Many people live in homes where water damage has taken place. As home or property owners, we first think of taking care of the cause of the problem, and then most of us work on cosmetic issues like removing debris or replacing walls or painting. If you are a do-it-yourself type of person, you probably count yourself lucky if you feel you can do the job yourself. Whether you do the job yourself or call someone else in to help, however, your primary concern is usually money, especially in these difficult economic times. If you own commercial or residential property, you are probably even more anxious not to pay too much to have a water problem corrected. There is a bigger issue that comes into play when a property has had any kind of water damage, and that issue is mold.

Most people have seen mold at some point in their lifetimes, though they may not have recognized it at the time. Most people simply aren’t aware that there are thousands of types of molds that exist outdoors and indoors. Some of these are especially dangerous, and some of them can even be lethal under the right conditions. When I was young and there was mold around my home, my mother mixed up a little bleach and soapy water and wiped it away. We never thought of it after that. What we didn’t know was that it could be growing inside walls, or it might be out of sight in places where you wouldn’t expect to see it. We also didn’t know that we might actually be spreading it as we cleaned, or that we should wear protective clothing or masks to remove certain types.

If you’ve ever had water damage, dangerous mold could still be lurking in the air, in the HVAC system, around window ledges, under sinks, or behind walls. It is definitely something you don’t want to ignore. Today for landlords and contractors it’s becoming quite a legal issue. Groups of tenants and homeowners in certain communities have banded together to bring legal suits to prosecute those they feel are responsible for illness or death resulting from damage of this kind that was not properly treated and remediated. Also, consider your own family’s health if you ever get in a situation like this.

The safest and most economical thing to do if your property has ever had water damage is to have a mold inspection performed on your home. Today’s technology is totally noninvasive and allows the space within your walls to be tested easily. Even spores in the air can be measured, but you need to be sure to select a reputable company to do the testing.