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Mold Removal and Cleaning – How to Get Rid of Mold

If you’re struggling with mold in your home, it can be hard to know where to start. Mold is one of the most common household problems, especially in basements and crawl spaces with leaky foundations or plumbing issues.

In fact, many studies have proven that, besides structural problems, mold can cause a variety of health issues, ranging from allergic reactions to chronic pulmonary disease.

So don’t let mold overrun your space and affect your health. Reach out to our mold experts at Envirosmart Solution for a free estimate on our mold remediation services.

A Little Bit About Mold

Mold is a fungus that grows and flourishes in damp areas. It can grow on just about anything – wood, metal, cardboard, clothing, carpet, and upholstery. It can also grow on your walls or on the surface of your ceiling.

Mold Spores and Growth

Mold spores are super tiny and can travel through the air. If they land on a damp surface, they begin to grow into colonies. They can even spread from room to room through air ducts or plumbing vents.

Mold Color and Texture

Many people might not know this, but mold varies in color and texture. The most common types are black or dark green, but mold can also be white, gray, pink, orange, yellow, or brown.

The texture of the mold is also quite distinctive, often appearing fuzzy or slimy. Mold that’s just beginning to grow might look like ordinary soot or dirt, but as it expands, it starts to display strange discolorations or stains on the surfaces it inhabits.

Mold Odor

Mold also emits a strong, musty odor similar to damp or stale air that’s difficult to miss. This smell is usually the first sign of a mold problem.

It’s usually stronger in places like basements where there isn’t a lot of fresh air, and it can spread through your home.

While different molds might smell a bit different, they all have this general musty smell.

How to Clean Mold

If you’re planning on tackling your mold problem yourself, make sure to take the necessary safety precautions.

Inhaling mold spores can cause allergic reactions, such as sneezing or watery eyes. If you have asthma or are allergic to mold spores, you may experience coughing, wheezing, and even breathing problems after exposure.

Further, if you have kids, elderly people, and/or pets, you should be especially careful about mold removal given their vulnerable nature. In such a case, call our Envirosmart mold experts and avoid the DIY route to ensure the safety of your loved ones.

Entrusting the process to our team means protecting your family from unnecessary exposure to mold while benefiting from safe and professional removal.

Safety Precautions

Mold spores can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, so it’s important to take proper safety precautions when removing mold by wearing the right protective gear. This should include:

  • Respirator or mask – N95 respirators are designed to filter out mold spores. Make sure the respirator fits tightly.
  • Goggles – Goggles prevent spores and cleaning solutions from getting in your eyes.
  • Gloves – Rubber, latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves protect your hands.
  • Long sleeves and pants – Wear clothes that cover your skin to avoid contact.

Besides wearing protective gear, you also need to seal off the affected area to prevent spores from spreading throughout your home and ensure the safety of unprotected family members.

To do this:

  • Use plastic or polyurethane sheeting to cover the affected area to help control the spread of airborne mold spores during remediation.
  • Install a HEPA-filter vacuum cleaner, which draws mold-laden air from the affected area and removes it outside. This can help draw out the airborne mold from the area.

Removing The Mold

Before you go ahead with any mold removal, remember to open your windows for ventilation and turn off your HVAC system to help prevent the mold from spreading.

The next step is getting rid of the mold, and you can do this in the following ways, depending on the extent of the problem and where the mold is growing.

Scrubbing

It’s essential to thoroughly scrub away all visible mold on surfaces. Use a stiff brush or scouring pad to manually scrub and agitate moldy areas. Scrubbing helps remove mold spores and mycotoxins. Avoid using a sponge or rag, which can just spread mold rather than remove it.

Bleach Solutions

For non-porous surfaces like tiles, glass, metals, and plastics, use a bleach solution. Mix 1 cup of bleach per gallon of warm water. Apply the bleach solution and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing off. Bleach kills mold and helps prevent regrowth.

Detergents

For porous materials like drywall, wood, and concrete, avoid bleach, which can stain. Use a detergent like an environmentally-safe soap or borax solution. The detergent lifts mold off the surface when scrubbing.

Drying Thoroughly After Cleaning

Once you’re done getting rid of the mold, use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the area as much as possible. A fan will help circulate air and dry out the surface, while a dehumidifier will help remove moisture from the air.

Aim to reduce humidity levels to below 50%, as mold requires moisture to thrive. You can use a hygrometer to monitor humidity.

Keep the fan and dehumidifier running continuously until the affected area is completely dry. This may take anywhere from a few days up to several weeks, depending on the extent of the moisture damage and mold growth.

