You can find mold spores almost anywhere on the planet. But when you come across black mold in your home, it is unsettling because it represents a potential danger to your health. In fact, some, not specifically black mold, can be a severe health hazard, as it can damage your lungs and attack the central Nervous system causing respiratory problems, brain damage, and even death. Any mold, not specifically black mold, can wreak havoc in your body and home.
Although there is a lot of hype about Black Mold, there are more than 20,000 species of black mold, and less than 100 of them are known to cause serious reactions in humans. Typically when you hear the term "Black Mold," people refer to Stachybotrys Chartarum. The Mycotoxins produced by this mold can seriously affect your brain and nervous system.
You want to eliminate all mold as soon as possible.
If you are a DIY kind of person, "effectively" getting rid of mold is something you should add to your skillset.
Here we will provide you with an easy-to-refer-to guide that outlines the most effective and safe process to get rid of mold in your home.
Identify the Source of Moisture
Prior to removing mold, you should perform a mold test to find the source. It is almost always a result of too much moisture in a specific area.
Most Common Moisture Sources
Exposed plumbing: Look for damaged or leaky pipes, in particular, during warmer temperatures, when mold is most likely to grow. Even if your pipes are not leaking, they are often a place for condensation to form.
Faucets & Fixtures: Shower, sink, and bathroom faucets and fixtures that leak over time can also encourage mold growth.
Water heaters: Even a tiny leak can lead to the appearance of black mold in your basement or water heater closet. A leak in a hot water line can be disastrous and create an out-of-control fungal outbreak.
Crawlspaces: Water leaks into crawlspaces are a common place to find mold growing in your home.
Attics: Roof leaks, leaks in fan or HVAC ducting, and improperly vented attics are some of the most common causes of mold growth in a home.
Steps to Protect Yourself
Wear clothing that will completely cover your skin and that can be removed, bagged, and washed without carrying them through your home, spreading the mold further.
Wear a respirator that is rated to protect you against breathing in and lodging spores in your lungs.
Shield your eyes by wearing safety goggles and protect your hands with rubber gloves.
Preparing the Area
You will initially need to turn off your air conditioning unit or heater. You don't want any circulating air throughout your home during the process of removing mold.
Also, seal doorways or areas that open to other areas in your home with a heavy tarp and painter's tape. That prevents mold spores from being distributed through your house.
Run an exhaust fan near outdoor openings, as this will assist in forcing airborne spores out of your home.
Use a moisture meter to test the area for moisture. If there is no moisture in the area, then covering the affected area with carpet masking or contact paper will help to keep black mold spores from becoming airborne.
Equipment & Tools Needed
- Nylon-bristled scrub brush
- Cleaning cloths
- Spray bottle
- Rubber gloves
- Respirator rated for gas vapor
- Eye protection
Treating Black Mold Areas
Many people opt to attempt this mitigation themselves. Because of the complexity in containing mold and the mycotoxins they produce, along with the extreme potential health ramifications, we do not recommend attempting to do this work yourself without proper training and specialized equipment to avoid spreading the mold around and contaminating your entire home.
There are plenty of opinions floating around the internet on ways to remove mold yourself. The risks to you and your family far outweigh the benefits when it comes to mitigation. We choose only to share safe, documented, and approved methods with our community.
Below are some common methods (myths) you can find online and why they are not safe or effective.
1) To eliminate black mold from your home, combine one-part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and then five parts water in a spray bottle.
This is a great soft abrasive for cleaning tile, grout, and refrigerator shelves but not mold. The High PH of baking soda is suitable; however, it is neutralized by the vinegar rending it’s useless to kill mold. The other issue is the application method. Spray bottles disturb the surface and spread the mold spores all over the room.
2) You can use all-purpose cleaners, bleach, or soap.
First, spray directly at the black mold and allow the mixture to sit for up to an hour. Then, scrub the area with the black mold using a sponge and your favorite cleaning solution. – If you have read this far, you already know why this is a bad idea. The cleaners are not rated for molds, and between spraying and scrubbing, you will have spread the spores all over the room.
3) Chlorine Bleach
Regular chlorine bleach that you find in your house effectively destroys mold and removes discoloration on surfaces. Not only is bleach capable of burning your skin and damaging the materials you spray it on, but it is also an alkali; properly mixed with warm water, it can decompose the vegetable matter in growing molds, but it does not kill the spores.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a reasonably effective option if applied with a sponge or wiped on slowly. It may take several attempts, but it will, over time, if you are careful, reduce the living mold colonies that may be present in your home.
Call on 3Rs Construction for Removal of Black Mold or any Mold
If you have a mold concern, it is important that you have your situation reviewed by experienced mold professionals like 3Rs Construction & Remodeling. Together, we will discuss the treatment plan. Most of the time, our extensive remediation effort is effective, and your problem is resolved. However, sometimes the infestation is more widespread than was anticipated, and a more aggressive abatement effort is required.
Our trained remediation team at 3Rs Construction & Remodeling will cleanse the area and restore it to the condition previous to the infestation, using available green building practices that support indoor air quality and are environmentally friendly.
Our work is guaranteed, and our staff is courteous and professional.