The Best Way To Get Rid Of Black Mold
You invite your friends to your house, your friends come over and after the usual greet one says she gets an odd smell.
Another friend chimes in and says yes, it’s kind of damp in here… All the while they are trying to clue you, instead of directly telling it on your face.
Well, the know-them-all jumps in and says, “I know what that is… it’s the smell of mold”.
Now, you put the dots together. You realize how your kid started coughing lately and your wife started having headaches and allergies more than usual.
You brush the topic off, just not to be embarrassed, and once they leave, you start opening your cabinets in the kitchen.
“Damn right”, you nod, as you see black mold under the kitchen sink. You know the leak that caused this. Now you start to wonder, if water had gone under your kitchen floors and behind the drywall what would be the extent of infestation of the mold in the house.
Questions start hitting you like a ton of bricks. How do I get rid of mold in my house? Where do I begin? How do I protect myself?
You put a stop to your train of thoughts to ask, “Well, what is mold”?
Glad you asked, I am here to help.
This article is going to break everything down, so you can handle this monster easily and effectively.
A little background about mold
Molds are multicellular filaments called hyphae, and are life threatening if exposed to them continuously for an extended period.
Well, that is for the science majors. In plain English, it is a notorious biological stuff that grows when the opportunity is right.
It grows in wet, humid areas and you can find molds commonly on walls, specifically on the walls of the bathroom and in basements. Since it is a hazardous growth, it is better to remove it the moment you spot it, although it might be just minimal in numbers.
Your lingering issue of how to get rid of black molds from the house can effectively be tackled by many chemical products available in the market. But polluting your house with a few more toxic substances does not make much sense, does it?
In this article, we are going to provide you information on how to get rid of black molds without causing any further damage to your house or your health.
Health effects due to black molds
As already stated above, black mold is clearly not good for your body. When exposed to black mold, people can go through various symptoms like:
- Coughing, often chronic in nature
- Irritation of eyes
The symptoms can get worse if your exposure to black mold is for a prolonged period. Some of those symptoms would be:
- Bleeding in lungs, etc.
- Some studies have also linked black molds to be a reason for triggering depression.
Black mold is something that you just can’t ignore because the more you are exposed to it, the worse would be the situation. It’s better to remove it during the initial stage as it will require less effort and cost.
Removing the black mold from your house
Mold is a sort of fungus that tends to grow in strands and form mold spores that are not visible to naked human eyes.
Black molds are toxic in nature, and they need to be removed as quickly as possible. If left unchecked, it can lead to a series of respiratory problems.
It is especially dangerous to the immune system of babies, old people, and pets residing in the home. Some of the cleaning materials in use for removing molds can be toxic as well, so you must choose one with care.
Also, proper care should be taken to protect one’s hand and eyes while removing the black mold.
The primary reason for the presence and growth of black mold is moisture, and it can be due to two reasons:
- If the cause of the moisture is the air, then the problem can be solved by removing the moisture infused air. It can be done with the help of an electric dehumidifier, extractor fan and by keeping the area ventilated properly.
- However, if the moisture is creeping through ceiling or walls, it’s not that simple to remove. You may need to employ more extensive steps to bring it under control. One can also call a professional company to do the job for you, but it will be expensive to get the job completely done.
Also, we need to make sure that the area is completely free of mold, else there will be a risk of them multiplying again.
How to remove black mold from your house?
Removing black mold is a step by step process. The process also requires your patience, time and money.
We have brought here a process which is simplified, yet detailed enough. The remaining of this article will help you to learn how to remove black mold from your house.
Step 1 – Protective Gears:
Wear your protective gears. One must remember to wear protective gears such as gloves and a dust mask while removing black mold as it is toxic, and when you disturb the mold spores, it releases harmful molds in the environment, which can trigger allergy or asthma attack if you are an asthmatic.
Also, one must ensure the air conditioner and furnace of the place have been switched off before starting the process, and after completion of the cleaning process the mask and gloves have been disposed in a plastic bag.
Step 2 – Prepare the Area:
Prepare the area that you are going to clean. For this, you need to use a plastic sheet or a duct tape and make sure that all the vents are closed properly so that there is no inward or outward air flow. Molds can be easily carried away from one place to another and can settle on your pets or your carpets. To avoid that, you can cover the cleaning area with a plastic sheet.
Step 3 – Cleaning solution:
I debated on providing a list here. Finally, I ended up providing some options, which might or might not be very effective, but it’s at least going to make the least harm.
You should seek a trained, knowledgeable professional to remediate.
However, if you notice mold in just one corner of the bathroom shower and you feel that you can manage it yourself, then one of this might help.
