Mold Remediation 1-888-310-1068
A major mold infestation can ruin your home—and your health! The first step in mold remediation is learning how to remove mold and perform black mold removal.
Step 1: How to Get Rid of Mold Overview
Mold is a major-league nuisance. It blackens the grout lines in your shower, discolors drywall, shows up as black spots on siding, darkens decks, and grows on and rots damp wood everywhere. Even worse, it can be bad for your health. Mold releases microscopic spores that cause allergic reactions, runny noses and sneezing, as well as irritating, even injurious, odors. We’ll cover how to remove mold, how to get rid of black mold, how to kill mold on wood and what kills mold in a few steps.
Almost every home gets mold infestations. The trick is to mold remediation is to get to them before they get big and harm both you and your home. In this article, you’ll learn about mold remediation and how to get rid of mold, how to get rid of black mold and what kills mold. We’ll show you how to identify mold, how to eliminate the small infestations as well as the big ones that have gotten out of hand and how to clean mold. We’ll also answer the question: Does bleach kill mold?
How to remove mold and how to perform black mold removal can be done with ordinary household cleaning products. But disturbing big infestations of mold on bathroom walls and other places can be bad for your health, particularly if you are an allergy sufferer or have a weakened immune system. When you discover an extensive mold problem, we recommend that you use the rigorous protective measures we show in Photos 1 – 6, or consider calling in a professional, who knows what kills mold, to handle the problem of how to remove mold. (Search “Industrial Hygiene Consultants” or “Environmental and Ecological Consultants” online to find out how to remove black mold and black mold removal cost. Or call your local public health department on how to get rid of black mold.) And even if you hire pros, read through this article and make sure they follow similar precautions on how to get rid of mold and to keep the mold from spreading throughout your house.
Step 2: How to identify mold
Mold is everywhere. It’s a type of fungus that grows from tiny spores that float in the air. It can grow almost anywhere that spores land and find moisture and a comfortable temperature, between 40 and 100 degrees F. Typically that includes about every damp place in your home.
You can easily spot the most visible type of mold, called mildew, which begins as tiny, usually black spots but often grows into larger colonies. It’s the black stuff you see in the grout lines in your shower, on damp walls, and outdoors on the surfaces of deck boards and painted siding, especially in damp and shady areas. A mildewed surface is often difficult to distinguish from a dirty one. To test for mildew, simply dab a few drops of household bleach on the blackened area. If it lightens after one to two minutes, you have mildew. If the area remains dark, you probably have dirt.
Mildew is a surface type of mold that won’t damage your home’s structure. But other types of mold cause rot. Remove mildew from wood when you probe the suspect area with a screwdriver or other sharp tool (Photo 3). If the wood is soft or crumbles, the fungi have taken hold and rot has begun. We’ll show you how to remove mold from wood in a few steps.
If you have a high concentration of mold, you may smell it. If you detect the typical musty odor, check for mold on damp carpets, damp walls, damp crawlspaces and wet wood under your floors, wet roof sheathing and other damp areas. Clean up these infestations right away before they get worse, and see the following photos for prevention measures on how to remove mold.
Step 3: Removing large infestations requires precautions—and work!
You can scrub away the surface mold common to bathrooms, decks and siding in a matter of minutes with a 1-to-8 bleach/water mold cleaner solution as one way on how to remove mold. But often mold grows and spreads in places you don’t notice, until you spot surface staining, feel mushy drywall or detect that musty smell.
If you have to remove mold concentrations or perform any black mold removal covering more than a few square feet, where the musty odor is strong or where you find extensive water damage, we recommend that you take special precautions. You want to not only avoid contaminating the rest of the house but also protect yourself from breathing high concentrations of spores and VOCs.
- Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
- Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
- Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
- Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
- To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
- Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
- Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.
Moisture damage and large mold infestations go hand in hand. The photos below demonstrate cleaning under an old leaky window where wind-driven rain frequently got into the wall and gave mold a foothold.
You have to open up the wall to get at the mold growing inside. Since you have to repair the wall anyway, don’t hesitate to cut the drywall back beyond the obvious damage to find all the mold and let the wall dry out. To avoid cutting electrical wires, poke a hole through the damaged section and locate the wires first. Turn off the power to the outlets before you cut. Mist the moldy drywall and insulation with the pump sprayer to avoid spreading mold spores. Double-bag moldy material in heavy-duty plastic bags and tie them shut.
If the moisture damage has been neglected or gone unnoticed for long, you’re likely to find rot. Where possible, remove and replace soft, spongy studs and wall sheathing. Where removal is difficult, treat the affected areas with a wood preservative (available at home centers), after cleaning the wood and allowing it to dry. Then double up rotted members with pressure-treated wood.
Step 4: Cleanup and repair
Complete the initial cleanup by vacuuming up the debris. Thoroughly clean the wet/dry vac afterward by disposing of the filter and washing out the tank, hose and attachments with the bleach-and-water solution.
Set out dehumidifiers and new fans to dry the now-cleaned areas for at least three days, then check them (by sight and smell) for mold. If you discover more mold, clean again with bleach for mold remediation.
When you’re sure the mold has been eliminated, seal the wood surfaces with pigmented shellac like BIN or an oil-based primer like KILZ. Repaint cleaned wall surfaces with a regular latex paint that contains a mildewcide to help stop future mold growth. Then install new insulation and drywall and nail the trim back on. And keep in mind that if the moisture returns, mold will return.
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time to know how to get rid of mold. Here’s a list.
- 6 mil plastic garbage bags
- Heavy-duty cleaner
- Painter’s tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Shellac- or oil-based primer
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project on how to get rid of mold lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration for your mold remediation and black mold removal.
- Drywall saw
- Safety glasses
- Shop vacuum
- Utility knife