There are many causes of mold growth in the home. Floods, burst pipes, and high humidity can cause mold. It's important that you remove mold from your home as soon as possible before it causes structural issues or even health problems. Here are tips on mold removal:
1. Identify mold
The first step in removing mold is to identify it. Often, mold is obvious and is easily distinguishable due to the appearance of green or brown patches. But in dirty or damaged areas mold is nearly invisible since it blends in. To test an area for mold, spray a cotton swab with a household cleaner that contains bleach. Rub a small spot of the area with the cotton swab. If the spot turns light, it's mold.
2. Look for the source
Once you've identified the presence of mold, the next thing to do is identify the source. Mold grows under damp conditions. To successfully remove mold you need to remove the source of water so it doesn't grow back. Check the area around the mold patch for leaks. If it's near a pipe, feel the pipe for wetness. If the pipe is leaking, fix the pipe. If there is no leak, wrap the pipe with an insulating sleeve to prevent condensation. If there are no pipes, check the walls or ceiling for leaks coming from outside.
3. Dispose of damaged material
After fixing any leaks and sources of moisture, you need to remove damaged material and discard it. If the mold is growing on a hard, nonporous surface like tile, porcelain, or sealed wood, cleaning the surface will remove it for good. If the mold is growing on fabric, carpet, or water damaged wood, the material needs to be removed and thrown away. Dispose of the damaged, mildewed material in heavy duty bags. Use gloves and a respirator during removal and disposal.
4. Reseal areas
The next step after fixing leaks and removing water damaged material is resealing. Remove old caulk and grout and install new caulk around pipes, sinks, and showers. Caulk acts as a moisture barrier to prevent water from getting into hard to reach areas and causing mildew. If you needed to remove tile, wood, carpet, or damaged drywall to get rid of mold, replace the old material with newer, mold resistant material.
When all the sources of moisture and damaged material are gone, it's time for heavy duty scrubbing to get rid of mold once and for all. To do this you will need gloves, a respirator, ventilation, a sponge, and a cleaner that contains bleach. Before cleaning open a window or run a fan for ventilation. The mold spores and the fumes from the bleach can be toxic if you're not careful. Spray the mold with bleach and let it sit for about an hour. Respray the area if it gets dry. After an hour, scrub the mold. Repeat this process until there is no trace of mold. For surfaces like wood or porcelain, use borax instead of bleach.
Mold is dangerous to the house and to your health. With these tips, you can get rid of mold and keep it from coming back.
To learn more about mold removal, contact a company like Authorized Services.