Can You Clean Up Mold Yourself?
The presence of mold is always alarming, no matter how much there is and where it appears. It can wreak havoc on your home. Mold can ruin carpets, flooring, woodwork, walls, and more. It can also cause a host of health issues ranging from allergies and skin irritation to headaches and respiratory conditions.
When coming across mold growth at home, most people’s instinct would be to clean it up themselves. But this isn’t always necessarily the best course of action. Even minor signs of mold often indicate a more severe problem, which could be beyond the capability of most homeowners to fix.
That being said, relatively minor cases of mold infestation are fixable with a bit of elbow grease and the proper cleaning solution. If the mold hasn’t spread beyond the initial point of contact and spores haven’t spread throughout the house, it may be possible to solve the problem on your own.
Should You Clean Up Mold Yourself?
Certain factors will determine whether you can clean up the mold yourself or you need to call in a professional. The most important consideration is the extent of the infestation and damage. If the mold covers an area less than 10 square feet (approximately 3 feet by 3 feet), you can probably take care of the problem yourself.
If the mold has grown beyond that area and there is considerable water damage, it is probably best to have a professional remove the mold and repair the affected area. You could also check the EPA guide on mold remediation for schools and commercial buildings. Although the document is intended for commercial structures, most of the methods outlined are applicable to a home environment.
Before you Begin The Mold Cleaning Process
Before we go into the tips on how to clean up mold, here’s a bit of advice:
If you have any type of health condition that could cause you to have a negative reaction to mold, consider consulting with a doctor or a health care professional before attempting to tackle the cleanup job. If your condition is fairly serious, it might be best to call in a professional.
Furthermore, any time you have to deal with mold, make sure to avoid exposing yourself or the other members of your household.
Tips For Getting Rid Of Mold
With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how you can get rid of mold in your home:
- Try to eliminate the primary source of moisture as soon as possible. Whether it is caused by leaky plumbing, a broken faucet, or groundwater coming up, solving the problem at the source will go a long way in fixing your mold issues.
- Clean off any mold you see with detergent and water. After all traces of the mold have been removed, make sure to dry the affected area thoroughly.
- Items with absorbent or porous surfaces have to be cleaned thoroughly, preferably by a professional cleaning service. If the mold hasn’t taken hold for long or the affected area is relatively small, you can attempt to clean it yourself. But if the damage is too extensive, even for a professional cleaner, it might be best just to get rid of the item.
- Resist the urge to paint over mold. No matter how many coats of paint you apply, the mold will still be present, which means that it will continue to pose a health risk. If you want to paint over a specific area to cover up unsightly stains, make sure to clean and dry the affected area thoroughly first.
- Try to minimize the moisture in the areas of your home where mold is likely to grow. Common spots include the bathroom, kitchen, laundry area, basement, garage, and anywhere else where there is always moisture and a constant food source.
When You Have To Call In Professional Help
At some point, you will have to admit defeat and have a professional handle your mold problem for you. It could be that the mold has grown way more than you can handle or you suspect that there may be more growth apart from what you can see.
When searching for a mold remediation service, look into the company’s credentials and professional reputation. You may also ask for a list of references to ensure that the firm has a good track record of successfully completed jobs. A reputable service may cost you more in the short term, but you will have a better chance of getting rid of your mold problem for good.