Situations to Avoid DIY Mold Removal
The sight of mold is one of the last things that you want to see in your home. Mold growth is ugly, damaging to your home, and dangerous for your health. The other problem with mold is that it is very difficult to remove without the right equipment and cleaning products. Mold colonies form in homes when the spores that are naturally in the air find an environment that provides it with a food source and moisture source. The surfaces it grows on like wood and drywall become the food source for mold and as a result, the growth penetrates deep into these porous surfaces. Household cleaners are generally not strong enough to completely remove mold and improper cleaning will cause the mold to disperse its spores, spreading the growth and increasing the risk of health effects.
There are some scenarios in which DIY mold growth is effective. If the mold growth is minor and only covers a small area, you can treat the affected surfaces with white vinegar. Vinegar is the most effective household remedy for cleaning mold because it penetrates the affected surfaces to kill the mold membrane. However, there are many more scenarios involving mold in which you must call a professional for mold remediation. If you experience any of the following situations in your home, do not attempt DIY mold removal and instead call a professional.
Mold Growth Over a Large Area
Attempting to remove mold growth that covers a large area is dangerous and ineffective without the proper training and equipment. The EPA defines a “large area” regarding mold growth as an area bigger than 3 feet by 3 feet, or just under 10 square feet. If the mold growth in your home covers an area that is smaller than 10 square feet, you can attempt DIY mold removal methods. Removing mold growth that covers a larger area is difficult and disturbing the mold growth with improper cleaning methods will cause it to disperse its spores.
Mold Growth in the Air Ducts
Mold can grow literally anywhere in your home, including inside your air ducts. Condensation builds up within the air ducts and on component parts of the HVAC system and this moisture can trigger mold growth. Having mold in your HVAC system is dangerous because the system will disperse the mold spores throughout your home when it runs the heating and cooling. If there is mold in your air ducts, stop running your heating and cooling and call a mold removal professional right away that has the right equipment to get into your HVAC system and remove the mold.
Mold Growth from Black Water Damage
Black water refers to water from sewer backups, toilet overflows, and flooding from rivers and streams that consist of dangerous bacteria and other toxins. If you experience water damage from black water in your home, it is very important to avoid any contact with the water and call a professional. The mold that forms from black water damage is just as dangerous and should be cleaned up by a professional as well, regardless of what size area it covers.
Mold Growth on Wood Surfaces
Wood surfaces are commonly affected by mold colonies because the cellulose found in wood acts as a food source for the mold. Because of this, mold can cause serious damage to wooden surfaces and objects. If the wood surfaces and objects affected by mold cannot be removed, then you must have a professional treat them to prevent serious structural damage.
Fear of Health Issues
The health issues associated with mold are well known. Attempting to clean up any amount of mold growth increases your risk of experiencing negative health effects. If you would rather not take this risk, just call a professional right away who can effectively isolate the mold growth and reduce the risk of negative health effects.
Mold growth is a potentially dangerous and complicated issue and DIY mold removal methods are typically ineffective because of this. Contacting a professional will not only ensure that the mold is removed safely, but also that every bit of mold is uncovered through testing. When you remove mold yourself, there may be hidden mold in your home that you cannot detect. Mold remediation professionals use advanced testing equipment to find mold growth in hidden areas such as behind walls and ceilings. DIY mold removal may be an option in the mildest cases of mold growth, but in most cases, you are much better off leaving this to the professionals.