Mold tends to be a problem that occurs as a result of water damage and other moisture issues. It can become even more problematic during the winter months as there is less ventilation, so mold tends to take hold and spread quickly if not dealt with swiftly. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks you can use for mold remediation if this potentially dangerous issue should it arise in your home.
1) HOW MUCH MOLD IS THERE?
The first thing you need to do is figure out how much mold is present. You'll want to look for any signs or indications that point toward mold growth, such as discolored drywall/walls or visible dampness (such as black slime). If you can see growth in an area, there is likely a larger problem, and more remediation may need to be done.
2) AIR PURIFIERS & OTHER HOUSE CLEANING ITEMS
Using an air purifier and house cleaning items such as Clorox or Lysol can help clean mold growth and reduce its spread. These items should be used regularly, especially if the home has been affected by water damage, to prevent future outbreaks. Clorox wipes can also be useful for wiping down problematic areas to ensure mold doesn't continue to grow in these spaces. Thus, keeping a healthy household is key in preventing further issues from occurring at a later time.
3) HIRE AN EXPERT
If you have black mold hiring an expert maybe your best option as they have the tools and equipment required to remove large amounts of mold growth. These items can include HEPA filters, respirators, and various cleaning products that won't damage your home any further.
4) ISOLATE THE PROBLEM AREA
Suppose you're unable to hire an expert for whatever reason. In that case, it's recommended that you isolate the problem area from the rest of your house until it has been properly remediated/cleaned. In other words, cover or conceal this space with things such as plastic or tarps so that no one will be exposed to the mold spores until the issue is completely handled.
5) CLEAN UP SMALL AREAS OF MOLD GROWTH
Before hiring someone or allowing more of the mold to grow, it may be a good idea to clean up these small areas yourself. This is especially true if just one or two rooms have been affected. If you're going to attempt this on your own, make sure that the area has been properly sealed off from the rest of the house and allow at least 24 hours for cleanup after applying materials before re-entering the space.
6) USE THE SUN
Using sunshine can also help speed up evaporation in some cases, so opening windows on a warm, sunny day can lead to healthier indoor air quality. It's important that you do not attempt this during cold weather, as temperatures below freezing can generate dangerous moisture buildups. You will want to run the heat if it's cold outside (and you're unable to open windows) to avoid further moisture issues.
PRO TIP: Read this blog post: what is mold remediation and why is it important!
7) DON'T USE FANS OR AIR CONDITIONERS
The use of fans or air conditioners can help spread mold spores throughout your house instead of leading them towards sunlight, where they will naturally dry up and die off. Thus, you should keep these appliances turned off when dealing with problematic spaces to prevent further growth/damage from occurring.
8) REMOVE ANY AFFECTED WALLBOARD/SURFACES
Suppose the problem area has been identified as being on an external wall. In that case, you'll need to remove that entire section of wall surface to properly clean back to bare surfaces (since mold spores can travel through drywall, even if it's covered).
9) WET-VACUUM THE PROBLEM AREA
Wet-vacking is the act of using a wet/dry vacuum to extract the growth. Be sure that you use HEPA filters to avoid further spreading any possible mold spores that may still be present.
10) DRY THE PROBLEM AREA OUT
After everything has been removed and cleaned, you'll need to allow enough time for all affected areas to thoroughly dry out before replacing any wallboard or surfaces. This process will take at least 48 hours for concrete block walls and longer for wooden studs, so you should plan accordingly by setting aside enough time depending on how extensive your problem was.
In closing, it's important to remember that mold growth can be a serious issue if left untreated for too long. This means that you shouldn't delay in dealing with any possible issues and should instead seek out professional assistance as soon as they arise, so the problem doesn't have a chance to worsen over time. Remember, knowledge is key when trying to combat this issue and knowing how to prevent future outbreaks will allow you to live comfortably within your own home.