Have you ever noticed mold in your home and wanted to clean it up as soon as possible? If so, you’re not alone. Most homeowners have the same reaction. Mold is an unpleasant visitor and people want to send it packing as soon as possible. It goes against normal instincts to take a step back and think about a mold removal strategy.
Yet in most cases, this is exactly what you should do. That’s because mold, unlike ordinary dirt or scum, is dangerous to both your health and your property. Prolonged exposure to toxic mold can wreak havoc on the human respiratory and nervous systems; and when a mold infestation becomes widespread, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean up. In the most extreme cases, entire properties have been torn down due to mold problems.
Here’s another reason to pause before attacking visible mold with a sponge and a bottle of cleaning fluid: Mold is very good at expanding its empire. In most cases, when you see visible mold, you aren’t seeing the whole picture. The colony will spread to areas which aren’t so easy to detect, such behind walls or even in your home’s duct work.
But even if you know these important facts about mold, you still might find yourself tempted to clean mold without properly assessing the problem. Here are three big mistakes that people commonly make, and why you should do things differently.
I only cleaned up what I could see
Obviously it’s a good feeling to grab that brush, fill up that bucket and scrub away to your heart’s content. But what happens when it keeps coming back, again and again? This is a good indicator that your home has a deeper mold problem that needs to be dealt with professionally. Using specialized tools such as infrared lighting, mold removal specialists will be able to determine whether mold is growing beneath the floors, behind the walls, and in other hard-to-reach places. Until your “invisible” mold problem is dealt with, visible mold will pop up again and again.
I used ordinary cleaning solution
There are many household cleaners on the market, and most of them are effective in dealing with ordinary grime. The majority of them are not, however, effective in cleaning up mold. The urge to hit mold with whatever cleaning solution you have under the sink may be strong—but it’s not a good plan of attack.
Here’s what often happens when homeowners do this: The visible mold seems to have disappeared as a result of vigorous cleaning, but a few days later the problem is worse. In fact, you can often see how the scrubbing motion actually smeared mold spores across the surface. Although the visible signs of mold were removed, the spores were left alive—and they only needed a few days to manifest visually again.
I didn’t wear protective clothing
If you’ve ever seen a mold remediation specialist at work, you’ve probably noticed how carefully they protect themselves. Masks, eyewear and gloves are the absolute minimum—most reputable companies, especially when dealing with a serious mold problem, will wear full body protection. This is because they’re coming into close contact with toxic spores while they clean up mold, and without protection, this kind of acute exposure could make them ill. Anyone attempting to clean up mold in their home or office should take extra care to protect themselves.
Avoid these mistakes—call a specialist!
You can do all the guesswork you want, and in some cases, DIY mold removal efforts will indeed have great results. But in the majority of cases, eradicating mold without professional help is just too tricky. Most homeowners feel that the risks of mold—to both health and property—are high enough to justify calling in a professional with years of advanced training.
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