Discovering mold in your home can be an inconvenient and unsafe situation to deal with as a homeowner. No matter where the mold is growing, it is essential to remove it as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your home and negative effects on your indoor air quality. But depending on the location of mold growth, some homeowners may be wondering ‘can I remove this mold myself, or do I need to hire a professional mold removal service?’. Below we will explore this question to help you determine whether your mold problem can be DIYed or if you need to call in the pros.
First, there are a few general rules of thumb that we can share when it comes to dealing with home mold removal yourself:
- Think about the square footage of material affected by the mold. If the mold covers 10 square feet or more, it will be difficult for you to remove that quantity of material without the spores spreading through the air in your home.
- Avoid cross-contamination at all costs. If you can remove the mold quickly and efficiently without cross-contaminating another area of your home, you may be able to skip the mold removal services.
- Understand the type of mold you are dealing with in order to properly remove it. We will talk more about types of mold below.
Types of Mold
Most household mold falls into one of two categories: either everyday mold that is easily dealt with by the homeowner, or a more problematic mold infestation that requires a professional opinion. How do you know which one you are dealing with?
- Everyday Mold: Most people in their lifetime have probably come across everyday mold – it is the mold that we find in the corner of our bathrooms, near our leaky water heater, and in that container of food that you left in the fridge too long.
When the source of the mold is located early and it is a small amount of mold, it can most likely be taken care of with soap, warm water, and occasionally some bleach. Once the mold is taken care of, you need to prevent it from coming back. This is done by removing the source of the mold (ie. fixing the leaky pipe, throwing out the moldy food) and making sure there is as little moisture in the area as possible. This includes things such as: leaving the bathroom window open after a shower, wiping down sinks and surrounding areas after use, and installing ceiling fans or proper ventilation in affected areas.
If caught early, mold is a relatively easy problem to tackle. A large majority of household mold growth falls into this category, but unfortunately some cases are just too severe for the average homeowner to tackle themselves.
- More Severe Mold: Here on the west coast, we are no stranger to long periods of rain and moisture. Unfortunately, this creates the perfect conditions for mold to grow and spread quickly. Even the smallest case of bathroom mold can quickly grow out of control if not dealt with right away, and this is when it is time to call in the experts.
It is important to remember that mold removal isn’t just about getting rid of the mold, it is also about preventing mold spores from entering the air in our homes. If extra care isn’t taken, mold can spread through the air where it can impact air quality and respiratory health, as well as spread to other surfaces and continue to grow. If your mold problem is too large, it is nearly impossible to perform this removal without causing cross contamination.
If you think your mold problem is getting out of hand, or you notice mold expanding into drywall and sub-flooring, contact your local mold removal service right away.
What to know before you hire a professional mold removal service
If you need help tackling a mold problem, you’ll want to make sure you are choosing a reputable company. Before hiring a mold removal service, here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you can already see mold in the space, you most often do not need to spend money on pre-testing. If a company insists on charging you to test for mold when it is already largely visible, it is likely a waste of money. The exception to this is if you require solid proof that mold is present – for example if you are purchasing a property that has mold and you would like to use that to negotiate a lower price.
- As with any professional service, we recommend requesting multiple quotes from different companies to make sure that you are not being overcharged or undercharged for shoddy service.
- Experience is important – ask how long they have been in business, and see if they can provide you with customer reviews.
- Any legitimate mold professional should wear proper safety equipment, seal off the affected area to reduce airborne spread of spores, and use professional grade tools and antimicrobial products.
Professionals will help
If you have discovered a mold problem and aren’t sure how to manage it, professionals can help. While it is okay to attempt to remove everyday mold yourself, sometimes the situation is just too far gone and requires professional tools and products to safely remove all traces of mold. Once again, it is important that any mold is removed as soon as possible to ensure the health and safety of you and your family.