As Americans we take pride in doing things ourselves. "There's this innate American sense that we should fix things up ourselves," says Gregg Hicks, Director of Business Development for ReliableRemodeler. Lately, we have seen a resurgence of energy and support for DIY especially fueled from various website blogs and forums such as Pinterest (check out this pin for DIY mold remover).
Careful consideration should be given for working with a mold specialist, who has formal training and experience with mold detection.
Before deciding to tackle a DIY mold removal project in your home, below are some key things to consider!
DIY mold removal: What to consider
Identify the moisture source. Mold is always the result of moisture. It is defined as 'secondary damage'. The primary damage is the water intrusion or the moisture source. Before removing mold in your home, you must first identify the moisture source or water intrusion, and fix water damage that is causing mold growth. If the moisture problem is not corrected then removal will only be a short-term solution.
Thoroughly inspect all affected materials in the home. Generally, non-porous materials (such as metals, glass, glazed porcelain and hard plastics) that are visibly moldy can typically be cleaned and reused without the help of a mold specialist. Visible mold on these surfaces is considered 'surface mold'- The result of buildup, dirt and bio-film mold spores attach to and begin to grow.
If you find mold on porous materials, contact a professional mold specialist. Porous materials (such as unglazed porcelain, carpeting, drywall, ceiling tile, wallpaper, fabric, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and etc.) absorb and hold moisture - which means they are most likely internally moldy.
If mold is present on porous surfaces, a mold specialist should be contacted in order to identify the underlying moisture problem, and provide a permanent mold removal plan.
DIY Mold Removal in Bathrooms
Bathroom mold is one of the most common problems in any house. The problem occurs primarily because mold loves damp, dark, isolated spaces. The dampest, most isolated room in your house is likely the bathroom.
Non-porous materials (such as metals, glass, and hard plastics) that are visibly moldy can typically be removed by following 4 main steps.
- Select a cleaning agent such as Hydrogen peroxide commonly used in mold remediation. Hydrogen peroxide found in stores is usually a 3% solution, and should work fine on non-porous surfaces but more difficult mold may need a 9% - 20% solution. Take caution though, at 11%, it will burn skin.
- Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing during the scrubbing and agitating process. All items used during cleaning should be thoroughly cleaned or discarded afterwards to prevent the transfer of spores to other potential porous or semi-porous materials.
- Mold growth on tile and grout can usually be removed through use of hydrogen peroxide (or other cleaning agents) and a good scrubbing, but if permanent discoloration and persistent mold growth is the norm consider replacing the grout in your bathroom with a latex-fortified version which is more resistant to water and moisture accumulation.
- Increase the air circulation by running your bathroom fans regularly - About 15 minutes a day should do the trick. Consider installing a bathroom fan timer. Additionally, if there is a window in your bathroom, keep it cracked as often as possible.