Mold formation is a common problem in homes across Toronto. The worst part is that it’s not necessarily limited to developing only after a flood or some other type of major water damage. It just takes a small leak from a faucet to cause persistent dampness in that area, which is an ideal environment for mold to start developing.
Mold is one of those insidious problems. It starts so slowly you won’t even know it, more so because it tends to start in dark places. By the time you see the patches of mold, it is already too late. The mold would have spread to a larger area and even creeped into any porous surfaces, making it difficult to remove completely.
Once you spot any sign of mold, you cannot afford to ignore it. It needs to be dealt with as soon as possible to minimize the damage to your health and your home. The big question is, is mold removal a DIY undertaking or should you call in a mold removal professional?
Even if you know how to remove mold, ideally you should call in a professional, especially if the mold has spread over a vast area. If you are planning on going the DIY route, before you start the mold removal process, you should be aware of the risks involved. We’ve put together some of the more common mold removal mistakes that many homeowners make, which can compromise their health and safely.
#1 – Using Bleach for Mold Removal
It’s a myth that bleach is capable of killing mold. Mold is a type of fungi and bleach does not kill fungi. What bleach does is it just changes the color of the mold from black to a white or clear shade, giving the appearance that it has been eradicated. However, the mold remains untouched – only the visible signs have been removed.
Using bleach actually makes matters worse. The dampness of the bleach creates a favorable environment for the mold to continue growing at an even faster pace. Also, bleach emits fumes. When attempting to remove the mold with bleach, you are likely to ingest these bleach fumes as well as any airborne mold spores, resulting in all sorts of respiratory problems.
#2 – Covering Up the Problem
Many paint companies today sell mold-resistant paint. This type of paint is especially formulated to hamper mold formation. However, mold-resistant paint is meant to be used on completely dry, mold-free walls. It is not meant to be used over existing mold.
When you use mold-resistant paint over existing mold, it only covers the problem. It does not remove the problem. The mold still continues to grow and spread under the paint, damaging that surface. Any mold spores that escape will also continue to cause respiratory problems.
#3 – Not Wearing Proper Protective Gear
Wearing protective coveralls, gloves, safety goggles and a high-grade respirator is a must when attempting to remove mold.
Mold spores are extremely light and get airborne easily when disturbed. When you start wiping or scrubbing off the mold, the spores get disturbed and get airborne, settling on anything within close proximity. This includes your bare hands and face and your clothes. Wearing proper safety gear will prevent the spores from settling on your skin or from getting inhaled, where they can cause serious respiratory illness.
Remember, an ordinary dust mask won’t do. To ensure that you are fully protected, you need to buy a high-grade respirator.
#4 – Ignoring Proper Containment Procedures
This is something that almost no homeowner gives any thought to when attempting DIY mold remediation. Containment procedures may sound unnecessary, but the fact is this is a critical safety aspect.
When you’re done with the cleanup and move to other areas of the house, you actually transport the spores to those rooms, helping the spores to spread and contaminate an even larger area of your home. One way to avoid this is to remove all the clothing that you used during the mold removal and pack them in a plastic bag. Wash these clothes separately.
#5 – Removing Only the Visible Mold
You have to remember that when it comes to mold, what you can see is only the tip of the iceberg. Mold spores are tiny, almost invisible. These tiny particles often remain hidden just under the surface or inside the tiniest cracks in the wall, flooring, carpeting or furnishing. They can even survive and grow behind paint. Focusing all your efforts on removing the mold that you can see is an ineffective way to get rid of the problem as the mold that’s left behind will continue to grow and wreak havoc on your health and home. The key to successful mold removal in the basement or any other room is to make sure that not even a tiniest trace is left behind. That’s the only way to remove mold permanently.
Why You Must Call In a Mold Removal Professional
The number one reason most homeowners do not call in a professional is because they are worried about the mold removal cost. That’s understandable, but the truth is when you take all factors into consideration, calling a mold removal company works out much cheaper in the end.
When you call a service company, they will send a team of highly experienced professionals. These professionals use advanced equipment to detect hidden mold. They then go about removing every trace of mold using the right cleaning products and proper containment procedures to prevent the mold spores from spreading to other areas of your home. They will also check the air ducts in your home to ensure that they are free of mold spores. By the time they leave, you can be sure that your home will be 100% mold-free without any risk to your health, which also means you won’t have to deal with expensive medical bills.
Calling in a mold removal professional can save more than just time and money. It also ensures that the mold is removed completely so your home is contaminant-free and your health is not compromised.