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BBB: Mold, mildew reports up in Illinois

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The number of calls for help in getting rid of mold and mildew has spiked in northern Illinois, according to the Better Business Bureau.

The wet spring and summer led to a 16-percent jump in inquiries from homeowners asking for help within the most recent 12 month period.

Mold can grow on any kind of wood, paper, carpet, and food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mold Guide, many types of mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on wet surfaces. As homeowners may choose to either tackle the problem on their own or consult the expertise of a contractor, the BBB advises to thoroughly research mold removal and eradicators. "In the past 12 months, the BBB received over 29,000 inquiries on mold and mildew eradicators, compared to just under 25,000 in the 12 months proceeding"," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. "As mold can ultimately destroy anything 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. The BBB advises homeowners to consider the following:
  • Know your risks and side effects. There are many health risks associated with mold and mold growth. Some persons may experience an allergic reaction and other respiratory complaints when mold is present in the home.
  • Be proactive. One 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, vent all bathrooms, kitchens and other moisture-generating sources to reduce indoor humidity and prevent growth.
  • Choose wisely when picking a contractor. It's important to check a business' BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org before selecting a contractor. Ask for referrals from friends and family members and check with at least three contractors before deciding on one. 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.

 


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