Guide To Removing Black Mold
By Steven De Nazareth
Updated: May 22nd, 2019
Mold infestation is a common problem that impacts hundreds of houses in America. You need to learn the remedies and take steps to learn how to remove mold and perform black mold removal routinely.
Determining the Problem
The reason why black mold builds up is because it produces and spreads by releasing spores into the air. The spores are so tiny that they are invisible in plain sight. When they are in the air, they can travel through the house and settle on walls, carpets, and other surfaces. If the conditions are favorable then the spores will grow and more mold will appear. Mildew is the same as black mold and it is toxic and poisonous. It has aggravating side effects to the air quality and health of the household. You should remember that mold growth is an indicator of a moisture problem.
The problem with black mold is that it blackens grout lines in showers, discolors drywalls, darkens decks and rots damp wood. The microscopic spores that it releases cause allergic reactions, sneezing, runny noses and irritants that are injurious to health. The main thing to do is work on the problem before they become big and too difficult to handle. You need to learn how to identify mold and how to eliminate even the smallest infestation. The removal of mold can be done with household cleaning products. Consider calling in a professional that knows how to kill mold and prevent it from spreading throughout your house. You should know that there are a few types of mold that are highly toxic. If you find that you have an allergic reaction to mold then you should call the public health department and request for mold-testing.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows from tiny spores that float in the air. It can grow in almost all conditions where the spores land and find moisture at a relatively comfortable temperature between 40 to 100 degrees F. This includes every damp place in your home. You should be able to spot all visible types of mold known as mildew. This usually begins as small tiny black spots and this grows into larger colonies. This is usually the black stuff you see in grout lines in the shower and on damp walls and surfaces. Normally, a mildewed surface is difficult to distinguish from a dirty area. Dip a few drops of household bleach on the blackened area. If it lightens then you have mildew. This is a surface type of mold that will not damage your home’s structure. Other types of molds rot and you should probe the area with a screwdriver. If there is a high concentration of mold then you can smell it. Typically, this mold is in damp areas like carpets, walls and crawl spaces.
Removing Large Infestations
You should scrub away the surface mold that is common to bathrooms, siding, and decks. This can be done with a mix of bleach and water mold cleaner solution. Molds grow and spread to places that you normally do not notice. This means that you can spot surface staining or feel mushy drywalls. Take precautions when removing mold concentrations that cover more than a few square feet and the odor is strong. You should avoid contaminating the rest of the house and protect yourself from breathing high concentrations of spores and VOCs. Do this by wearing old clothes and shoes that you can throw away after the cleanup work. Wear special N-95 or P100 respirators, gloves and goggles. Place an old box fan to ventilate the room. Tape and wrap moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic and double bag the mold infested debris in garbage bags. To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden spray. Turn off your furnace, air-conditioner and cover ducts. Also keep a wet or dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.
Remove Moldy Carpet
Ensure that you remove and cut stained and musty carpet and pads that measure 6 x 8 feet with a sharp utility knife. Using a pump sprayer, mist the surfaces with water to control the spread of spores. After this is done, you should roll up the sections. Double wrap them in 6-mil plastic and tape them with duct tape for disposal. When you are doing this, you should wear protective clothing and run an exhaust fan.
Seal Off the Damaged Area
Ensure that the room is sealed off from the rest of the house. Cover the doorway with a barrier which is made of overlapping plastic sheeting and fix it to the floor and wall. Cover all air ducts in the room with tape and plastic.
Open Moldy Walls
Cut into baseboards and trim contaminated areas with pry bar and wood. Probe heavily stained or moisture swollen walls with a screwdriver. Open up these moisture damaged areas and hidden mold that forms in the insulation and wall framing.
Moisten and Bag Mold
Open the wall to get at the mold and cut into the drywall and ensure that you clean out all the mold and let the wall dry. Avoid cutting electrical wires by poking holes through the damaged areas, find the wires and push them aside. Cut the power supply to the outlets and mist the moldy drywall and insulation with a pump sprayer. Double bag all the moldy material in a heavy-duty plastic bag and tie it up tight. If the moisture damage is neglected then there will be a lot of rot. Remove and place spongy studs and wall sheathing. After this, add wood preservative at home centers and after cleaning the wood and allowing it to dry. Also, remember to double up rotted portions with pressure-treated wood.
