Finding mold on bread or fruit is gross. Finding it growing on the surfaces of your home could mean your health is at risk. Mold that thrives indoors can cause allergies, asthma, eye irritation, and more.
When the construction materials used to build your home are exposed to moisture—whether it’s due to a water leak, flood or improper ventilation—mold can begin to grow and multiply within 24 hours. And once mold spores are present in the structure, it is difficult to fully rid them from the space.
Homeowners who find mold often try to bleach the damaged area, and while that may appear to work—bleach can temporarily remove the color from moldy surfaces, making microbes seem to have vanished—the substance inevitably returns, and household cleaning products likely don’t stand a chance.
So how can you rid your home of mold and be sure it’s really gone?
For instances where mold has penetrated surfaces such as walls, floors or ceilings full removal under containment by a professional is advised. For smaller jobs, where mold hasn’t taken root inside the walls or under floor coverings, you might be able to tackle the task yourself by following these steps:
- Suit up
- Remove fungal growth
- Apply antimicrobial treatment
Suit Up: Wear PPE
During the removal process, the levels of mold spores in the air can reach up to 1,000 times the normal amount. Since mold is known to cause skin, eye and lung irritation, wearing protective equipment is always recommended when going into battle against this household foe.
Make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from the mold itself as well as the chemicals you’re using to fight the substance. Pick up some full-coverage goggles to prevent eye irritation. And finally, consider investing in an N-95 particulate respirator to cover your nose and mouth. These masks are OSHA-approved and readily available at most hardware stores—plus, the unused ones are good to have handy during wildfire season, when many stores are sold out.
Remove Fungal Growth
Once affected by mold, porous surfaces such as drywall and carpet will need to be cut out and replaced by a professional. While you might be able to remove mold on these surfaces temporarily, it will remain active, spreading rapidly unknowingly, growing inside the walls and floors, worsening health problems.
The good news is, non-porous surfaces such as tile, sinks and tubs can be treated. Now that you’re wearing protective gear, mix a non-ammonia detergent or soap with hot water and scrub the affected surface with a cleaning brush. Next, rinse the area with cool water. Use a wet-dry vac or disposable towels to remove excess moisture. Consider using a dehumidifier to ensure the area is completely dry so mold does not return.
Apply Antimicrobial Treatment
As a final step, use an antimicrobial agent from the Household Products Database to hinder the growth of mold in the future. Make sure to carefully follow directions listed on the product, and never use bleach and ammonia in the same room.
After cleaning, replace your furnace filter with one that has a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of 13 to capture fine particles.
Consult a Professional
If you suspect that mold has taken root in the porous surfaces of your home—think drywall, ceiling tiles, wallpaper or carpet—call a professional immediately. Mold remediation can be a dangerous job and is best left to trusted professionals.
To speak with a certified remediation technician at Restoration 1 of Central Denver, call (720) 524-4680 to schedule a visit and get a free quote.