If you stop drying too soon, the visible moisture may be gone, but surfaces like drywall and wood can still hold unseen moisture and mold spores, which can cause mold to return.

Disposing of the Mold

Although not complicated, it’s important to know how to dispose of mold and moldy materials properly. You should never throw moldy materials away in the trash, as mold spores can spread to other areas of your home.

Even if you place the trash bin containing these materials outside your home, you risk exposing anyone who comes into contact with the bin to the mold.

Instead, put them in a plastic bag, tie it tightly, and then secure it with duct tape as an added precaution against the spores escaping. You can then dispose of the bag in a dumpster as regular waste.

If you’re cleaning up large quantities of moldy material, contact Envirosmart to arrange for a professional mold disposal service.

Preventing Mold Re-Growth

clean white wall without mold

After cleaning the area, you take the following steps to prevent the mold from returning. This will require some basic maintenance on your part or some ingenious ways of preventing mold re-growth altogether.

Keep Moisture Low

This is literally the most basic of steps and, quite frankly, the most important. Mold thrives in damp areas, and if you want to prevent it from growing back, you need to keep your spaces moisture free.

Think of all the areas where mold can grow, like the bathroom and kitchen. You should also think about places where moisture is more likely to build up, such as your basement or attic.

To keep things dry in these areas, consider using a dehumidifier, especially in spaces like basements and attics where air circulation is limited. Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air, thereby creating an environment that is less hospitable to mold growth. It’s important to regularly check and empty the water container of the dehumidifier to ensure it operates efficiently.

Opening windows can also help, particularly in areas like kitchens and bathrooms after showering or cooking. This allows for air circulation and reduces humidity. However, be mindful of the weather outside; if it’s humid, opening windows may bring more moist air into your home.

Ideally, you need to maintain low humidity levels in your home. Aim for a relative humidity of 50% or less, and you can monitor this with a hygrometer.

Repair Leaks

Inspect plumbing fixtures and supply lines regularly for leaks, dripping faucets, pipe condensation, and overflowing drains or sumps.

Make repairs immediately before moisture can accumulate and lead to mold growth. Check for roof leaks and seal up any entry points for water.

Maintain Ventilation

Proper ventilation reduces humidity and prevents condensation. Use an exhaust fan in your kitchen when cooking and in your bathroom after showering.

Make sure bathroom fans vent to the outside and not just into the attic space. Keep air vents unblocked, and if your pocket allows you, consider installing a whole-house ventilation system.

Use Mold Resistant Paint

Paints containing EPA registered mold-inhibiting ingredients can help prevent mold growth. Use mold resistant paint when remodeling bathrooms, basements, kitchens, or other areas prone to moisture.

Clean and disinfect surfaces thoroughly before application. Paint does not take the place of controlling moisture.

Following these preventative measures can help inhibit mold growth and maintain a healthier indoor environment.

Keep Household Surfaces Clean

Regularly clean your bathroom, kitchen, basement, and any other space that is prone to mold growth.

Wipe down countertops, tiles, and glass, and make sure to open windows in these spaces whenever the weather allows it to allow the surfaces to dry completely.

Improve Insulation and Protect Your Home’s Exterior

Enhance the insulation in your walls, windows, and doors to help reduce the chances of condensation forming on cold surfaces, which can lead to mold growth. Ensuring your home’s exterior is weatherproofed with proper siding and caulking will prevent moisture from entering your house.

Promptly Dry Wet Materials

When carpets, upholstery, or other porous materials become soaked, quickly dry them out to prevent mold growth. You can do this using fans and dehumidifiers to expedite the process.

Promote Natural Sunlight

Allowing sunlight to enter your home can help prevent mold growth, as ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight possess natural antifungal properties. Open blinds and curtains to let sunlight in, particularly in areas most susceptible to mold.

Don’t Paint Over Your Mold Problem: Call Envirosmart Solutions

Mold can be a serious health hazard, as it can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks. It can also cause damage to your home, which can lead to costly repairs and possibly dangerous situations.

So, don’t take mold lightly or try to simply paint over it. Choose Envirosmart Solutions for reliable, safe, and professional mold remediation services to safeguard your home and family.

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$350 OFF On Mold Remediation

Sources

  1. Katie M. (2023, January 30). How to Get Rid of Mold and Stop It From Coming Back. Retrieved from https://www.tomsguide.com/how-to/how-to-get-rid-of-mold
  2. (2023, May 15). Mold Remediation: How to Remove Mold. retrieved from https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-remove-mold/
  3. WebMD (2022, April 7). How to clean mold: 10 tips to stop mold from spreading and get rid of it for good. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/balance/how-to-clean-mold
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