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Make Mold Disappear for Good

March 5, 2024

Make Mold Disappear for Good

Mold can be a frustrating problem in any home. As a homeowner, I’ve dealt with mold several times over the years. Through trial and error, I’ve learned the best ways to tackle mold and prevent it from coming back.

What Causes Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp environments. Moisture is the main factor that allows mold to thrive. Common causes of excess moisture that can lead to mold include:

  • Leaks – Roofs, windows, pipes, and foundations that leak introduce moisture into the home. Fixing leaks is crucial for mold prevention.
  • Flooding – Major flooding from weather events or plumbing failures can saturate building materials and spur mold growth.
  • Humidity – Mold flourishes when indoor humidity levels are consistently above 50%. Bathrooms, basements and other humid areas of the house are prone to mold.
  • Condensation – When warm, moist air meets cold surfaces, condensation occurs. This moisture accumulation on walls, windows and other surfaces feeds mold growth.

Understanding the root causes of moisture buildup is the first step toward mold control. Eliminating excess moisture deprives mold of its necessities for survival.

How to Remove Existing Mold

When you discover mold, taking quick action is important to remove the fungal growth and correct moisture issues before the problem worsens. Here are the basic steps I follow to eliminate existing mold:

Step 1: Identify and Assess the Affected Area

  • Carefully check all areas of the home for signs of mold. Look for visible growth, unusual odors and moisture damage.
  • Determine the extent of the mold growth. Small areas under 10 square feet may be DIY projects, while larger infestations should be handled by professionals.

Step 2: Fix any Moisture Issues

  • Find and repair all leaks or sources of moisture allowing the mold to thrive.
  • Consider hiring contractors to help resolve major leaks or flooding.
  • Improve ventilation in humid areas.
  • Install dehumidifiers to regulate indoor humidity.

Step 3: Protect Yourself and Contain the Mold

  • Wear proper safety gear like gloves, goggles and a respirator mask when working with mold.
  • Seal off moldy rooms from the rest of the home using plastic sheeting over doorways.
  • Open windows and use fans or dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air.

Step 4: Remove Moldy Materials

  • Clean non-porous surfaces like glass, metal and tiles using detergent and water.
  • Porous materials like drywall, carpeting and wood that are extensively moldy typically need replacement.
  • Bag and dispose of all moldy items in sealed containers.

Step 5: Clean the Area Thoroughly

  • Scrub all affected surfaces with a non-ammonia detergent or mold killing solution. White vinegar also kills mold effectively.
  • Allow all cleaned surfaces to fully dry to prevent mold from recurring.
  • HEPA vacuum carpets and furniture to capture lingering mold spores.

Following these key steps carefully removes existing mold growth and sets up conditions to keep it from returning. Consult a mold remediation specialist for any areas with mold covering over 10 square feet.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

Eliminating excess moisture is the #1 priority for mold prevention. Here are some tips I use to keep moisture under control and prevent mold growth long-term:

  • Regularly inspect the home for leaks and immediately repair any water damage. Look for discoloration or bubbling paint as signs of hidden moisture.

  • Run bath fans for at least 30 minutes after showering or bathing. Vent fans to the outside, not just into attics or wall cavities.

  • Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking and doing laundry to vent out humid air.

  • Make sure dirt doesn’t pile up against the foundation, which can introduce moisture into the home. Slope soil away from the house.

  • Clean and repair gutters regularly to prevent overflow and moisture seeping into walls or foundations.

  • Maintain humidity levels under 50% using dehumidifiers and air conditioning. Run A/C during summers even when not home.

  • Allow airflow behind furniture and curtains. Move large objects like beds and dressers 1-2 inches from walls.

  • Quickly dry out any water from flooding or leaks. Use fans, dehumidifiers and open windows. Pull up wet carpets and padding.

  • Avoid overwatering indoor plants. Check that plant pots have drainage holes.

With diligent moisture control and prompt response to any mold growth, you can successfully make mold disappear for good. Maintaining a dry, well-ventilated home is the best defense.

When to Call in a Professional

For small areas of mold under 10 square feet, DIY removal is often successful. However, in moderate to severe cases, call in a mold remediation pro:

  • If mold growth covers over 10 square feet.

  • If you have an extensive water leak or flooding.

  • If mold is inside HVAC units, crawlspaces or walls. Remediation requires contained work areas and special equipment.

  • If health issues like allergies or asthma worsen after exposure to mold. Sensitive individuals may need specialized cleaning protocols.

  • If DIY efforts fail to successfully remove the mold long-term. Recurring mold suggests an underlying moisture issue that requires expert investigation.

Though mold removal costs can be high depending on the size of the affected area, professionals have the expertise to fix problems and prevent future mold growth. For extensive mold infestations, the investment is worthwhile.

Here are signs it’s definitely time to bring in specialty mold contractors:

  • Mold covering over 100 square feet.

  • Evidence of black mold varieties like stachybotrys, which can be quite toxic.

  • Major visible mold growth on multiple surfaces and building materials.

  • Disturbing moldy materials causes spore clouds that can spread the mold.

Don’t take chances with large-scale mold problems. Hire certified specialists to contain the outbreak, protect your family’s health, thoroughly clean all mold root sources and implement moisture control. Though challenging, even extensive mold can successfully disappear for good with the right professional help.

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