It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare: Mold. When excess moisture infiltrates your home, in a damp basement or attic for example, it can cause mold growth leading to musty odors and serious damage. Beyond that, mold can be harmful to the health of your home’s occupants.
Here’s the only safe way to remove mold and help prevent future growth.
1. Remove Excess Moisture
Try to remove any excess moisture in your home. Keep moisture-prone areas of your home dry with the use of dehumidifiers and HVAC systems. Mold growth thrives in warm, humid areas, so keep an eye on bathrooms, basements, and attics.
Installing an air conditioner is recommended because it takes in warm air, which holds more moisture, and circulates it into the home as cool, dry air. Using a dehumidifier is another effective way to reduce humidity. If the air outside is dry, open windows and use fans to circulate new air into your home to carry damp, old air out.
2. Eliminate Unseen Mold
What’s unseen mold, you ask? Mold can grow in hidden places, such as behind drywall, under floors, and in ceilings. If you notice a musty smell or stains on the walls, floors, or ceilings, it will need to be cut out, removed, and replaced.
To tackle hidden mold, we recommend wearing clothes that you can throw away once you’re done. It is also essential to wear safety equipment, including gloves, goggles and a respirator. Turn off power to the room, including your HVAC system. Seal off the room with plastic sheeting and duct tape. To pinpoint mold locations, poke stained or soft spots with a screwdriver. Use a drywall saw or utility knife to cut out the moldy area. Mist with a pump sprayer to control spores, then double-bag the material in heavy plastic bags and seal the bags securely. You will have to instill new insulation and drywall, replace the trim, and repaint using paint that contains mildewcide.
3. Think Twice About Home Remedies
Simple cleaning solutions might help remove mold, but they are not long term solutions. Many of these cleaners can be found at your local grocery or hardware store, including:
- Ammonia: Do not use on porous surfaces like wood and drywall.
- Bleach: Similar to ammonia, bleach is ineffective on porous materials.
- Baking soda: Mild and safe while also acting as a deodorizer. Can be used on porous surfaces.
- Borax: Unless swallowed, borax is safe and doesn’t give off dangerous fumes. Use on nonporous surfaces.
- Vinegar: While not quite as effective as bleach or ammonia, vinegar is safe and doesn’t emit harmful fumes. Use only on nonporous surfaces.
Bleach is not an effective treatment against mold because it cannot penetrate most materials deeply enough to reach the membranes that live beneath the visible surface. In some cases, agitating the mold with bleach may cause it to seep even deeper into the material—ultimately making it harder to kill. For this reason, it’s always best to consult professionals when dealing with mold problems in your home.
4. Hire Mold Remediation Specialists
If you’re experiencing mold growth in your home, it may be time to contact a mold remediation professional. These specialists have advanced equipment, extensive experience and certifications to identify and take care of mold quickly and effectively. It is advised that you always hire a specialist to conduct an inspection of your home. They can guide you in your decision to tackle mold on your own. However, most experts agree that it’s easier, faster and safer to have a professional tackle the mold issues facing your home.
Contact ServiceMaster Your Mold Remediation Specialists
Mold can be a serious threat to your health and the health of your loved ones. Some common symptoms include congestion, cough, throat irritation, and respiratory problems. But prolonged exposure to certain types of mold can cause even more serious, long-term health issues such as asthma.
Your loved ones don’t have to suffer from the effects of mold. Contact ServiceMaster for affordable, effective solutions for mold remediation, removal, and prevention. Trust the home restoration technicians at ServiceMaster to get your property back on track!