In any case, don’t take black molds lightly. There are several strands of mold and many of them are dangerous. You may not know, what you are dealing with. Better be safe than sorry.
This is a friendly word of caution -and a disclaimer of sorts-. Since I got that out of the way, here are your options.
Choose a cleaning solution. Usually, people use home detergents to clean the black mold infected area.
Then there is the infamous Bleach.
Stop! I really want to hammer this. These are not going to work, and if they did, the effect is temporary at best.
I want to get this myth busted. Bleach, for one, is a bad idea. It doesn’t kill, or at least doesn’t provide the permanent solution that we are drumming here.
To worsen the issue, it removes the black stain to some extent. It is somewhat of an aesthetic solution. What a bad combination – you know the problem is lingering but you can’t see it.
Bleach is roughly 90% water. Did I mention water is the best breeding ground for mold? You basically give it more room to grow, and worsen the problem instead of fixing it.
So seriously… Stop using bleach to clean mold!
If there is anything you get from this post, this should be it. Don’t use bleach, find another solution to treat the problem.
However, you can use some other natural stuff as well, such as:
- Tea tree oil: All you have to do is buy tea tree oil and mix 1 tablespoon of it with 1 cup water. Put it in a bottle with a nozzle and then spray the same on the infected area. You do not have to rinse the area after spraying the mixture. It is best to remove mold on walls and basements.
While some claim that Tea tree oil is effective, I have enough suspicion. As a professional mold remediation and biohazard company, my techs don’t deal with home remedies.
I have noticed that this is not effective and in some situations tea tree oil makes it worse on the mold residue. It becomes hard to clean after the oil application.
Since this is a natural product, it doesn’t cause any harm to the environment, which is something to consider.
- Borax: Commonly known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, this can be used to remove black mold in the bathroom, especially when the mold is on surfaces such as bathroom tiles and ceilings. It is not much effective to use in areas that have rugs and carpets.
Borox is a salt of boric acid, a natural mineral, and has some anti-fungal properties, which is why it made it to the list.
Concoction is simple to make. Mix one gallon of hot water with one cup borax and use it in a nozzle bottle to make the spraying easier.
Just wait for a few minutes after spraying the mixture on the infected area. You can use a brush or scrub to wipe out the black mold.
Bear in mind to just clean the area and not rinse it with water. You will find it easy to remove black molds in the shower.
- Ammonia: It is a bleaching agent, and like all other bleaching agents, it is harsh and can cause color fading. You need to mix 50% of water with 50% of ammonia, which is categorized as safe to use.
Do not use bleach ammonia as the end result of that can be quite harsh and toxic. Mix the solution and pour it into a spray bottle. Sprinkle the mixture over the affected area and then leave it for around 2 hours before you clean the area.
- Grapefruit seed extract: A natural seed extract makes it a good option for mold remediation.
If you think you are getting a completely natural product, I must forewarn you.
You will be surprised to know the ingredients of a real pure grapefruit seed extract. It is 60% diphenol hydroxybenzene. Yes, you read it right, more than half of the contents of what you buy has a chemical – a synthetic preservative agent.
It definitely has some antifungal properties, but now that you know the ingredients of GSE, you should definitely question the source of its antimicrobial properties.
According to emphasis mine, “…antimicrobial activity being attributed to grapefruit seed extract is merely due to the synthetic preservative agents contained within”
I am not totally convinced but we have seen people using it for small mold infestation and for whatever reason it works albeit to some extent.
Mix 2 cups of water with 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract(GSE). Use a spray bottle for applying the mixture to the affected area. Wipe the area with a clean cloth. Make sure that you do not rinse the area with water.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is effective, but you have to be careful while handling the solution. Higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide is harmful and can corrode the tiles as well as the human skin.
However, diluted hydrogen peroxide is pretty safe to use. Hydrogen peroxide is also a bleaching agent, and when used on carpet or rugs, it can make their color to fade.
To use hydrogen peroxide, pour it in a bottle and spray it on the affected area. Leave the same for 10 to 20 minutes to settle and then rinse the area thoroughly. It is ideal to remove mold in the basement, and on porous surfaces. Use caution while using on certain types of carpet and other fixtures, especially the mixture with high concentration.
Best to use when you find mold on clothes. Makes white clothes whiter and color clothes brighter. Kills mold, bleaches and brings life back to your dull wardrobe. Just check for colorfastness on clothes though.
- Vinegar: We have heard this one several times. In fact, we prefer this over other methods for home remedies.
A good majority of mold species, I mean more than 80%, can be effectively killed with vinegar.
