Mold is a type of multicellular fungus that grows quite commonly in households. Mold spores reach inside intrude your house mainly by air through open doors and windows. They might also be brought unknowingly into your house with people, pets, or various objects. These pores are obviously invisible to the naked eye and hence are virtually impossible to stop reaching your house. Once they reach inside your house, there are a lot of breeding grounds they can find in there. Mold spores mostly grow in areas that offer them moisture and humidity. They can find these two conditions easily in your bathroom and kitchen. other than these two areas, they can also find suitable environments to breed in the following places:-
- Areas where there have been water leakages, such as leaking water pipes.
- Inside walls, both interior, and exterior, that have faced water damage.
- Areas that have faced water intrusion due to a flood or a leak.
- On carpet and upholstery. Some types of mold feed on dirt and hence can grow on carpets and upholstery that have dust gathered on them.
- In refrigerator drip pans.
- Bath toys of infants.
- Air conditioners
- Potted plants
With so many potential breeding grounds and the mold spores being almost impossible to stop, the best you can do is take preventive measures for mold growth. You can do that mainly by ensuring that mold spores don’t get favorable conditions to grow. In case there is mold growth in your home, you would want to remove it as soon as possible. Because otherwise, if the mold is let to grow extensively, it will be difficult to mold remediation and restore your home. This won’t be good since exposure to mold for a considerable period of time can have adverse effects on your house and the people inside it. Even though it doesn’t destroy your house, it still causes discoloration and a musty odor in your house. Moreover, toxic molds can affect people with weak immune systems who are exposed to them.
All molds are not toxic. But you must remove all types of molds from your home, no matter harmful or not. If there is extensive mold growth, you must hire professional help from a reputed mold remediation company. Only they would have the equipment and expertise necessary for effective and complete mold remediation. To get the best results and ensure there is no regrowth of mold, you must hire a company that offers top-quality service. You are also advised to go for mold remediation companies that work with all insurance carriers.
In case you have found mold growth in our home only over a small area, you can remediate it by yourself if you want to. But you have to use the right products and the right techniques for the job. In this article, we are going to see the materials you need for mold remediation. We will also see the right process of remediating mold effectively.
Requirements for remediation of mold
For effective mold remediation, you need to be equipped properly for the job. Following are the equipment you would require for mold remediation:-
- An N-95 respirator
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- Utility knife
- A window fan
- Scrub brush
- Drywall saw
- A vacuum cleaner
You must have the following materials ready for the purpose of mold removal:-
- An oil-based primer
- A painter’s tape
- Heavy-duty cleaner
- Plastic sheeting
- 6mm plastic garbage bags
The process of mold remediation
- The first thing you must do during the mold removal process is to take all the items that haven’t been touched by mold growth out of the room. In case there is a carpet that is infested with mold, you are suggested to cut it up and put it in the plastic garbage bags and duct-tape them.
- The next step in the mold removal process would be to seal off the affected room. You must completely seal off the room affected by mold from the rest of the house that is unaffected. You must cover any air ducts or air vents that the room has with plastic sheets and tapes. You must also use the plastic sheet to cover the doorway to the room. This is to ensure that the mold spores that get disturbed don’t get to escape the room. Otherwise, there is a chance that they may find another breeding ground in your home and start growing again.
- After having sealed off the room, you may start with the actual remediation process. You must probe water-damaged swollen walls with a screwdriver in order to look for mold hidden in the framing and insulation. There is a chance that water-damaged walls will have mold since they offer moisture and humidity for mold growth. Also, you are advised to get your water damage repaired as soon as possible to make sure that there is no chance of the mold growing again. They often regrow when they find a favorable condition to do that. You must also pry off the trim and baseboards from the areas that are affected by mold growth.
- If the drywall has mole damage, you must cut it further than the damaged area. This is to ensure that you find all the mold that is present there. That would help you to get rid of mold completely and effectively.
- After finding all the mold, you must then gather all the mold-infested materials and put them in the garbage bags. You must remember to moisten them up in order to stop the mold spores from escaping. In case you find rots due to water damage in the wall, you need to take out the affected studs and sheathing of the wall. You might find it difficult to remove at some part. In such cases, you are suggested to clean them up and let them dry properly. After that, you must treat it with wood preservatives and then combine the rotted parts with pressure-treated wood. Pressure-treated wood is more resistant to the elements than untreated ones. So this will prevent further rots for a very long period of time.
- After the removal of the moldy material and packing them up in garbage bags, it’s time to clean up the room. Use the vacuum cleaner to clean up all the debris. You must also remember to clean the tank, hose, and attachments of the washing machine after disposing of the debris.
- After you have cleaned up the debris from the room, you must then get on to scrubbing the moldy surfaces. You must do this task specifically with the help of half a cup of bleach and a quart of water. Bleach is effective in killing off the mold. So this solution helps you to remove mold stains as well as kill the remaining mold on the walls. If the mold hasn’t completely disappeared, you can use the soft brush on the surface until there is no sign of mold left. Meanwhile, the bleach would penetrate the surface and kill the mold, if any, present in the inner part. After letting the bleach dry, you must wipe the surface. The proper thing to do with the trim after cleaning with the bleach solution would be to keep it under direct sunlight.
- The next would be to dry the cleaned and repaired areas properly with the help of new fans and dehumidifiers. You might wait for at least three days for this process while keeping the room sealed. After that, you must inspect the room for any remaining signs of mold. If you find some signs of mold still there, you must clean the surface with bleach again. And if you don’t find any traces of mold, you can safely prime the wood surfaces with an oil-based primer. Also, you are advised to use a paint that contains a mildewcide to repaint the walls that have been cleared of mold. This would ensure that there is no further growth of mold in the future. As for the insulation and the drywall, you must install new ones. The trim can be nailed back once ready.
Precautions to take while remediating mold
- You must specifically wear an N-95mask and P-100 respirators for the task of mold remediation.
- Wear clothes that are disposable during the remediation process. Otherwise, you can also buy mold-resistant suits that are used by professional mold removal services.
- Make sure that the room you’re working in is well ventilated. The mold may cause allergic reactions in people with mold allergies. You can use a box fan for this purpose. Also, you must throw it away after use, so you might want to use an old or cheap one.
- Use an exhaust fan in the window to drive out all the disturbed mold spores. Also, you must cover the window openings so that these mold spores can’t fly back inside. You can use cardboard or plywood for this purpose by taping them at the window openings.
- When you’re removing mold from a surface, the disturbed spores most probably will go airborne. To prevent this, you must first moisten up a surface before starting to work on it.
- Turn off all fans, furnace, or air conditioner in the room