Black mold can be a major issue for every homeowner. This type of fungus is very harmful to human health. It can cause asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and all sorts of respiratory issues.
Preventing black mold is one thing, but how do you remove it when there’s already some in your home? This article will teach you how to remediate black mold and ensure it doesn’t return.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment
First of all, you’ll need to take the necessary safety precautions. As we said, exposure to mold leads to serious health problems. Moreover, the cleaners you’ll be using can be corrosive and damaging.
To adequately protect yourself while dealing with black mold, wear protective gear. Take a pair of non-porous gloves, put on safety goggles, and wear a mask or a respirator.
Identify Black Mold
This type of fungus typically grows in wet, moist, and damp areas. In other words, it usually appears in places that have suffered water damage.
This is precisely why it’s so important to hire professionals in case one or more parts of your home suffers water damage. In such circumstances, quick and effective flood damage restoration is the best way to prevent black mold from appearing.
In addition, black mold often pops up in bathrooms and laundry rooms. These places are wet by nature and are among the most common areas to find this fungus in.
Besides appearing black in color, black mold looks like it’s made up of dots and grows in a circular pattern. On dry surfaces, it looks like soot. On wet surfaces, black mold looks slimy and greasy.
Seal the Area
You will have to seal the area to prevent the spores from spreading through the air. Sheets of plastic are particularly useful in this regard. Use them to cover vents and doors leading to other rooms in your home.
The vents you will want to cover include air conditioning vents, heating vents, and return vents. Exhaust vents, on the other hand, should be left open.
Keep in mind that sealing an area won’t stop this fungus from growing in another part of your home. Black mold grows when it finds moisture – its spores are always present in the air.
Consider replacing absorbent materials, too. Removing mold from such surfaces is a back-breaking task – getting these materials out of the room is a better decision. These include carpeting, furniture, ceiling tiles, and drywall.
Open the Windows & Turn on the Vents
Both the black mold itself and the cleaning products you’ll use can irritate lungs, skin, and eyes. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide yourself with fresh air as you’re cleaning. Open all of the windows in the room where you’ll be attacking the mold.
The exhaust fans that we mentioned should also be put to work. These will draw the mold spores out of the house. Another good idea is to place fans in front of the open windows.
However, avoid doing this if you are, for some reason, unable to aim the fans outside. They will blow the spores around the room, making things even worse.
Avoid Mixing Cleaning Products
To kill the mold, you will have to choose and use only one cleaner.
Sticking to just one product is crucial – mixing different ones can be very dangerous. Unexpected chemical reactions are the last thing you need. It is particularly important to avoid mixing bleach or ammonia with your other household cleaners.
Pre-scrub the Area with Soapy Water
Take a bucket and fill it with hot water. Add 30 ml (two tablespoons) of liquid dish soap and mix until you create foam.
Take a stiff-bristled brush, dip it into the bucket, and then scrub the moldy area with it. Keep doing this until the surface becomes saturated with suds. After that, rinse the surface with clean water.
The trick to getting rid of the black mold is in killing both its surface and roots. By pre-scrubbing the affected area, you’ll be penetrating the mold’s surface and making way for the cleaner to reach its roots.
When it comes to dealing with black mold, a number of different solutions and products are available. The most effective of these agents are antimicrobial cleaners and commercial biocides. Some of these are designed specifically to eradicate black mold.
Here are a couple of effective cleaning solutions you can try out:
- ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ of borax dissolved in 4 cups of warm water
- 1 cup of borax dissolved in 1 gallon of water
- 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
- One cup of bleach dissolved in 1 gallon of water
- Two parts water mixed with one part hydrogen peroxide
- Equal parts water and baking soda mixed into a paste
- Equal parts water and ammonia
- Pure distilled vinegar
By adding more vinegar to the water, your homemade cleaning solution will be stronger. What’s more, you can cover up the smell with different types of vinegar, like rice or apple cider.
Clean the Affected Area
Apply your cleaning solution and give it some time to soak. Apply pastes with an old toothbrush or a knife. For liquid solutions, on the other hand, spray generously.
Let the cleaner soak for some 20 minutes. During that time, it will penetrate the mold and attack every part of it, including the roots. This will prevent the black mold from reappearing.
If you’re working on porous material, use your stiff-bristled brush once again. By scrubbing the surface, you will help the cleaner get deep into the material. There, it will dislodge the mold and attack its roots.
Finally, you will have to rinse the surface with clean water to remove leftover cleaner and mold. Once you do this, proceed to dry – use a squeegee or a towel. Removing excess moisture is very important, as the mold can quickly reappear on a damp surface.
The Bottom Line on Ridding Your Home of Black Mold
A major mold infestation can harm your health and ruin your home. By following the steps mentioned above, you should be able to spot it, exterminate it, and prevent it from reappearing. Good luck!
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded, every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.