Any mold in your home should be removed. The Center for Disease Control says "all molds in large concentrations are potentially harmful to people with mold allergies". Don't fool yourself though, anyone can become sick or develop an allergy to mold, whether you are allergy prone or not. Illnesses from molds can be serious. For example, Stachybotris (known as "stachy" ) mold can cause bleeding in the lungs and memory loss. New information about mold and mold related illness is developing daily. Ten years from now, who knows what illnesses they'll be able to link to mold? In the meantime, the Healthy HouseKeeper is playing it safe and paying attention to mold, and so should you!
How do I know what kind of mold I have?
You have two choices. You can test for mold yourself (after proper training or education), or you can hire a mold inspector. Keep in mind that if you have mold and you have to have it removed (remediation), this process can be very expensive. So, think about the size of your mold problem and decide if you want to get the training to test for mold yourself (in case you need to save money for remediation), or if you want to hire an inspector
So, if you have mold, how do you get rid of it?
Again, you have two choices. You clean it, or someone else cleans it for you. My first recommendation is hiring a certified and trained mold remediation expert to remove the mold. My second recommendation is if you do it yourself, buy a book or get detailed information that tells you how to do it.(I took a class.) Keep in mind, it is important to follow all EPA guidelines for testing and removing mold.
Where can I get more information?
The new EPA guide to mold in your home is very helpful, especially to residents of the hot, steamy, south-central and gulf states, where the humidity really encourages mold growth. Following EPA suggestions can help prevent mold from growing in your home. And, if the mold is already there, the guide will help you decide the best way to handle it. You can visit their website (www.epa.gov).
(Use the EPA Document Number [EPA 402-K-01-001, March 2001] when ordering the mold remediation guidance.)