Mold & Mycotoxins: Five Reasons NOT to do it Yourself!

In this month's blog by Dr. Matt Pratt-Hyatt, he proposes all the reasons that you should not treat the mold inside a structure. With potential health concerns and damage to a structure, it's important to understand that mold remediation is not a DIY project!

Hello again to the TMP (The Mold Pros) blog.  Today we are going to talk about why mold is often not a good DIY/FIY project for you to undertake.  I completely understand the notion of wanting to do it yourself.  I personally like todo things myself because I know they will be done right.  We also want to do things ourselves because it is more affordable.  However, sometimes it isn’t always the best decision. Factors that need to be considered are: knowledge of the subject, equipment/tools, safety, and time.  In today’s article I will go over what limited situations are ok to do yourself and in what situation should you get some professional help.  

What type of projects are ok for do it yourself?  These need to be small projects that only cover a small type of area. You may still want to some mold testing to confirm that the project is actually small and nontoxic.  You are going to want to avoid mycotoxins and molds that produce mycotoxins.  If your EMMA/ERMI comes back clean than these projects probably are ok:

1. Mold/bacteria that are growing on easy to clean surfaces like glass, metal, tubs, or sinks.  

2. Mold that covers a small area and isn’t a mold that’s of the mycotoxin producing variety.  Safe examples could be Ascospores, Basidiospores, or Cladosporium. These can produce an allergic response, but don’t produce toxins that could elicit cellular damage.  

If your project doesn’t fall into one of these two camps and you are still thinking about weather you should do it yourself, I have 5 reasons why you should stop now and call a professional.  


This one is simple.  These mycotoxins are no joke.  They are extremely potent and dangerous.  If you haven’t read any of my previous blogpost about the dangers of mycotoxins, let me summarize.  These toxins can lead to neurological damage, respiratory damage, intestinal damage, immune system activation, etc.  Exposure to spores could lead to mold infections/colonization which are difficult to combat and could lead to long term symptoms.  

Our technicians wear multiple types of protections to prevent exposure from masks to full body suits.  They toxins can get in your body through inhalation as well as skin contact. Disruption of the mold colonies can lead them to produce more mycotoxins, which will lead to increase danger to yourself as well as your family .  

2. You Might Miss Something

This topic actually is multifaceted because we can be talking about multiple different things. First, we could be talking about the source of the problem. Was it a water leak, flooding, too high humidity, etc.? All of these problems could be assessed by a professional. Anyone that is doing their job correctly should help you figure out what caused the problem in the first place. Unlike other businesses, we don't want repeat customers.

Second, did you like all of the hyphal fragments like in Figure 1.  These are the root of the problem (sorry about the bad pun).  If you don’t get all of these then the problem is likely to come back.  Hyphal fragments are the root system of the mold.  It is where it gets its nutrients.  However, like a bad weed, if you don’t remove the hyphal fragments then it is likely to come back.

Third, as mentioned in point one, mycotoxins are the route of most health problems caused by mold. Any type of cleanup that you can personally do will most assuredly not deal with the mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are extremely stable molecules which are difficult to destroy either chemically or through heat. That is why we use a natural approach to the problem. Bacteria have developed weapons against mycotoxins that will degrade them quickly and is harmless to humans. We have developed a process that utilizes these weaponized enzymes and we have concentrated them to use throughout structures. These enzymes have been shown to degrade the mycotoxins in less than one hour, however, we allow them to break down the mycotoxins for 24 hours in order to ensure efficiency.

3. You Could Spread The Problem

Speaking of spores, if you try to fix the problem yourself you could unintentionally spread issues throughout the building. Plus, like stated earlier, it isn't just spores that you could be spreading. Tear out, sanding, or treatment could lead to mycotoxins being produced and spread throughout the building. This can lead to increased health issues for the individual doing the work plus other individuals throughout the building. A competent company will build a sufficient containment around the work area to prevent the spread of spores and toxins. In addition, they should also be using air scrubbers to protect themselves as well as minimize toxins in the air. If you start working on a mold colony you could cause it to start producing mycotoxins, and then it is possible that through your demolition, you can cause spores and mycotoxins to be spread throughout the structure.

4. You Could Add VOCs To Your Home

Once of the common things I come across with Mold patients is that they are chemically sensitive. Mycotoxins will hinder the detoxification system in the body in multiple ways. First, it will deplete all of the glutathione and other molecules the body uses to detoxify. Second, mycotoxins will inhibit many of the pathways that the body uses to regulate detoxification. These complications will hinder the inhabitant's ability to detoxify. Many of these procedures that do-it-yourself protocols recommended are going to add VOC's to the home. These can lower the quality of life of the inhabitants after the remediation is complete. As mentioned above, our nature vs nature protocol will remove the mold and mycotoxins without introducing new VOCs to the situation.

5. You Probably Don't Have the Tools or Could Cause Damage to Your Home

One additional problem that people face is that they don't have the tools to properly complete the job. They don't have the air scrubber, ULPA vacs, containment equipment, dehumidifiers, saws with vacuum attachments, etc. This could lead you to damage your paint, drywall, studs, floors, etc. Once common thing that we say is that we "right-size" our projects. We don't want to do more tear-down than is actually needed. Plus, our teams are well trained to do their jobs as efficiently as possible so that no additional damage is done and it is done as quickly as possible.

I hope this post was helpful. With the thousands of clients that I have helped in the past, I just want to keep as many people as healthy as possible, and if you aren't healthy, then I want to help you in your journey to get there. If you have any questions please reach out to our team and we will help you in any way that we can.

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