And, Why I Do Not Claim to Have ALL of the Answers
I often receive emails from people wanting a mold remediation template for remediating specific spaces or things in their homes where they have found mold growth. They write to me confused and overwhelmed by the task at hand of trying to make their home or something in it safe and healthy again. Some are small-scale jobs, like a contaminated piece of furniture, while others are large-scale, like a crawlspace or basement with significant mold growth. A common motivation for the people who write to me usually is that they want to try to handle at least a portion of the work themselves to save money, or to make sure that the job is carried out correctly and done with non-toxic products, rather than the biocides used by many professional remediators. Whatever the case, people always want clear and detailed answers, so that the mold can be fixed and they can move on with their lives.
Each time I receive one of these emails, I try to take what info they have offered about their specific scenario to give the best advice I can. But, given the fact that I am not physically able to see the problem, nor am I always privy to whatever else is going on in their indoor environment and with their environmental air quality, or to whatever testing or inspections have been done, my advice is often not definitive and preceded and followed by lots of caveats and disclaimers. In other words, I try my best to give answers, but never truly feel like I can answer people’s questions completely or give them the finite, “this is how you fix the problem” reply that they are looking for.
Let me just say, though, that I definitely get it. I get wanting someone to tell you what to do and exactly how to do it, because I have been there myself–multiple times. I know how daunting finding out that you have dangerous levels of toxin-producing mold in your home can be. Figuring out how to properly plan, organize, and execute even a very small remediation project can be extremely overwhelming. Even when you have professionals helping, there are many things to take into consideration to do it right and to preserve your health and sanity in the process. There are also precautions (aka safety gear, containment, tools and products) that must be utilized to get rid of the mold correctly and safely. If a step is missed or if things are not done in the correct order, you could be looking at a botched job, another more costly remediation or relocation down the road, and more importantly, direct or subsequent health consequences. And, with no two mold infestations being exactly the same, a “best way” or universal template for DIY mold remediation really does not exist, nor should it exist, in my opinion.