BBB Advises Homeowners on Mold Must-Knows .

August 05, 2011

Many homeowners are looking for remedies for dealing with the aftermath of the devastating floods that have hit so many homes around the country. While a little part of the water damage picture, mold can be an ever growing, pesky problem that, if not taken care of quickly, can last forever. Better Business Bureau, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising homeowners to be proactive when it comes to dealing with mold and mildew.

When looking to eradicate mold, homeowners may choose to either tackle the problem on their own or consult the expertise of a contractor. Either way, BBB advises that, it’s important for homeowners to do their research. According to the EPA’s Mold Guide, the many types of mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. Mold can grow on any kind of wood, paper, carpet, and food.

“In 2010, BBB received nearly 30,000 inquires on mold and mildew eradicators,” said Nancy B. Cahalen, president and CEO of BBB of the Better Business Bureau of Central New England. “As mold can ultimately destroy anything that it lands on, it’s important to act smart and fast.”

While homeowners should always avoid handling and touching mold without wearing proper gloves, there are also many other things to keep in mind. BBB and the EPA advise homeowners to consider the following:

Know your risks and side effects. There are many health risks associated with mold and mold growth. Many may experience an allergic reaction and other respiratory complaints when mold is present in the home.

Be proactive.  The EPA attests that there is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. If you notice a leak in your shower faucet or sink, repair it immediately to avoid the ideal habitat for mold. Clean and dry any wet or damp surfaces within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Vent all bathrooms, kitchens and other moisture-generating sources to reduce indoor humidity and prevent mold growth.

Choose wisely when picking a contractor. Some mold eradicators can be imposters. It’s important to check a business’ BBB Business Review at before selecting a contractor. Ask for referrals from friends and family members and check with at least three contractors before deciding on one. Make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA’s Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.