According to research, there are more than 100,000 types of mold. Only approximately 100-200 of them can be seen by the naked eye. Molds flourish in warm, humid conditions; they tend to grow on damp surfaces (for example, wood or paper) or indoors where ventilation is poor (for instance, over showers).
Now mold may become a problem when it spreads in the house and begins to damage surfaces, furnishings, or other contents. For this reason, it's imperative to know how to get rid of mold as soon as you notice it. Now that's easier said than done, which is why this comprehensive guide will help you get rid of it completely.
The first step is in finding the source of mold. If you have a small area with a leak or other moisture problem that leads to mold growth, it'll be easy to identify the source.
For larger problems where there's widespread water damage, it can be more difficult to locate the source of the problem. In these cases, an inspection by a professional may be necessary to properly assess and resolve what caused the water damage.
Once you've found the source of the problem, it's time for a mold inspection. You'll want to remove items away from the affected area to inspect the surfaces for any discoloration or damage that may indicate mold growing on those materials. If you find any visible signs of mold growth, cut out a small sample.
Take it with you when you visit your local hardware store so you can show employees what type of material needs to be treated. Even better, bring along samples if possible since they likely have experience dealing with common types of problems in your area. If only some areas show signs of mold growth while others are completely clear, it's best to inspect inside wall cavities to locate the source.
After you locate the source of your problem, it's time to begin removing it. To prevent spreading mold spores throughout your home as you work on the problem, section off a room for containment using some painter's tape and plastic sheeting from a hardware store.
You can also make a tent over smaller areas by hanging thick blankets and draping them over empty boxes before sealing them closed with masking tape. Containing mold will keep spores contained in one room, making clean-up easier. It'll also give you space to work without worrying about spreading mold spores throughout your house.
Now that you've contained the area and isolated it from the rest of your home, begin pulling out any visible mold using gloves, safety glasses, a mask, and a scraper. In areas with extensive water damage, this could mean removing sheetrock or paneling entirely to get at what's underneath.
You'll want to be thorough in removing any trace of visible mold because even minute amounts can grow back within 24 hours unless removed completely. If you're not sure if an area contains small traces of mold, check with a blacklight to find out before attempting removal.
People often assume that bleach will kill mold and bacteria, but the truth is it only kills surface mold. If you're planning to use bleach as your primary cleaner, you'll need to keep applying it for weeks or even months at a time.
Hot water works better than any chemical cleaner at killing all types of harmful molds growing on surfaces because of its power to dissolve organic matter. Keep in mind that this includes organic matter like saliva, hair, dander, or nails, making it important to wear gloves or wash thoroughly after cleaning with hot water.
Before moving on to clean up after removing mold from your home, take some time to assess what needs fixing due to water damage. This could be anything from replacing drywall to replacing plumbing fixtures.
Damaged items that are subject to mold growth should be thrown away or thoroughly cleaned and dried before being stored in a closed area for at least two weeks. If you clean the damaged items but don't allow them time to completely dry out, they'll become an indoor humidifier when stored and almost certainly grow mold again once brought back into your home.
Now it's time to take care of the mess you made while removing mold in your home. Open windows and air out the room by running exhaust fans and an air-conditioner if necessary until the smell diminishes. Next, wipe down all surfaces with bleach-free soap and water or a cleaning solution made from 5% bleach and 95% water, then scrub with hot soapy water to kill any remaining mold.
If you've used protective gear while removing mold, be sure to either throw it away or clean it before wearing it again. Shower afterward and use lots of soap and disinfected water since mold can irritate allergies or asthma if someone is sensitive to toxins.
You've removed the mold and cleaned everything, but you're not done yet because there's still a higher likelihood of mold regrowth. There are several ways to help ensure your effort wasn't in vain, including:
Reduce humidity by turning up the air conditioning or opening windows during humid days. Replace all plumbing fixtures that contain rubber gaskets to prevent leaks from occurring again, which can lead to future mold growth. From there, repair any water damage to avoid prolonged moisture exposure through flooding or leaking pipes or faucets.
If you find mold removal too big for you to handle or have allergies, call in a professional mold remediation company. They have the tools and training needed for safely containing, removing, and cleaning up after an area.
After completing their work, follow whatever recommendations they make about repairing damaged areas to prevent another mold infestation from occurring again in your home. Depending on how extensive it was, this could mean replacing drywall or installing moisture barriers between walls to keep dampness from seeping into future cracks or leaks.
Getting rid of mold in your home can be extremely effective when done properly. Still, it's also one of the least desirable household projects because of the serious health risks it involves. If you don't feel up to removing or cleaning mold yourself, call Bactronix of Colorado instead.
We know exactly how to get rid of mold without making your family sick in the process. We have everything needed to clean up thoroughly, so you don't have to worry about anything else afterward. That said, if you need a professional mold remediation company, contact our professionals today.
Trust Bactronix of Colorado to take care of your disinfecting and mold remediation. Call us today to schedule an assessment!
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