When you think you have mold?
What to Do If Your House Has Mold (Or You Think It Does)
If you do have mold. Don't panic yet. This may not be a major problem. As noted, all homes have some mold. If it's a small area, generally less than 10 square feet, and not that this is a recommendation, but you may be able to do it yourself or hire a handyman to come in and clean it. Websites from RemoveMoldGuide.com to Good Housekeeping articles explain the process, which basically entails treating areas of mold with a mixture of 1 part chlorine bleach and 15 parts water while wearing goggles and making sure you're in a well-ventilated room.
But you may need to hire the professionals. Lynn Munroe, who owns a public relations company in New City, New York, says that about 10 years ago, her youngest son, then 8 or 9 years old, had an unexplained stomach illness, and his asthma was getting worse. Munroe had taken him to numerous doctors, all of whom had no idea what was wrong.
It turned out the problem was with a dehumidifier in the basement. It was attached to the pipes behind the wall, to keep the basement dry. Unfortunately, the pipe apparently became disconnected from the drain pipe behind the wall, and for some time, had been dripping behind the wall.
"Next to where it was dripping was a cedar storage closet with my kids' old clothes that I was saving for my sister's kids," Munroe says. "I opened up that door one day and the inside of the closet was filled with black mold. The wall of that closet leaned up against my sons' playroom – and his TV where he spent countless hours with his brother playing video games. Air tests revealed a really bad mold problem not only in the closet but in the air."
Twenty-four hours later, Munroe says, "hazmat suits came and demolished my completely finished basement."
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