Black mold removal is a major home improvement that will benefit your health and the safety of your home. Mold is a serious problem that may cause health concerns if it is not removed completely. It is a toxic substance that must be taken care of properly. Unless you know what to do, this is not a diy (do it yourself) project; black mold removal is best left to a professional who can do a complete home inspection and take steps to eradicate the mold.
What is Mold?
Mold is a living organism that belongs to the fungi family. These organisms thrive in damp, dark places. They do not require sunlight to synthesize their food like plants do; in fact, exposure to the sun inhibits their growth. Molds reproduce by throwing spores, and can spread rapidly when conditions are just right.
Where Black Mold is found
Mold can be found anywhere in your home that is humid. Unventilated bathrooms, a damp basement, under a leaky roof, inside walls that have been exposed to dampness, around the laundry area, are all places where black mold can thrive.
You may find black mold in your home, inside your walls or in your insulation when you take out drywall for a building project, or in your rafters or the floor of your attic when roofing, or if you go into your attic or basement for pest control. You may notice black mold growing on your walls or ceiling or around damp windows when the colony grows large enough to be visible.
What to do when you find Black Mold
It may be wise to have someone come in to do a home inspection and to test the mold for toxicity. If it is indeed one of the toxic molds, it will need to be removed very carefully. If you decide to remove the mold yourself, you will need to take some precautions to protect your health. Mold is very difficult to eradicate completely, so you must be prepared to do the job very thoroughly.
DIY Mold Removal
First of all, you should get ready to remove visible mold.
Wear protective gear, a face mask that the mold spores cannot get through, safety glasses, clothing or protective clothing covering that can be discarded when you are finished, and perhaps a shower cap or other plastic head covering to protect your hair. Be sure to take plenty of breaks while you are working and move to an area with lots of fresh air.
If you are working on a large area, you may wish to remove anything, especially things with porous surfaces that the mold spores can get on, such as furniture, corner office desk, rugs, books, paper, unsealed wood, etc. Glass, metal, plastic, and varnished or painted wood can be cleaned effectively because these materials are nonporous.
Seal off the area where you are working with a plastic sheet and duct tape or masking tape. This will prevent the mold spores from affecting other areas in the house.
Any porous materials, including insulation or carpeting and carpet padding, that have been exposed to mold, or have visible mold on them should be discarded, along with the clothing or protective covering you wear while working. These items should be placed in a plastic bag and sealed, and carried outside.
Dampen the area you will be working on in order to help prevent the mold spores from getting away and spreading.
Clean the area as much as possible with soap and water, and then disinfect with a bleach solution. Leave this on for 15-30 minutes, then rinse the area and dry it.
Once visible black mold has been cleaned up, you need to make sure it will not return. Drywall is very porous, and mold will live inside it. If there is visible mold on a section of drywall, that section should be replaced. Any affected insulation should be replaced, and the area around the insulation cleaned thoroughly. Take a look at what may have caused the mold in the first place. Is there a leak in your roof or ceiling? Is there plumbing in your wall with a leak or condensation? Is there water seeping into your basement, or is the floor damp? To prevent the mold from returning, the underlying problem must be fixed properly.
When it come to home improvement, it is always best to do things well and thoroughly, whether you are building or cleaning or fixing existing problems. If the job is done right the first time, future problems may never surface.