Mold is good, right? Well, it’s good when it’s outside in your yard, helping to break down dead leaves, trees, and branches. But when mold is in your house, it’s bad news. Black mold can cause health problems including asthma and allergic reactions, and can be irritating to your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
Mold is usually easy to spot. Here in Seattle, we typically find mold along our windowsills, in the shower, and on damp wood (is there any other kind of wood in Seattle?). However, mold can grow and lurk in places unseen — behind walls with previous water damage (that you may or may not know about), under old flooring or carpeting, and in your HVAC system.
Cleaning up the mold is not so easy. Here’s a good rule of thumb — if the moldy area is smaller than 3’ x 3’, you might be able to handle the job yourself. Anything larger will usually require a professional (EnviroShield Northwest is a good resource).
If you are doing the cleanup yourself, take precautions:
1) Avoid breathing in mold or mold spores by using an N-95 respirator mask.
2) Avoid touching the mold by wearing long gloves.
3) Keep your eyes safe by wearing protective goggles with ventilation holes.
Additional tips can be found on EPA’s website.