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.
*** For your best protection, and safety I strongly recommend contacting a remediation contractor to remove any mold you see.
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. Some may suggest that you can tackle this without additional help. If you are not a trained professional, you may be taking a risk, especially if you move contaminated items to different areas of the home.
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 absolutely need to call a professional to come into your home to deal with the problem. 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. The home in this condition would not be considered safe to inhabit. A professional must be called in immediately to properly remove all contaminated items and materials from your home, while restoring it to safe conditionions. 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.
If you choose not to get a professional (which I do not recommend) please protect yourself by calling a remediation company for advice. They will likely tell you to 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, and 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 get advice as soon as possible so it doesn’t spread. Carefully check out the credibility of the company performing the remediation work. See if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau, and that they follow the correct protocols from a governing body such as IICRC… here is a link. https://www.iicrc.org/ Check any online reviews as well.
Many mold remediation companies perform mold inspections as well. Although this is legal, and may be necessary to conduct a scope of work, or if a wall or floor needs to be opened for example, some may view it as a conflict of interest. If you are looking for an unbiased evaluation of the home for mold (without the use of invasive measures) then an unbiased, certified mold inspector should be your first choice.
For any questions about mold in your home, just contact me at 604-729-4261 and I’ll be happy to help you out.