly after cleaning, improving your home's air quality and preventing more severe future problems.
In general, you should consider these services when mold issues seem persistent and in cases where you can't identify the extent of the problem. If mold keeps showing up, or if you can't find the source of a mildewy or moldy smell, then it's time to hire a professional. They will use testing equipment to determine the full severity of your problem and suggest a mold removal plan to solve it permanently.