Maybe you found it yourself, or the plumber you called to fix a leak found it, or the technician servicing your HVAC unit found it, but no matter how the mold was discovered, you have it. If you’re familiar with our blog, you know that the first thing to do when cleaning mold is to fix the moisture problem that led to the mold growth.
Customers often ask, “Can I clean the mold myself or do I need a professional?” Our answer depends on how extensive the mold problem is, what building materials and/or furnishings and belongings are affected, where the mold is located, and whether or not you mind being in confined spaces such as your crawlspace or attic.
The Size of the Job
The more basic answer is that most DIY-savvy homeowners can effectively tackle smaller-scale mold problems in accessible rooms like the bathroom or closet. The EPA determines the scale of mold remediation projects based on the size of the affected area.
The “small” remediation category refers to mold-infected areas within 10 square feet. “Medium” remediations treat 10 to 100 square feet. And, you guessed it, “large” remediations cover more than 100 square feet of mold-infected area.
Most medium and all large mold problems are best left to a professional. Even small mold problems in hard-to-reach areas such as crawlspaces and attics are best left to professionals. It’s also important to keep in mind that what may appear to be a small mold problem on the surface may in fact be a large problem that extends into the wall cavity or subfloor.
Containing the Remediation
Anytime you’re cleaning mold, care must be taken to minimize the process’ impact on occupants and unaffected areas of the structure. Areas where mold will be removed should be contained using 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. The containment should be maintained under negative pressure and vented outdoors to prevent the spread of mold spores. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with serious health concerns are particularly susceptible to the effects of mold exposure.
To set up proper containment and maintain it under negative pressure, we need specialized equipment and heightened attention to detail. This is one area where the experience and knowledge of a professional can really pay off. The last thing you want to do when cleaning mold in one area of your home is to spread the spores to other, previously unaffected areas of your home.
Be sure to consider the benefits of hiring a professional with the right equipment and experience when faced with a mold remediation project in your home. And please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!