How to Clean and Remove Black Mold

How to Clean and Remove Black Mold

Wet areas in our homes, like bathrooms and kitchens, are ideal spots for mold to grow. Black mold is especially troublesome when it thrives where we live. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also cause health issues. Here are some proven ways to attack black mold and win the battle.

Common Household Molds

There are three common types of mold found in our homes that can have health effects.

Allergenic molds are the kinds that kick up allergies. Signs of a mold allergy include itching in the nose, eyes or throat; stuffy nose, sneezing and coughing. These molds can be safely removed with disinfecting products.

A pathogenic mold is one that can cause an infection in humans, even if they are healthy. This type of mold can reproduce and colonize inside the human body. It can be controlled with disinfectants, but large colonies in the home require professional treatment.

Toxic molds produce mycotoxins known to harm humans. Prolonged exposure to high levels can lead to neurological problems and possibly death. These molds require professional treatment and affected items must be removed. Toxic black mold can be dangerous when it’s inhaled or ingested, possibly resulting in serious respiratory problems.

What is Black Mold

Black mold looks like black stains or dots growing in irregular circular patterns. It’s most often found in homes that have been exposed to excessive amounts of water and humidity. Toxic black mold, also known as stachybotrys chartarum, can also have a grayish, soot-like texture, or a slimy, wet surface. Sometimes, it has a greenish-black hue.

Skilled DIYers can remove small patches themselves, but the job is best left to the pros. The EPA recommends mold colonies that cover more than 10 square feet be professionally removed.

Black Mold Removal

If you spot black mold, clean it up immediately. If it’s left to sit on a surface, small colonies will grow larger in just a few days. Areas prone to high humidity should be checked weekly for signs of mold growth.

So, how do you get rid of black mold? Before you start cleaning, open doors and windows to ensure adequate ventilation. Next, put on rubber gloves, eye protection and old clothes that can be tossed. Make sure you wear a face mask too. You will also want a spray bottle for the cleaning solution. 

Black Mold Cleaning Solutions

The first step you should take to remove mold is to scrub the affected area with soap and water. It may be all you need to remove surface mold. If the problem is more extensive, here are some other cleaning solutions you can try.

A diluted bleach solution. This works to remove mold growing on white surfaces and non-porous ones, such as countertops and tiles. If the mold doesn’t come off right away, let the solution soak in for at least 15 minutes, then wipe it off.

White vinegar. This is best to use when mold has seeped into a surface. Vinegar will penetrate and kill the mold and mildew at the root.

Natural cleaners. There are natural cleaners  in your pantry you can use to kill mold. Baking soda has successfully removed black mold from grout between tiles. Tree tea oil, a natural fungicide, can also do the trick. Just mix a teaspoon of it with one cup of water. Hydrogen peroxide has antifungal and antibacterial properties that remove mold and keep it from coming back.

Let Us Clean Up the Mess

If you have a mold problem,  Flood Department is here to help. We provide repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke and more. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, call us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.


Does Mold Live in Your Home? Here’s How to Send it Packing

how to get rid of mold in your home

Are you suffering from chronic allergy symptoms, respiratory issues, or headaches in your own home?  You could be feeling the effects of exposure to mold spores. Household mold can grow in carpeting, insulation, ceiling tiles, walls and furniture.  If mold has invaded your dwelling, get rid of it now to keep health problems at bay.

How Mold Gets In Your Home

Mold can sneak into your home through open windows, doorways, vents and heating and air conditioning systems.  It can also cling to clothing, shoes and pets and be brought indoors.

Household mold can also grow in building materials. These include paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood.  Paints, dust, wallpaper, carpet and fabric can also fuel mold growth.

How Mold Makes Some People Sick

Exposure to mold can  result in upper respiratory tract issues, allergy symptoms, wheezing, and coughing in otherwise healthy individuals.  People who are allergic to mold can suffer from severe asthma or breathing problems.

What Causes Mold

Mold only needs a damp, moist environment and organic material to grow and thrive. It commonly occurs around leaks in roofs, pipes, windows, or where flooding has occurred. Mold can also be triggered by overflowing washing machines.

Common Types of Household Mold

Aspergillus is found in the air and in HVAC systems, often in water-damaged buildings.  It can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory irritation, lung infections and asthma. People with compromised immune systems can suffer from deadly infections.

Cladosporium is very difficult to find. It thrives in warm weather and can spread very fast.   It is often found on carpets, wallpaper, window sills, fabrics, walls and on HVAC vent covers and grills.  It may appear as brown, green or black spots.

Black mold, which can be toxic to some people,  is often connected to poor indoor air quality.  It can pop up in your home or in ventilation systems.  This mold can cause chronic allergy symptoms, rashes, chronic fatigue and headaches.

Alternaria is found in bathrooms and damp windows. When this organism gets indoors, it can cause allergic reactions and trigger hay fever and asthma.  It can also infect people with compromised immune systems.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

The best way to keep indoor mold in check is to control moisture. Keep humidity levels in your home between 30% and 50%.   Fix leaky roofs, windows and pipes immediately.  Make sure air is able to flow freely in your home. Ventilate shower, laundry and cooking areas. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to help lower humidity levels. Don’t put carpet in bathrooms and basements where moisture can occur.

Cleaning Up the Mold

If you see or smell mold in your home, it is time to take action.  Remove moldy items from living areas and replace soaking wet carpets and upholstery.  Use soap and water, commercial products or 8-ounces of bleach mixed into one gallon of water, to remove mold from hard surfaces.  Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Open windows to get fresh air in, and wear gloves and protective eyewear while cleaning.  If there is a lot of mold to clean-up, contact a professional for help.

Do You Have Mold in Your Home?

When it comes to mold removal, flood clean-up, water damage and more, Flood Department is here to help. We serve homeowners and businesses in  Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage caused by water, mold, sewage, smoke and other disasters.  Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online for more information.