If you've noticed a musty smell coming from your attic or the crawl space under your home, there's a good chance that there's a mold problem. This problem will need to be addressed promptly to help improve the air in the home, especially if you have children with allergies or other breathing issues. While you can call a mold inspector right away, you can also take a hands-on approach to survey the scene yourself; in doing so, you'll have more information to provide when it's time to call a professional. You shouldn't just head into any potentially moldy area until you've suited up with the proper safety gear first. Here's what to wear.
There's arguably nothing more important, when it comes to working in an area with mold, than your respirator. Don't opt for a simple dust mask; pull your shirt over your mouth and nose or try to hold your breath — visit the local home supply store and buy a respirator designed to be worn in moldy environments. It will be securely held to your face with a series of rubber straps and fit snugly over your nose and mouth. Many such respirators are equipped with replaceable, carbon-filled breathing apparatuses mounted to the front of the unit.
If there is a buildup of mold, and especially if you have an allergy to it, you don't want to have your eyes exposed, either. As such, make sure that you're wearing eye protection. Goggles are best, as you'll be able to adjust their strap to ensure a tight fit. This will prevent mold from irritating your eyes, both when you're in the affected area and even after you leave.
While you might not be touching the mold during your initial inspection before you call a professional, it's a good idea to make sure that your hands are protected. Disposable rubber gloves are ideal, as you can simply peel them off afterward and discard them. Avoid wearing leather or material work gloves, as the mold can enter the fibers and be easily transported to other parts of your home.
While mold removal specialists like those from Coastal Environmental Compliance LLC usually wear body suits, you don't necessarily have to go to this effort for a quick inspection. However, it's still a good idea to wear long clothing to keep your skin covered and be ready to throw your clothing in the washing machine as soon as you get out of the affected area. Your shoes should also be scrubbed thoroughly, as they may pick up mold.