Vinegar, as we all know, is acidic and a very few species of fungus can grow in acidic medium. So, in my opinion, this is a very safe option compared to others – more dependable one indeed.
Pour distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray directly on mold infested areas, and let it soak for at least 45 minutes. The idea is to soak this bad boy into the monster, so it has no chance of surviving.
If it’s too small an area that you are cleaning, you can rinse the area with warm water and get done with it.
If there is a need for scrubbing, you might want to neutralize it.
Well, if you said baking soda, you just earned some brownie points. Make a solution by adding 2 cups of water to half a tablespoon of baking soda, and mix it thoroughly.
Now it’s your workout time. Spray the baking soda solution and scrub vigorously till you sweat…just kidding! Scrub till it gets cleaned and you can see the surface fine, with no mold residue. Repeat the vinegar and baking soda solution treatment again if you see a need.
You are thinking about the strong smell of vinegar, right? Don’t worry, just ventilate the area and let the smell go off naturally.
There you have it. It’s simple, natural, harmless and for the most part, you don’t have to open your wallet at all, if you have the supplies at home.
- Ideal Solution: That’s it for now on the cleaning agents. If we find any other interesting cleaning agent, we will try to update this page.
Like I mentioned earlier, don’t risk with mold; call a professional, when in doubt. However, for small areas that fit the DIY scale, you can use vinegar or peroxide solutions to treat the area. Both are good at killing mold in porous and non-porous surfaces.
I don’t want you to call us for small jobs that you can tackle easily. If there is a DIY solution, and an easy one that doesn’t need professional help, I would be the first to tell you that. It’s just good business ethics.
Prevention of mold
What is the next step to do after having cleaned the black mold? Obviously, the next step will be to make sure that the black mold doesn’t come back ever again. What is the use of spending so much time and effort for the removal of these molds if they appear again after a few months? That is why you have to make sure that this is the end of it. For this, you need to follow the below-mentioned precautions:
- The first and foremost thing is to purchase an air purifier for your home. An air purifier not only increases the quality of air that you are breathing, but also helps in containing the black molds. It might be a little expensive for you, but in the long run, it is just the right type of investment that you need. Since we are living in a highly polluted environment, it is very important that at least our house is free of such. So, it is a must to have an air purifier at home.
- If you find any leaks in your house, then mend it immediately. As moisture is the main reason that lets the mold grow in the leaky surface, you should never procrastinate the decision to find a suitable solution for it. If you let it unattended, then there is every chance for mold to grow at an alarming scale. Hence, if you find any leaks anywhere in your house, you need to fix it as soon as possible.
- Another option is to purchase a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will control the level of moisture and in turn prevent the formation of black mold in your house.
- Make sure that your house has proper ventilation. It is one of the main and inexpensive approach to prevent mold in your house. By using the exhaustion fan or opening the doors and windows of your rooms frequently, you can rest assured that the mold spores wouldn’t form in those areas.
What about black molds that grow in your wooden furniture?
Don’t be surprised if you happen to see mold grow on furniture and insulation. A mold can grow anywhere as long as it has a conducive atmosphere. If you see it growing inside the cavity of the wooden door or any of the furniture, you can replace that part with a new one.
The hard surface can be cleaned with the help of a bleach solution. Again, use caution with bleach as we have already identified it to be the worst option. However, it can be used to clean the area and remove stain.
The time taken to remove a mold depends upon various factors like the area where the mold is present, the level of your expertise, size of the mold, etc. Usually, it takes 1 to 5 days to annihilate black mold if the affected area is a large building.
The affected furniture can be cleaned with a detergent and sun dried for a few hours for the complete removal of mold.
We will again repeat the precautions required to take while you are cleaning the mold.
Mold toxins, if not cleaned properly, can linger on your clothes for an indefinite period and you will feel its effects later on when your health gets worse. Some of the major symptoms that can occur due to continuous exposure to black mold toxins would be memory loss, nausea, frequent change in blood pressure, red eyes, damage to your digestive system, etc.
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If you are suffering from any of the above problems, make sure that you visit your doctor immediately.
Wrapping it up
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Black mold is a dirty stuff, and it’s dangerous as it can cause permanent lung damage. It not only looks ugly and discolors your wall, but the slimy musty thing can also cause various health problems as well apart from lung damage.
If your home has black mold infection and you are wondering how to remove the black mold from your house, this article shall help you to get rid of it. Nobody wants their family member sick.
What is important is to prevent the attack of black mold, eliminate them before the situation goes out of hand and stop them recurring. It would be difficult for you to address the issue if the infected area is too big. Therefore, we suggest you take a professional help, as they are knowledgeable, trained, and well equipped to handle any type of mold of any magnitude.
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