I Found Mold...Now What?
As light shines upon more and more homes across military bases, we see so many discovering issues that have led to mold. It is scary, overwhelming, frustrating, and honestly a little bit violating. Many times the blame is placed on the resident. We have seen countless times where a housing management company denies the existence of a problem, then when they admit there is an issue after clear evidence is displayed, they say it is not their fault.
An immediate reaction is to lash out. I've been there and I understand the desire. It is not productive. As you begin working through it all you will see how overwhelming it is to deal with something that is affecting so many aspects of your life. Housing companies also become overwhelmed with too many homes to fix and not enough employees to fix them. Here are some steps we recommend in getting the ball rolling in the fixing or improvement of your home.
Some things to remember during this process. Fear mongering and panic do not help. Villainizing office or maintenance workers will not help. Screaming "I have black mold!!" from the rooftops will not help. Black is a color, not a mold type. Which leads me to mold testing.
If you suspect or have found mold, it needs to be tested. Visual confirmation of its presence is enough to justify remediation. But you need to know what is happening in those walls. You CANNOT determine mold type, toxicity, or spore counts from a visual inspection alone. If you have before AND after remediation testing done, you will know where things started in terms of spore count and varieties and where things are after work has been done. There should be a reduction or complete elimination of all molds that were present before work was done. Many housing companies do not want to do the testing. This is where we are firm and stand our ground and another area where management, the MHO, and command can be involved to advocate for you. The testing needs to be done. Please understand that these steps are here to help you, not be an inconvenience. If we could be at every base helping every family we would. Each step has been thought through and listed for you to have direction instead of feeling lost in the middle of a hard time.
If being moved to an alternate home or hotel is an option, take that lifeline. We understand it is very discouraging to be away from your home. But for your safety it is better to be gone while remediation is taking place. You will want to make sure your items are covered from any work that is taking place to avoid cross contamination. Secure personal belongings of value or take them with you. It is very inconvenient being displaced, especially in a small space. Be prepared for that to happen and ask for per diem. That is a current issue we are battling with housing offices. Some will and some won't provide it.
This is a stressful time. We understand that and have stood where you stand. We want to help you fight the fight and come out happy and healthy on the other side. If you have specific questions, please feel free to comment below, email us, or like our facebook page.