Tips for Mold Prevention
Once you remove mold, you should prevent it from propping up in future. The best to stop mold is by controlling dampness. Usually, the worst infestations happen in damp crawl spaces, attics, walls, and basements. Stopping leaks, keeping crawlspaces dry and routing water away from the foundation are the best ways to get rid of mold. Apply a coat of Mildewcide in paint controls surface mold in damp rooms. In case your paint does not already come with mildewcide, you can add it but it may void the paint warranty.
Repair and Cleanup
Finish the initial cleanup by vacuuming the debris left behind. Make sure that you clean with a wet/dry vacuum afterward by disposing the filter and washing out the tank, attachments and hose with bleach and water solution.
Ensure that you vacuum all the moldy debris with a wet or dry vacuum. With an extra length hose, you can run it out the window. This will keep the vacuum outside and avoid further spore spread.
Scrub Moldy Surfaces
Remove the mold stains from the walls and wood trim by scrubbing it with a mixture of 1 quarter of water and a half cup of bleach mold cleaner to kill mold. Use a soft brush and ensure that signs of the mold disappear. Let the bleach solution continue to penetrate the surfaces and dry. Wipe the surfaces but do not rinse, set trim in sunlight and scrub concrete with dishwasher detergent.
Seal Moldy Regions
Add dehumidifiers and fans to dry the cleaned regions for three days. After this, you should check it for mold. If you find that there is more mold or the mold buildup has not reduced then clean it again with bleach. When you are certain that all the mold has been removed, you should seal the wood surfaces with a pigmented shellac. Repaint cleaned walls with latex paint that contains mildewcide. Also, fix leaking pipes with a wrench. This will ensure that there is no future growth. Once you complete this, you can add new installations and drywall and nail the trim back. Remember if the moisture returns so do the mold.
Killing Mold with Ammonia and Bleach
There are several advantages to killing black mold with ammonia. Not only is it a good disinfectant but it does an amazing job of killing mold on non-porous and hard items. These include items like the shower doors, kitchen counters, and bathroom sink. Ammonia is inexpensive but it does not do a good job of penetrating porous materials like particle board, sheetrock, and drop-down ceiling tiles. You need to get to the root of the problem to kill mold. Other cleaning agents like Baking Soda and Vinegar are non-toxic and do not harm the environment. Mold killing agent is poisonous and quite lethal if ingested or inhaled. Make sure you label bottles of the mold cleaning solutions and read labels for active ingredients when you combine solutions.
- Before you start, you should wear a respirator, and wear gloves when you are working with ammonia based mold cleaning products. Do not mix ammonia with chlorinated bleach.
- Open all windows and doors to allow a cross-flow of air to cut off all fumes from cleaning.
- Add a 50/50 proportion of water and ammonia.
- Pour this solution into a spray bottle and spray it.
- Let the mold killing solution settle for 10 minutes.
- Remove the mold tarnished area with a small brush and wipe it clean.
- Make sure the mold killing products are never mixed with bleach.
- Use the mold killing products on non-porous areas and handle these chemicals with gloves. Remember to wash your hands immediately after.
To clean black mold on hard, non-porous surface, you should use bleach to kill all types of mold. This method cleaning is inexpensive and available in any store like food markets, hardware stores, and grocery outlets. Bleach usually does not reach the root of the problem if blocked by porous items like wood and cement block. This leaves moisture content of the bleach behind and promotes additional growth to the area which is cleaned. This is why mold stains seem to come up again. Similar to not mixing ammonia and bleach, also do not mix bleach with vinegar.
- Wear protective equipment, N95 respirator, and gloves when working with bleach and mold killing products.
- Open all windows and doors to ensure that there is air moving to send out fumes of the bleach solution. Apply the mold killing project to small black molds and spots. You will require the use of negative pressure for larger jobs. This will prevent mold spores from becoming aerosolized in your home.
- Mix 1 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
- Add mold killing solution in the spray bottle and apply evenly on the stained areas.
- Wipe the cleaning agent on all mold tainted areas with a sponge or a towel.
- Also, you can use a small bristled brush to scrub stained areas and wipe and vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Before you finish, remember not to rinse the work area and let the disinfectant works its way to stop mold growth.
These are sure short ways to ensure that you tackle mold in your home but you should contact a professional to take care of the problem once and for all. The best way to get your money’s worth is by signing up with a home warranty company by getting a free quote. Before you settle for a home warranty within your budget, you should ensure that you look at reviews written by people like you in the reviews section. Simply take a look at different company profiles, compare them and then based on your preferences choose the best home warranty company in your region. Keep your home looking as good as new and follow these simple steps to enjoy a home free of black mold.
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