Mold Prevention, Water Damage | Angies List Tips

Mold Prevention, Water Damage | Angies List Tips

For homeowners with water damage, cleaning up the mud and water-soaked belongings can seem like the biggest task at hand. But drying out that area is equally important because if left damp too long, dangerous mold can grow.

If the mold growth is small, you can clean and kill it with these steps. 

  1. Damp wipe: Mold can generally be removed from hard surfaces by scrubbing with water and detergent. It is important to dry the surface quickly.
  2. Wear protective gear: Protect your hands with gloves and your eyes with goggles.
  3. Discard: Remove damaged materials and seal in plastic bags.
  4. Follow up: Revisit the site. It should show no signs of water damage or mold growth.

Wide-spread mold growth may require professional assistance. Angie advises following these tips when choosing a professional for remediation projects:

  • Testing for mold: To ensure you’ve taken care of any mold issue or to determine if you have unseen mold, hire a professional remediator. If you’re hiring out the cleanup, test the area both before and after clean up. 
  • Understand the process: Know what the company plans for the remediation. Ask what is going to happen, when it will happen and how it may affect you. Ask about containment. How will they prevent the movement of mold spores from one area of the home to another? How long will it take? 
  • Check references & get estimates: Check Angie’s List for reviews on local mold remediation professionals. 
  • Check your insurance: Not all mold damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Check your policy because coverage and limitations vary.

Tips to avoid future basement flooding:

  • Check your gutters: Make sure you gutters are cleaned out regularly (as well as after storms) and are flowing freely, rather than allowing water to pool around your foundation. 
  • Seal it up: Seal cracks and holes in the concrete block walls. 
  • Waterproof: Paint the basement walls with specialized waterproofing paint. 
  • Check those pipes: Check for water leaks where pipes enter the basement.
  • Install a sump pump: This will help ensure unwanted water stays out of your basement.

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Black mold in basement
Black mold grows along a basement wall. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Theresa A. of Arlington, Va.)

Dear Angie: I moved into a duplex three months ago and found mold in the basement. I told my landlord about it, and he used white vinegar and bleach on the walls. I asked him to have a company take care of it, but he came over and tried cleaning it himself. Do you think that will get rid of it?

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