As a mold removal company in Toronto, we’re often asked by homeowners when they should take on the task of cleaning up their own mold and when should they have a professional mold removal company come in. We usually recommend that the homeowner hires an independent mold inspection service to help them make that determination.
Mold is a fungus found growing naturally wherever there are moist natural fibers and warm still air. Sounds like most basements, especially in older homes. It propagates itself by releasing microscopic seeds called spores into the air. When these find their way into our homes two things happen. They colonize our living space, and they irritate our airways.
The Mold Enigma
An enigma is a complicated mystery or puzzle that it’s theoretically easy to solve when you know how. In principle it’s also a simple matter to control for mold. You just need to wipe down the ceilings, walls and floors regularly with an anti-fungal agent, wash out the cupboards, vacuum the drapes, and ventilate your home regularly. That’s fine if you know the source, such as a leaky pipe or faucet. If you haven’t found the source of your mold issues, it usually just returns.
But we seldom have the time or inclination to do this properly. Before we realize it, we have mold flourishing in nooks and crannies we didn’t previously worry about. When we try to get rid of it we find it’s smelly and really dirty. What’s more, the harder we try, the faster it comes bouncing back for more
The biggest problem is that we’re actually replanting it as we go along. That’s because as we wipe it away we release mold spores that repopulate the area in a few short weeks. A mold removal specialist will tell you that exposure to mold is often highest in the removal process as you are disturbing it and making it airborne. Even if we use chemicals to kill it they don’t work remotely – we have to treat the mold everywhere, no matter how inaccessible it may be.
When Mold’s Out of Hand
If the mold in your home extends over more than one square meter, then you have a self-sustaining eco-system that’s definitely not going to move out voluntarily. In no time at all you’ll start finding it under carpets, in cupboards and on top of ceilings. Unless you have nothing better to do, you’ve reached the point where you need to call a mold inspector.
Services You Receive
An experienced mold inspector with training and registration papers knows that it’s pointless putting out so-called mold traps, and pointing out the fungus where you already know it is. Instead, they use their knowledge of buildings and building materials to identify where mold is lurking even before they look for it.
As they go along they’ll identify the root causes of what they find. These can be anything from water seeping in from outside, to cupboards not fitted with cross ventilation. Sometimes, turning down the thermostat a notch and opening windows in the middle of the day will help prevent mold recurrence.
At other times you may need to call in a waterproofing specialist. However you have to eliminate what’s already growing first.
The Big Clean
It’s not a good idea to tackle a large-scale mold elimination project yourself, especially if you’re unsure of the cause of the mold. Besides breathing in potentially harmful spores, mold usually grows in dark and sometimes hard to reach areas such as attic crawl spaces. Consider calling in a professional mold inspector, they can help determine the source of your mold and recommend a certified mold removal company if it’s needed.