Can You Remove Mold Yourself?
The short answer is… yes! Technically you can remove mold yourself. No one is immune to mold: water damage happens, a pipe leaks, it rains too hard, you forget a wet spot in the bathroom for too long, among many other uneventful scenarios.
Fast forward a few days or weeks and you see it: the icky black-or-brown-or-pink-or-white sludge that you don’t even want to look at, let alone touch!
The good (and bad) thing is that there are many different types of mold, and while most of them are relatively harmful, they’re not toxic. While you can remove some smaller, less harmful molds, it’s tricky to know which ones are harmful and which ones aren’t.
Keep reading to find out whether you should attempt to remove that stain or call in a professional.
When Is It Safe to Remove Mold Yourself?
A running estimate of how many people have mold in their homes is around 70%, so don’t feel embarrassed! This is a common problem among homeowners and apartment dwellers alike. If you’ve discovered a spot of this fungus and you want to consider removing it yourself, here are the signs to look for:
- If it covers a small area (smaller than 3 feet across)
- If it’s growing on a surface that is easy to replace like carpet
- If it’s growing on a surface that is easy to clean (metal, tile, glass, sinks, tubs)
- If you don’t have any health issues that are exacerbated by mold (asthma, COPD)
Reasons to Avoid DIY Mold Removal
If the mold you’ve found doesn’t fit the above criteria, chances are it could be more dangerous to remove yourself. It’s difficult to tell what type of mold you have just by looking at it. Usually, it has to be tested to find out exactly what kind it is. If the mold you’ve found fits any of the following criteria, it’s probably time to call a professional to remove it.
- It covers an area larger than 3ft x 3ft
- You have asthma or symptoms of mold exposure (runny nose, difficulty breathing, wheezing, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing, coughing)
- It is created from water that has been contaminated with sewage or other toxic materials
- You have an illness that could be made worse by mold exposure (talk to your doctor)
- It has infiltrated your HVAC system (this will be too complicated to completely remove yourself unless you are trained in this area)
- You can smell it but you can’t see it (it can be hiding in the attic, behind walls, or under the floor)
- You don’t know how to remove it properly without causing damage (for example, if the fungus s behind the wall and you’d have to replace the drywall)
- There is moldy wood (like on a patio) that needs to be encapsulated and sanded rather than removed
- Improper removal can release more spores into the air, increasing your exposure
Risks of Mold Exposure
Mold is a very serious issue and should not be taken lightly. While some of the symptoms may sound trivial, a serious reaction to the worst kind (black mold) can cause bleeding within the nose and lungs and vomiting.
Typical symptoms of exposure are similar to an upper respiratory infection: cough, wheezing, asthma, runny or stuffy nose, red eyes, rashes on the skin, difficulty breathing, etc. In a study done on children, it was found that spending time in mold-infested places increased symptoms of coughing, wheezing, and asthma.
Getting Help From Professionals
Professional mold removers are well trained and equipped to remove all the spores without letting them get into your air. They’re trained to remove this fungus without damaging any other area of the house, and they’re trained to replace what needed to be removed (like drywall or patio wood). They’re also trained to find hidden mold that you can’t easily see.
If you solicit professional help, you can rest easy knowing there will be no trace left in your dwelling space. Call an expert to remove your mold—call All Dry USA today!