The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as the magnitude of the mold problem, the surface on which the mold grows, and how manageable you are. But in general, the answer is that the smaller the mold problem, the less likely you are to need a professional. You will also need to follow the IICRC S-520 Reference and Standards Guide for Professional Mold Remediation and hire an industrial hygienist to ensure that mold is removed. If mold is present on a carpet, unsealed drywall or other porous material, you will have to remove the material completely and carefully.
However, mold remediation costs can be much higher: when repairing widespread structural damage (usually as a result of water damage after a flood or some other disaster), expenses could rise to thousands. While removing mold can cause a disruption to a home's daily routine, you can rest easy knowing that professional-quality improvements can be made in just 1 to 3 days. Mold remediation will identify the cause of active mold growth and control the amount of mold present. However, it is important to note that removal is only part of the process of combating mold problems.
Following an immediate and complete remediation plan is essential to eliminating mold and demonstrating to customers that you are committed to acting quickly. Unlike many decisions about whether or not to hire help, mold remediation has some clear guidelines on when to do so. Mold is not an aesthetic problem, and particularly with aggressive or toxic molds, try to solve a big problem without experience and professional equipment will most likely spread mold throughout the house instead of removing it. However, remember that mold removal alone is often incomplete and only provides a temporary solution to the problem.
If cleaning is simple enough to be done by yourself, a mold inspector can advise you on procedures, protective equipment and tools. In some cases, minor mold issues (less than 10 square feet of mold) in places like the corner of a bathroom can be easily handled by a handy homeowner with a weekend afternoon off and some basic supplies from the hardware store. It is important to know how to recognize the first signs of mold and take appropriate precautionary measures to avoid more substantial damage.