Mold Remediation Blog

man slapping head because he doesn't know what to do about mold in his home

What To Do If You Have Mold In Your Home

Oh uh, do you suspect there’s mold growing in your home, and you’re trying to figure out what to do? That’s okay; you’ve never been in this situation before, so it’s perfectly fine to feel a bit unsure.

Below is a quick, straightforward 3-step approach that will put everything in perspective.

In short, the three steps are:

  • Step #1: Don’t Panic
  • Step #2: Call A Professional
  • Step #3: Simply Follow Their Instructions

Let’s spend a couple of minutes going a bit deeper, and by the time we’re finished, you’ll feel much better, ready to make the most appropriate move.

Step #1: Don’t Panic - Safely Investigate Instead

First of all, we’re assuming the reason you’re looking for mold is that you found some through sight, smell, or because there’s an over-abundance of moisture in your home.

Plumbing issues? Sudden extreme weather? Is your attic or crawl space in bad shape?

If you or other people in the home are experiencing potential negative reactions to mold, which led you to hunt it down, then skip to #2.

Otherwise, some things to keep in mind are:

  • Mold isn’t always a huge issue or the harbinger of an expensive undertaking.
  • Nearly ALL homes and businesses have some mold in them. Mold is as normal on earth as the grass, humans, or flowers – not unusual.
  • There are Pathogenic Molds (these cause infections), Toxigenic Molds (they’re toxic), and Allergenic Molds (these cause mild to severe allergic reactions). Not all allergenic molds are a serious issue if no one in the home is actually allergic to them or dealing with a suppressed immune system. They still aren’t good to have around and must be dealt with.
  • If the mold is confined to a small space — roughly less than 10-square-feet or so — and no one is experiencing any negative reactions, it MAY be safe to address with the help of a handyman. Unfortunately, this isn’t a common scenario. And guess what, the $5-$150 you could spend on DIY kits…won’t work!


The real issues at hand are:

  1. a) The cause of this mold in the first place.
  2. b) Whether THAT is something you can safely fix yourself after the mold has developed.
  3. c) Whether the mold you can sense is a preview of a much worse infestation.


Note: Typically, it’s 3X to 4X as bad as what you can see with the naked eye.

So, you might see a small bit of mold in a corner and try to DIY it by ripping out the corner, cleaning with mold removal chemicals (non-spray!), and redoing it… only to find a huge mold farm developing behind a much larger section of the wall cavity.

Uh oh! Now you’re in over your head.

In the case of the common ‘mold in the corner of this room’ scenario, they’re most often caused by water coming through foundation walls, saturating the drywall, getting into the insulation, and then sitting there growing for weeks.

  • Are your gutters dumping too much water too close to your house?
  • Are you neglecting to regularly clean your gutters?
  • Are the downspouts emptying way inside the ideal 10-foot range?
  • Is the grading of your home positive?
  • Is your basement draining system clogged at the bottom of the stairs? (So common!)


The point here is by the time you can SEE it you may have a real problem on your hands.

But again, that doesn’t mean you need to pack your emergency bags and head to a hotel just yet. Not unless the mold is pathogenic, toxigenic, or allergenic and people in the home are experiencing Signs of Mold Illness.

The Most Common Signs Of Residential Mold

  • Visible Spores
  • That Musty or Damp Smell 
  • Flooding & Substantial Leaks
  • Mold Allergy Symptoms


Our policy is, if you can sense mold, you should call a specialist. Here in the Washington DC and North VA areas, that’s us — Valor Mold Removal.

Step #2: Contact A Mold Professional

If you’re renting the property, your first call should be to the landlord, HoA, or property management company. They will have a protocol in place and will let you know what to do next.

If you own your home, then you need to find the most reputable mold testing & removal professional in your area to provide an inspection. 

  • You can also look into home testing kits that range in price, but these have varying levels of accuracy.


  • Traditional mold testing can take about a week because samples must be collected (air, surface, cavity, and confined spaces) and then labs get involved.


  • Other mold removal companies like Valor Mold can test much more efficiently.


  • In our case, we use a rare machine (there are less than 100 in the world) that essentially makes it so we can bring the lab right to our customer’s home and be completely accurate.


Let’s briefly look at three DON’TS. 

Don’t set up a fan or dehumidifier anywhere near the mold. This can spread mold spores around and compound the problem!

Don’t touch it. Again, you’ll likely just spread it around and make it worse.

Don’t spray the mold with anything. It will change the mold’s coloring, which makes it much harder for a professional to accurately judge the situation.

Step #3: Follow Proven Professional Advice -- No Scams!

Once you’re working with a reputable mold removal company, they’ll take great care of you. All your options will be explained, the answers will be laid out in plain language, and if there’s an emergency, it will be handled with extreme care. 

That said, beware of mold removal scams that target areas where major storms have rolled through. Tons of rain and flooding usually lead to a spike in mold-related calls. Scammers know this and will try to target you for extremely expensive ‘testing’ that simply isn’t anywhere near as reliable as what companies like Valor Mold provide.

In Conclusion: Think You Got Mold In Your Home?

The Most Common Signs Of Residential Mold

Step #1 — Don’t Panic: First, ascertain what the immediate threat level is. How big is the issue? Are people suffering from allergic reactions, toxicity-related issues, or worse? If not, then be fully aware of the risks involved in trying to DYI mold testing and removal. We suggest Step #2 instead.

Step #2 —  Contact A Mold Professional: We believe it’s always better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt, or when you believe there is an issue, get in contact with a local mold removal specialist who can take accurate samples for testing. 

Step #3 — Follow Professional Guidance: Should the issue prove more than you can handle, and the tests come back positive, any reputable mold removal company will take especially good care of you and your family. Not just in terms of testing, but helping you with any emergency and getting the mold properly removed. 

If you’re a homeowner in the Charlottesville, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland area, Contact Valor Mold today. If you’re outside our service area and would like to continue your research, head on over to our Mold Information Center. Thank you for your time today, and stay safe out there.


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96% Success Rate

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