While cost is often an issue when people choose to do it themselves on home repair, there are a lot of great reasons to choose a professional to get rid of mold. It is highly recommended to seek out the help of professionals for large projects (that are 10 square feet or larger). But how does one even go about finding someone who knows what they are doing, will do a good job getting rid of the mold, and won't spread mold spores all over your house in the process?

Reasons To Hire Help.
There are a number of reasons to seek out help with mold removal projects. All of them point back to your safety and the safety of your family.

  • Mold is hard to remove and a professional has been trained to get the job done right. This means that more mold is likely to be eliminated and that it is less likely to grow back.
  • Mold is dangerous. A profession is more likely to set up a good containment area to keep your family safe from mold spores.
  • They are also more likely to do a good job wrapping items up so that the mold isn't spread through your house. This is healthier for your family.

For more information on health issues associated with mold check out the article The Health Concerns of Mold.

While getting a professional is always recommended for large jobs, there are times when that really isn't an option. With that in mind it is best for your to choose to do it yourself and make sure that you do it right. You can find lots of information about doing it yourself in the article Mold: Prevent, Identify, Clean, and Eliminate Mold. Even when you choose to do it yourself you should consider hiring a mold inspector who would help make sure that your mold levels are where they should be and that you did a good job getting rid of it.

Getting a Mold Inspector.
It is recommended that the first professional that you get is a mold inspector. The mold inspector is important for a number of different reasons.

  1. First he or she will come in and do a thorough inspection of the home and find all the sources of mold growing in your space.
  2. They are likely to take samples to test. This will allow you to know what type(s) of mold you have.
  3. They will help you to set up a plan to get rid of the mold.
  4. After the remediation or mold cleanup they will come back and do another inspection. This makes sure that your mold clean up crew does an excellent job because your home will need to pass inspection.

Hire a Professional Contractor.
After you have had the mold inspector come in and tell you where it is, how bad it is, and likely even what type of mold you have, you will want to hire a contractor to remove the mold. You want to make sure that they are certified in removing mold before you begin. Often it is best to find out what they would do in a situation such as yours. For healthy and complete mold removal they should:

  1. Get the site ready to be worked in.
  2. Use plastic sheeting to make a containment area around the mold.
  3. Use fans and other equipment to create negative air pressure inside the containment area.
  4. Remove all damaged items wrapped in plastic or sealed into bags.
  5. HEPA Vacuum the area and clean the mold.
  6. Apply an antimicrobial treatment to keep the mold from growing back.
  7. They should then test to make sure that the problem has been taken care of.
  8. The containment materials are then taken away.
  9. Finally the contractor should repair the area and replace any of the damaged parts (walls, insulation, cupboards, ecetera, but not furniture).

If you can only hire one professional then this is the one that should be considered above the mold inspector. However, having them work together and giving the contractor some accountability is often a good thing.

Finding a Mold Inspector and/or Contractor.
It may take a little work to find a mold inspector, but he or she will be your best bet in making sure that the mold in your home is removed and handled properly. Here are a few tips for finding a professional in your area.

  • Do an Internet search. Type in "certified mold expert" and then your city and state. This should bring up mold experts in your area.
  • Call the health department. Mold is a serious issue and they are likely to have information on where to look for help in your area.
  • Call your local CDC. Again, mold is a serious issue and they are likely to have information on where to look for help in your area.

Questions to Ask Your Professional.
It is important that you make sure that your professional is really someone that you want to work with. To do that you should ask a number of questions that will help you make sure that you are choosing the right company to work with.

  • What licenses and certifications do you have? Especially those related to mold and mold remediation?
  • Are you insured to cover mold remediation?
  • Have you dealt with problems this size before?
  • Do you have references that would let me know you do a good job? (Don't be afraid to follow up on these either the health of you and your family is important!)
  • Then ask about costs and what all is included in those figures. You want to make sure that the 9 steps listed above are covered!

Hiring professionals is never really all that fun and it can be a bit painful to the pocket book. However, you will know that the job is done well, done right, and that it will be safer for you and your family. With that in mind, hiring a professional is often worth it. Just make sure you are getting what you want from the professional(s) that you hire.