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.