Hands with gloves and spray bottle in front of a wall with mould.

DIY vs. Professional Mould Prevention: When to Call the Experts

According to new research conducted by USwitch, almost two thirds (62%) of people claim to have had an issue with mould in their home at least once, with conditions in the home the most common reason for the spread of mould.

With the increase in energy bills, people are also turning on their heating less, which is compounding the issue as a dry, warm house is excellent for mould prevention.

Not only is mould an eye-sore, it can also have negative effects on your health and you could experience such symptoms as:

  • Throat irritation / cough
  • Itchy red eyes and/or runny nose
  • Sneezing / wheezing
  • Breathing problems
  • Asthma attacks
  • Allergic reactions

First things first

The most common ways in which people decide on treating mould via DIY or professionals are; if the mould class is not pathogenic or toxic and the size of the affected area is less than 10 square feet.

However, it should be noted that this is simply a ‘rule of thumb’. It should go without saying that you don’t have to tackle any mould yourself if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Although some types of mould can be safely removed via DIY means, there are a lot of steps and precautions you will need to take.

As such, you may well find it to be easier/less worrisome to have a professional undertake the work instead.

Regardless of who will be tackling the dreaded mould, we do recommend you try to first identify the type of mould you have. You may even find that you have different types in different areas of the home. Also, if you know you have mould in one room, we recommend checking everywhere as there is a chance you will find it in another.

Start by checking the bathroom/s, kitchen, basement, loft and around window frames. If you have mould in more than 1 of these areas, we recommend a deeper inspection of more innocuous areas. This includes places such as behind wallpaper, behind/under furniture, under carpets/floorboards etc.

When should I call in a professional?

If you are unsure of the type of mould you have, or you think you may have a variety of different moulds, you could call in an expert such as the W.T.S (Water Treatment Services). They can carefully take samples of the mould using swabs and tape and then examine the samples in a laboratory to confirm the type/s of mould.

Using a provider such as this will also offer many benefits that you may not be able to do if you were to go the DIY route, such as:

Industrial sized dehumidifiers.

These are very large machines that pull moisture out of the air quickly and effectively. These may be left on in the home for several days to help clear out high moisture levels.

Sealing off the affected area.

This will prevent any spores that may become airborne from spreading elsewhere in the home.

Professional strength fungicides.

These are chemicals that can be used during the cleaning process, as well as during the painting process after removal, that kills mould.

Repair and/or redecorate.

There are times when after the mould removal process has finished it may be necessary to replaster walls, replace floorboards or have new carpet laid. A professional mould remediation service will be able to tackle all of these issues and more for you.

The D.I.Y route

Hands with gloves and spray bottle in front of a wall with mould.

If you believe the mould is not one of the dangerous types, the affected area is small enough to be able to do it yourself and you feel comfortable doing it yourself, there are a few things you will want to do to prepare both you and your home before you make a start.

Safety first

When it comes to dealing with any kind of mould, you will first and foremost want to keep yourself and everyone else in the home safe. To do so, we recommend:

  • Open the windows – try to allow as much air flow into the room as possible.
  • Keep connective doors shut – open any external doors you may be near, but any internal connective doors should be shut to reduce the areas in which the mould could contaminate.
  • Gloves – the longer the better
  • Face mask – to prevent you from inhaling the spores
  • Protective glasses – to protect your eyes from spores and any other detritus
  • Coveralls – one with a hood would be even more beneficial
  • Disposable bag – for containing contaminated cloths, tissues, rags etc.

Remove anything small that is contaminated

Once you are all kitted up, we recommend you remove contaminated soft furnishings such as mouldy curtains for example. This is because it is difficult to know if you have completely rid the curtain of mould and so re-contamination could occur. Or worse you contaminate a different room altogether.

Research and purchase fungicides

These are the chemicals that will kill mould. We don’t recommend using bleach or any bleach type products as these do not kill mould. They simply just remove the unattractive colour! Be sure to read all the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter.

Mould prevention

VC175 paint additiveOnce you have found and used your fungicidal cleaner and remover, we recommend using a product such as VC175 – our powerful, long-lasting mould and algae killer additive for mould prevention.

It can be used in a wide range of products such as paint, timber stains, textured coatings, grout, mortar and adhesives.

If the mould was on an interior wall, you may also find that once the active mould has been killed and removed, it has left a stain behind.

If this occurs, we also recommend using Primall – our interior primer that blocks stains and primes difficult surfaces.

It should be noted that prevention is always better than cure. For more information on how to prevent mould take a look at our other post, ‘top tips for mould prevention.


We hope you found this post on mould prevention helpful. If you have any other advice or top tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

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Owatrol Team
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