Let’s start with what NOT to do when you find mold in your home. Please follow these precautions before you put you or your loved ones at risk:
- Do NOT tear out mold contaminated building materials without proper containment and protective gear.
- Do NOT paint over mold. The standard of care in our industry states: “Attempts to kill, encapsulate or inhibit mold instead of proper source removal generally are not adequate” (IICRC S520, section 4.4)
- Do NOT spray bleach on mold. Household bleach is not an EPA registered fungicide. Even if you kill the mold, it can still maintain it’s hazardous properties until you physically remove the mold and spores from the affected areas. Bleach also does not penetrate porous surfaces. Household bleach may remove the cosmetic mold staining, but it leaves behind the mold structure which can still be hazardous. In addition, after bleach dries, it leaves behind a carbon residue that acts as a food source for new mold to grow on.
What you SHOULD do when you find mold in your home:
- Get an air quality test performed by a 3rd party company that is separate from the remediation company.
- Repair the source of the moisture as soon as appropriate. As long as the source of the moisture is unresolved, mold will continue to grow and spread.
- Call a professional mold remediation company to do a free preliminary inspection.
The only time we recommend DIY mold clean up is when the area of mold is only a few square feet and it’s growing on a hard surface. In these cases, all that’s needed is to wipe it clean with a disposable rag and a mild detergent/cleaning agent and followed up with an application of appropriate antimicrobial agent.