Ready to take on another DIY home project? Or do you want someone else to deal with the task? These are common issues homeowners ponder when it comes to mold removal. The goal is always to restore the home to its pre-mold condition and keep its occupants safe. The question is who is going to do it.
Mold is a type of fungi that consists of tiny lightweight spores that travel through the air. Mold grows in humid, damp and dimly-lit areas like attics, basements, and bathrooms. It can also be found in areas where there is a water leak in the roof, windows, or pipes.
Mold-Related Health Issues
If mold is not removed immediately, it can cause serious health issues. Because mold spores travel through the air, they are easy to inhale. Some types of mold produce toxins, known as mycotoxins, that cause a variety of health problems. The elderly, children and those with respiratory problems are more susceptible than others to develop a mold-related illness.
Symptoms of a mold-related illness include:
- Sore throats
- Trouble breathing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- A runny nose or stuffed up nose
- Coughing and sneezing
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
Controlling the Growth of Mold
The best way to control mold is to control the moisture in your home. Reducing indoor humidity is one way to combat the growth of mold. Some tips for controlling mold growth include:
- Venting bathrooms, clothes dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and dehumidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
- Checking for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Adding mold inhibitors to paints before application
- Adding insulation to cold surfaces, such as exterior walls, floors, and windows to reduce condensation.
- Drying wet areas within 24 hours to prevent mold growth.
DIY Mold Removal
Mold remediation consists of cleaning and repairing damage caused by mold. The removal of mold can be a challenging task because more mold spores can disperse into the air, increasing the risk of illness. This process is possible to do it yourself; however, it must be done carefully. There are 4 key factors for homeowners to examine before deciding to remove mold yourself.
- Size of Mold Problem: According to the EPA, if the mold-infested area is less than 10 square feet, you can remove the mold yourself. There are many products on the market to remove mold. or you can use a simpler solution of bleach and water.
- Location of Mold: Surface mold is much easier to clean and contain. Bathtubs and tile can be disinfected with sprays made to kill mold.
- Source of Moisture that Caused the Mold: Determining the source of moisture that caused the mold growth will help you decide whether or not to remove the mold yourself. Knowing the source may also help you figure out how much mold is present.
- Health Problems: If you don’t have pre-existing health conditions likely to be made worse by increased exposure to mold, then carefully remove it. Otherwise, leave it alone.
6 Reasons to Use a Professional
In some situations, it’s better to call in a mold remediation professional for assistance. If you do not have the time or the proper equipment to remove mold from your home, then cleaning up mold yourself is probably not a good idea. Here are 6 reasons to let the pros handle it.
- The mold covers a large area.
- Mold damages were caused by sewage, flooding or other contaminated water.
- There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
- You have moldy wood that cannot be removed and replaced. The moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated.
- Hidden mold: when you can smell it but cannot see it. Mold can be in the subfloors, attic, or inside walls.
- You have a medical condition that might be made worse by increased exposure to mold, like asthma, or an immune system disorder.
The Best Option
It is best to have a mold remediation professional perform a thorough inspection before you decide whether to DIY or let the pros handle it. Be sure to ask your insurance agent about mold coverage in your homeowners’ policy.Mold inside your home is a serious condition and should be dealt with properly and immediately. St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration is a reputable company that you can trust to keep your home safe. We are available 24/7 for emergency situations.