Mold is the big, bad, boogeyman of home ownership. Many a home inspection has been undone by the discovery of mold, and every homeowner worries about the day they have their own mold problem to resolve. If you’ve got a mold problem, it’s important to know the best course of action for solving it safely and speedily.

Assess the Severity of the Outbreak

Although you can treat mold on your own, that doesn’t mean every mold outbreak should be considered a do-it-yourself opportunity. For mold that has settled into the structure of your home, like the studs or support beams, you should consult with a professional. Removal of the affected material may be needed, and it’s important this is done in a safe manner to avoid dangerous accidents.

Preparation is a Priority

You should never rush into a mold removal job. Not only does this open you up to potential health risks, but you could also unknowingly spread the mold spores and make the outbreak even worse. Close off any vents or doorways in the infested room with plastic to prevent the release of spores elsewhere, and use a fan in a window, if possible, to draw air out of the room. Anyone working on the removal should wear clothes that can be disposed of after completion, as well as goggles, gloves and a respirator to avoid ingestion of mold spores.

Identify Your Needs

Not every mold outbreak can be cured with a simple cleaning. If the mold is a result of sewage or grey water contamination, the underlying materials should be removed and replaced to reduce the risk of future problems. If the mold is a result of clean water, removal may not be necessary. First, vacuum to remove any debris, then scrub the area with a mix of detergent and water. After you have sufficiently scrubbed away any outward signs of the mold, use a high-efficiency particulate air vacuum to dry the area and remove any remaining debris.

Although mold outbreaks can be dangerous if allowed to grow, they can be safely treated. The key to fighting a mold growth is to address it immediately after it is discovered. The longer you wait, the more time it has to spread. If you’ve discovered signs of an outbreak, follow these tips to identify your best course of action and get your home back to its healthy self.