The lure of saving money is enough to convince many homeowners to take on DIY projects they probably shouldn’t be doing.
Mold removal is one such job, for a few reasons.
First, it’s dangerous. Mold spores are constantly being released from an active colony, but when you start scrubbing, even more spores dissipate into the air that you and your family breathe.
Second, it’s difficult. Mold doesn’t give up easily so it takes some expert knowledge of mold behavior to get rid of it. Plus, the majority of a colony can be out of sight, making it nearly impossible to remove.
Below, we’ll dive into the 6 most common mistakes homeowners make when doing DIY mold removal.
Common DIY Mold Removal Mistakes
Thinking you can do mold removal yourself could end up making you (or a family member) very sick. Mold is one of the most common allergens, and for people with respiratory issues, it can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, and difficulty sleeping.
Mold is also destructive. It consumes organic material, which could be anything from dust to leftovers, but it could also be wood, upholstery, or wallpaper. This can cause utter destruction in your home and lead to extensive home repairs.
So what are the mistakes that homeowners make when trying to remove mold?
Assuming the Entire Colony is Visible
Mold is rarely a “what you see is what you get” situation. The mold you see is most likely the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
Mold prefers warm, dark areas, so visible mold is almost always a sign that it started somewhere else and has spread to a visible area. Inside the walls and underneath floor tiles are common places for mold to start.
Even if you want to attempt the mold removal process yourself, it’s still a good idea to have your home professionally inspected so that you know where allof the mold is located.
Using Bleach to Kill Mold
Bleach is effective in killing some species of mold, but not all. Therefore, you could be exposing your household to harsh chemicals with no hope of success. It is crucial that you know what type of mold you are dealing with so you can use the right products to kill it.
This is another reason to have a professional inspection and testing done before you try DIY mold removal.
Additionally, bleach isn’t suitable for every surface. You don’t want to discolor your walls, flooring or upholstery, so you need to know other, less damaging alternatives for removing mold inside your home.
Painting to Cover Up Mold
Painting over mold is NOT a solution! Mold can continue to grow and spread underneath the paint. And if the wall gets scratched or damaged, all of that covered-up mold will immediately release spores into the rest of your home.
Mold resistant paint is a great option for new homes and for repainting walls that don’t have any signs of mold on them. Mold resistant paint does not kill mold, so it should never be used to cover up a live colony.
Besides these safety concerns, paint isn’t guaranteed to cover up mold stains anyway. Mold colonies can create very dark stains. The best course of action is to kill the mold first, then use a high-quality primer to neutralize the stain before repainting in your desired color.
Salvaging Mold-Damaged Items
You can easily remove mold from the shower or tub because these are non-porous surfaces. But mold is difficult – virtually impossible – to remove from porous surfaces, like fabrics, carpet, and drywall.
It’s understandable that homeowners want to salvage expensive building materials and upholstery, but in most cases it’s best to just throw it out. Even if you are able to kill the mold in these soft materials, it’s going to leave behind an unsightly stain.
This is another area where a mold removal pro can help. They are sometimes able to restore items that you thought were destroyed, but either way, these experts can tell you what can be saved and what should be disposed of.
Unintentionally Spreading Mold
Scrubbing the surface of a mold colony releases spores faster than if the mold was spreading on its own. Once mold spores are in the air, it is very hard to control their movement. This means that spores can float from room to room and start new colonies all over your home.
Professional mold removal teams have strategies for controlling the spread of mold throughout your home when removing it from a single area.
Disregard for Safety Equipment
Mold can cause allergic reactions in people and pets. You do not have to have a mold allergy to experience a reaction. These reactions are more likely – and more severe – when you are actively removing the mold versus when it is simply present in your home.
Many people don’t know the proper safety precautions for DIY mold removal, and others choose not to take these precautions. At minimum, you should:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
- Wear eye protection
- Wear long sleeves and pants
- Cover your hair or tie it back
- Wear shoe covers
Remove your clothing immediately and wash it to minimize the exposure to mold for the rest of your household. Throw away any cloth rags that were used to clean mold.
Professional Mold Removal in Central Illinois
It’s probably evident now that DIY mold removal is not worth the trouble. Hiring a professional to remove household mold is safer for your family, prevents the spread of mold, and ensures that the mold removal is done right.
For a one-time fee, you can be sure that your home is mold free, from the places you can see (basement, attic, bathroom) to the places you can’t (crawl space, behind walls, roof).
DIY mold removal is generally safe for colonies that are smaller than 10 square feet. Anything larger than that needs professional attention from Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois.
Avoid these common DIY mold removal mistakes by trusting a professional mold company.