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Mold Part 2: When to DIY & When to Call a Professional

Mold Part 2: When to DIY & When to Call a Professional

By Jonny Hawley on May 01, 2017 at 07:46 PM in Mold Damage

Mold Part 2: When to DIY & When to Call a Professional
Always protect your health when attempting to clean moldy surfaces

MOLD No one wants to find this unwelcome nemesis in their home. Once considered a pesky problem to attack with vinegar and bleach; we now know that there are many health risks posed by mold growth in the home. Your family, your pets, and even your home are in danger from unchecked mold growth.

When confronted with molds, keep in mind that they are not all alike in potential health risk, so in some instances, treating the mold yourself is the answer.  The most important thing to know is when to call a professional.

Common Types of Household Molds

  • Pink Mold is often found in bathrooms and is a result of high moisture, usually due to low lighting and poor air circulation. This mold can cause allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals and in rare cases other medical problems. This bacterium is known as Serratia Marcescens.
  • White Mold is sometimes confused with efflorescence, a crystalline growth found on concrete and masonry. If found elsewhere, it is probably white mold. Like pink mold, small amounts pose no significant health problems unless the individual has mold allergies. White mold can be any of several types of molds.
  • Green/Black Mold- The black mold warned against in the media, Stachybotrys chartarum, usually has a greenish color. This is the black mold, or toxic mold, most feared by homeowners. It is important to note that not all black molds are this strain, and some may not be potentially as harmful as the Stachybotrys. When you encounter black or greenish mold, it is important to have a professional test the mold to ascertain the toxicity and the type before deciding on the appropraite treatment.

Keeping Your Home Safe from Molds

Areas where moisture is present harbor molds. Eliminating moisture helps prevent mold growth. Outlined below are some simple measures for each of these areas of your home.

  • Basements 
    • Seal basement walls against moisture.
    • Use a dehumidifier if your basement still tends toward dampness.
    • Check frequently for cracks or leaks in the walls.
  • Kitchens
    • Check for leaks around all plumbing and repair them immediately, if found.
    • Check behind appliances for moisture buildup or spills.
    • Use an exhaust fan when cooking to carry moisture outside the home.
  • Bathrooms
    • Check plumbing for leaks, and repair quickly.
    • Leave the lights and the exhaust fan on for an hour or more after showers and baths.
    • Squeegee your shower walls after bathing.
  • Crawlspaces
    • Use an exhaust fan or dehumidifier under your home if there is a moisture build-up.
    • If you have bare ground in your crawlspace, dry it, then cover with plastic to prevent moisture from seeping upwards.
    • Make sure water is not draining under your home from run-off or leaky pipes.
    • Maintain your gutters in good repair.

Molds are persistent and hard to eliminate without the help of professionals, once they take hold in your home.

When to Contact a Professional

  • When you find black or greenish mold anywhere in your home
  • When areas of mold, of any color, are large or show up in several different places at the same time
  • When you have health issues such as mold allergies, asthma, and any other compromised pulmonary function or auto-immune disease

DIY Mold Remedies

 Do your mold treatments, yourself, in cases of small and isolated mold problems. Remember to wear a mask and gloves to prevent the mold spores from entering your body while you work. Here are several effective treatments for small areas of mold infestation.

  • Rid the area of moisture. This is the most important first, and continuing practice.
  • Spray full strength vinegar on the entire moldy area and let it dry before cleaning.
  • Spray a tea tree oil solution, of two or three teaspoons of Tea Tree oil to two cups of water, on the mold, and allow it to dry. Tea Tree oil is a natural anti-fungal.  
  • Combine, 1 cup of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water, and spray it on the mold, then let it dry.  Bleach is a good solution when staining from the mold occurs.  Do not use chlorine bleach on metals or fabrics as it may cause damage.
  • Use full strength hydrogen peroxide in a sprayer to coat the mold. Again, allow the solution to air dry.
  • To scrub off stubborn mold stains, once you kill the mold, combine baking soda with a little dish detergent and clean the grout or other small areas with an old toothbrush.  

Having the right information helps you keep your home sound and your family safe. Call us when you need professional help with a serious mold problem in your home.