Many homeowners attempt to remove mold themselves rather than hiring a professional. Remember, if there’s been extensive water damage or the growth covers more than 10 square feet, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends professional mold remediation. However, if you have a small amount of mold, it’s appropriate to tackle the task yourself. Here are some common mold removal mistakes to avoid.

Thinking all the mold is easily visible

If you spot mold growing in a corner, you may assume the problem is contained there. However, mold spores spread easily, and growth tends to occur in dark places, including inside the walls and behind shower tiles.

Even if you plan to handle the removal process yourself, it’s wise to consult with a mold remediation expert to help you find hidden growth. If you fail to eradicate every colony, mold could continue to spread and adversely affect your health.

Assuming bleach will kill the mold

While bleach is effective in many situations, it doesn’t kill all types of mold. It may also be impractical to use bleach on some surfaces. To be sure you’re getting the job done, use an antimicrobial cleaner instead of bleach.

Painting over mold

Perhaps you ran across “mold-resistant paint” at the hardware store. This doesn’t mean you can apply it over mold. If you attempt to do this, you could end up with a bigger mess and worse problems in the long run. Only apply mold-resistant paint to mold-free surfaces once remediation is complete to prohibit future growth.

Trying to restore items that must be thrown away

While mold can be successfully removed from non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal and porcelain, it penetrates soft materials like carpet, upholstery, insulation, drywall and wood. In general, you must dispose of these items if they are severely damaged.

If you’re uncertain whether a product can be salvaged, seek advice from a mold remediation professional. Personal property restoration services may help you recover items you thought were beyond saving.

Spreading mold to other parts of the house

Everything from scrubbing moldy surfaces to ripping up the carpet to cutting out drywall can send mold spores flying. To prevent contaminating other parts of your home, you must seal the work area. Mold removal specialists use temporary containment systems to ensure they don’t inadvertently make the problem worse.

Exposing yourself to harmful mold

According to the EPA, mold exposure can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. Even non-allergic individuals can experience eye, nose, throat, skin and lung irritation from touching or inhaling mold.

Since the cleanup process stirs up spores, the chance of experiencing adverse health effects is very high. Protect yourself by wearing gloves, hair and shoe covers, safety glasses, and an N95 respirator mask anytime you handle moldy objects.

Hiring a mold remediation professional is a foolproof way to avoid mold removal mistakes. Consult with DKI Services to determine if you have a mold problem and to schedule remediation if necessary.