How to Clean Mold From Your Home
As noted in a past article about mold, called Mold Detection, Things to Consider, I addressed the issues associated with mold, which are primarily health related. Other issues resulting from mold include damage to your clothing, carpets, personal items and possible structural issues… especially if the mold and moisture have been there for a long time.
In the feature picture provided, you can easily see the damage caused to a window sill by prolonged moisture, resulting in significant mold growth to this area.
Whenever you find clothing, carpets, drywall or any paper based organic materials in the home that have been contaminated with mold, you will have to get rid of them as soon as possible.
The first thing to do when you suspect or discover mold is to find out what kind of problem you are dealing with. When mold inspectors confirm the presence of mold through an inspection and or sampling, they categorize it into different levels, depending on the severity of the problem.
If you are dealing with a Condition 1 level of contamination, it means that a small area of 10 square feet or less has been affected. You can usually tackle this without additional help.
The second level is considered a Condition 2 level of contamination. This means that an area of 10 to 30 square feet has been affected by mold contamination. At this point you should consider calling a professional to come into your home to repair the problem. If you choose to handle it yourself, begin cleaning and maintenance immediately. If left unchecked, the condition will escalate, possibly to condition 3.
Anything in the Condition 3 level is bad news. Here there is continuous active mold growth and spores, spanning an area of 30 square feet or more. A professional must be called in immediately to properly remove all contaminated items and materials from your home. I can only hope that a problem will not get that severe… but if it does you can expect to invest a substantial amount to fix the problem.
Back to the DIY clean up. But… before you jump into mold busting action, personal protection is necessary. Wear a respirator, protective eye wear, rubber gloves and protective clothing.
The next step involves your cleaning solution. There are a few options to think about… You can go to the hardware store and purchase a commercial mold remover or make your own, green friendly solution. If you choose to mix it yourself, you can combine 2/3 parts water with 1/3 part white vinegar & a squirt of dish-washing liquid into a spray bottle for small areas. Many people suggest using bleach. Personally, I don’t think it is necessary as it is potentially toxic. If you insist on using bleach, NEVER mix it with ammonia, as this mixture will create a toxic gas.
Remember, when you find mold in your home, be sure to deal with it as soon as possible so it doesn’t spread, And for larger jobs, call a professional remediation company. Carefully check out the company performing the remediation work. See if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau and see if there are any online reviews.
I would stay away from remediation companies that perform mold inspections as well. This is conflict of interest, just as it would be for a home inspector that makes repairs on issues that he has found in your home.
For any questions about mold in your home, just contact me at 604-729-4261 and I’ll be happy to help you out.