For good reason, many people worry about mold in their homes and residences. Exposure to mold and mildew contributes towards some health concerns, such as congestion or eye, throat and skin irritation. Recently, our team discussed how to get rid of mold by understanding why it grows. Additionally, most importantly, people are concerned about various types of mold, such as black mold. As a result, the following aims to help reduce concerns about mold, and in particular, how to get rid of black mold.
However, to get rid of black mold, homeowners must acknowledge complete mold eradication remains almost impossible. For example, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shared how mold exposure starts to grow in homes.
“Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Additionally, mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Finally, mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.”
Fortunately, by learning about the underlying causes behind mold growth, we can take steps to limit the dangerous impact of the substance. So, what is black mold? According to the CDC, black mold (or stachybotrys):
“Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”
Finally, because black mold grows in areas with constant moisture, the removal of the substance around your home remains consistent with other types of mold.
Remove Black Mold in House
First, before removing black mold in your house, take some steps to identify if mold exists. For example, look around your home, in particular, the kitchen and bathrooms for black, clustered growths. Additionally, if you notice your (or anyone in your family) routinely coughs, sneezes or wheezes when entering a room, it may contain some spores. Secondly, if you noticed black mold clusters, then try to spot the root cause, such as leaks or lack of ventilation.
To remove black mold in a house, Healthline offers some specific guidance.
- Remove any objects from the area that haven’t been touched by mold growth.
- Put up plastic sheets on windows and doors to seal the room.
- Set up a HEPA air purifier in the room to capture mold spores.
- Cover yourself with a mask, gloves, boots, and a mold-resistant suit.
- Cut away and replace mold-damaged drywall from the room full of mold.
- Cover nonporous surfaces affected by mold with bleach or a fungicidal agent.
- Let these areas dry before you renovate the room.
Remove Black Mold on Wall
For anyone worried about black mold on walls, then again, the first step remains identifying possible black mold. To help SF Gate shares the general process to spot (or smell) black mold starts with your nose (and not eyes).
“To tell if black mold may be growing in your home, just follow your nose. A musty, earthy smell, like dirt and rotting leaves, is a telltale sign of mold’s presence. Stachybotrys smells especially strong. All molds need food, water and a dark, stagnant environment with temperatures that neither freeze nor boil to grow. Stachybotrys likes it a little wetter than some, feeding on water-saturated cellulose-based material such as cotton, wicker, drywall, lumber, cardboard and even dust or lint. If your home has flooded or you notice excessive moisture on or around building materials, possibly even dark rings on drywall indicating moisture damage, the conditions are ripe for black mold. The smell almost guarantees mold. But even if you see mold, that’s no guarantee that it’s black mold.”
Clean Mold With Bleach or Borax
To clean (remember completely removing mold is not possible without addressing the underlying cause), then wipe with bleach or borax.
- Bleach Cleans Mold
Simple cleaning solutions, such as bleach and water, remove mold spores from hard surfaces.
“Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products produces dangerous, toxic fumes. Plus, open windows and doors to provide fresh air. Finally, wear non-porous gloves and protective eyewear.”
- Borax Cleans Mold
Fortunately, borax provides homeowners with another natural cleaning product that fights mold growth.
“Borax is commonly used as a deodorizer as well as for cleaning toilets and drains. Borax is also used as an insecticide, herbicide and fungicide and it can be mixed with water in a solution to kill and remove mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor. However, please note that borax is toxic if you swallow it, but does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes like some other mold killers. You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars from the laundry section.”
Remove Black Mold in Bathroom
Finally, black mold in bathrooms remains extremely common due to the moisture levels in these rooms. Fortunately, another common cleaning solution helps remove black mold on porous materials and surface. Yes, vinegar works best on porous materials and surfaces.
“Both distilled white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide do an effective job of killing mold spores in porous materials. Bleach can only kill mold on non-porous surfaces, as it does not penetrate porous surfaces; so mold roots are left to grow again. To kill mold spores and their roots, pour straight 3 percent peroxide, undiluted, into a spray bottle and saturate the blocks with it. Let the peroxide do its work for 10 to 15 minutes, and scrub the walls to remove all dead mold. You can add vinegar to the peroxide in the spray bottle to make the solution stronger.”
Finally, at A.Johnson, we recommend using ultraviolet technology (also known as UV technology) to identify and effectively eliminate mold. This technique involves the use of residential ultraviolet units that quickly and effectively kill mold and bacteria in constantly moving air environments of heating and cooling systems. UV technology also has the added benefit of improving indoor air quality, which is helpful in keeping bathrooms mold free.
Remember that if, despite your best efforts to prevent it, you still find mold in your home, there are resources you can turn to in order to eliminate the problem. A.Johnson is here to help homeowners in the Capital District area keep their homes safe and comfortable all year round. Contact us today if you want to get rid of black mold in your home or want to improve your home comfort.