A clean house is certainly a happy house. But things may not be as clean as they seem. Something nasty might be lurking between walls, behind paint and under floors. We’re talking about household mold and mildew, and these resilient organisms can do more than damage your home. They can make you and your family sick, too.
Mold and mildew are closely related, so to make this article easier to read, we’ll just refer to them both as mold. Household mold thrives in damp places. That’s why we often find it in poorly vented bathrooms and leaky basements. Since mold’s sole mission in life is to digest the world around it, mold can damage a home over time when left alone. You know that musty odor of mold when you smell it, and breathing in mold spores can cause all kinds of respiratory problems.
So how do we remove household mold? By eliminating the one thing mold needs to keep growing: moisture. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to safely clean up mold, and share some ways to prevent mold from growing in the first place.
Mold Cleaning Tips
Minor mold growth is a chore most homeowners can tackle alone. If you do happen to discover major growth that is several feet long or tall, it may be necessary to call in a professional to do the cleaning work for you.
The key to removing household mold is to be careful. Like we said above, mold can cause a variety of health problems, so come prepared with the right tools.
Tools for Mold Removal;
- A good Particle Respirator
- Goggles and Gloves to handle moldy material
- Plastic Sheeting
- Duct Tape
- Garbage Bags
- Warm, soapy water in a spray bottle
- Bleach Solution (1/4 cup of bleach per gallon of water)
You’ll need a good particle respirator (disposable dust masks don’t offer enough breathing protection), and be sure to also wear goggles and gloves when handling any moldy materials. Once you identify mold growth in a room, seal up air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Room Preparation for Mold Removal;
- Turn off HVAC and Seal Air Vents
- Remove all furniture from the room
- Seal doors and entryways with plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Open a window and place a box fan blowing outside
To help contain dust and loose mold spores; turn off your HVAC system. Remove all items like furniture from the room you’re working in to help prevent cross-contamination. Seal up doors and any entryways into the room. If there is a window in the room, open it and place a box fan in the sill blowing outside. This will vent any mold spores out of the house.
Mold Clean Up Process
- Mist moldy materials to be disposed with soapy solution
- Place moldy materials into garbage bags, seal with duct tape, and remove from the area
- Scrub remaining surfaces with bleach solution
- Let area dry and inspect before replacing removed materials
- Continue to inspect the space for any new mold growth
Mix dishwashing soap and warm water in a spray bottle and mist carpet, drywall, insulation – basically anything you plan on removing and throwing out. Place those materials in a sturdy garbage bag and seal it up. For the bare surfaces that remain, you’ll want to scrub everything with a solution made from 1/4-cup of bleach and a gallon of water. Let everything dry, and inspect the space for any new mold growth before replacing everything with new materials, and your furniture and fixtures. Continue to check the area regularly for any evidence of new growth.
Mold Prevention tips
Now it’s important to remember that washing away mold without addressing the reason it grows in the first place, is about as effective as vacuuming. Sooner or later, you’ll need to clean everything all over again. Targeting excessive moisture is the best way to prevent mold from returning altogether. Below is a list of areas that household mold growth is common.
Areas of Household Mold Growth:
- Bathroom exhaust fans
- Leaky air conditioning duct joints
- Air conditioner condensation pan
- Roof leaks in the attic
- Laundry rooms/spaces without floor drainage
- Old crawlspaces
- Non-waterproofed basement walls
- Behind wallpaper
- Window frames
While Mister Quik doesn’t offer mold-cleaning services, we do offer plenty of products and solutions to monitor and manage the humidity levels in your home, and our expert air conditioning and heating services keep your HVAC systems well maintained. Contact us to learn more about these features, and schedule a no-obligation in-home estimate with one of our friendly team members today.
With the weather warming every day, mold will soon become a problem for homes across central Indiana. Taking the proper preventive steps now will save you a lot of stress and potential health problems later. Find out how Mister Quik can help.