If you’ve actually discovered mold in your house, you may be tempted to call in a professional immediately. However, before you put in the time and effort, make sure your mold problem really requires a professional.
DO contact a mold removal company if you have any of the following:
- Mold that covers more than 10 square feet (about a 3 foot x 3 foot area).
- Significant water damage (floods, second story bathtub overflow that damages the floor and/or ceiling, burst water pipes and the like).
- Walls, floor, ceiling or other water-damaged areas have been wet for more than 48 hours.
- Existing, on-going mold and moisture problems.
- Your furniture, walls, wallpaper, floorboards, etc. have visible and extensive damage.
- You suspect a hidden source of water – for example, when you see condensation build up in an area where no water should exist.
- Someone in the house is experiencing significant health problems or being affected negatively by the moldy odors.
- You have reason to believe that your home’s heating or air conditioning system may have a mold problem (mold near the intake, condensation build up on any of the system’s component parts, etc.). In this case, DO NOT turn on the system or attempt to clean the mold yourself because the possibility of the mold becoming airborne is extremely high.
- If you see or smell some obvious signs of mold but not the mold itself and you suspect it might mean something terrible is happening behind the walls.
If you have any of the above issues, your mold problem may have very serious consequences for your health and the health of your family.
It’s important to remember that mold can grow on anything organic and that means the back side of drywall, wallpaper, paneling, ceiling tiles or under carpets. In some cases, material like paneling can act as a vapor barrier, trapping moisture between the panel and the wall and creating a perfect environment for mold growth. Removing the paneling yourself could lead to a substantial release of mold spores, possibly sickening you and your family and creating new levels of mold issues in your home.
If your issues are not as serious as those outlined above, however, it is likely that mold can be cleaned up with very minimal resources and know-how. For instance, you don’t need to lose your head about those spots that appear every so often on your north-facing windows or in your shower grout. Green, black, grey, fuzzy, dry … it doesn’t matter. You just need some water, borax, a scrub brush, gloves and a simple face mask. While some situations do require professional help, that kind of infestation you can handle on your own.