How to Remove Indoor Mold

There are several different kinds of mold that can be found in our homes, and black mold is only one of them. They differ in color (from different nuances of white, yellow, green, brown to black) and appearance (velvety, cottony, granular), but the process of removing them is pretty much the same with all.

Being the kinds of fungi, molds reproduce by the means of spores, tiny particles that can be found everywhere around us. They are part of the normal environment (they can even be present in hospitals – every time the hospital door opens, mold spores can enter the facility), and as such, they aren’t the threat for our health, except for the especially sensitive individuals. However, if molds find a solid ground to start a colony, then the concentration of spores in the air can become a serious health risk even for the toughest among us.

What makes mold grow

Molds are, even if you don’t like the idea, living creatures that need special conditions to develop, just like we need air, food and water. What molds need above all are food (found in dust) and moisture – and controlling the moisture in our home is how we can control mold.

The most common reasons for increased moisture and humidity are floods, leaks, condensation and use of humidifiers. The water that enters the wood and the walls will stay there if you don’t discover it and take steps to dry the area, making them the perfect places for molds to grow.

mold

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattimattila/3803990342/

How to remove it

Your eyes and your nose are all the testing tools you need to see if there’s mold in your home; however, it’s important to understand that what you see on the surface is probably not all there is to it. Mold has ways of entering walls, corners, cracks and other places where you can’t see it, so be prepared that you may have to call professionals even after you perform the DIY cleaning.

That is just a precaution, of course; many cases of smaller scale mold appearance can be successfully handled by the homeowner, especially if the affected area is smaller than 10-15 square feet. However, some precautionary measures are in order, because you don’t want the spores to spread through the rest of your home, or your body:
– seal the room you’re cleaning using plastic bags or sheets and duck tape,
– cover the vents in the room,
– protect yourself with gloves, goggles and disposable respirator (at a minimum an N100) and clothes with long sleeves and pants, preferably some old clothes that you will dispose of after you’ve finished.

You will need a stiff brush to remove the mold on the surface, but before you do it, make sure that you’ve sprayed it with water so that the spores wouldn’t fly around. After you remove the visible mold, take some mild soap and hot water and thoroughly clean the area. Make sure that you’ve collected all liquid, it’s best to use a sponge that you will dispose of afterwards.

Apply the disinfectant to remove the mold you have missed. You can use bleach as a disinfectant by diluting 1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water (or less, but the ratio should stay the same) and use a clean sponge to apply the mix on the surface. The bleach solution should be left to dry on the surface, so don’t use too much of it.

NB Bleach is to be handled with caution: open the windows for better ventilation, and never use it with ammonia!

The above process should take care of the mold in non-porous surfaces; if the mold has occupied your carpet, plaster, wood products and other porous materials, it’s best to dispose of them all, because the mold is extremely difficult to remove from them.

Helen Marino is content writer for http://www.moldbusters.com, professional cleaning service located in NYC.

Speak Your Mind

*

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free