MOLD REMOVAL HOW TO METHODS TO REMOVE MOLD FOR GOOD

Mold up close and personal
Mold up close and personal

METHODS TO REMOVE MOLD FOR GOOD

Mildew and Mold removal How to remove mold for good, so spores can’t cause serious health problems. Or even death, in the case of someone suffers from mold sensitivities. Or other breathing problems. Many people are vaguely aware of the health concerns when it comes to mold but most do not know that mold can also cause serious damage to a house or building (similar to a termite infestation.) When it comes to protecting your family and your home, fighting and preventing mold should be at the top of every homeowner’s list.

Mildew vs Mold what is the difference?

Mildew is a developing stage (baby stage) of mold. It had not enough time to fully develop jet.

WHAT IS MOLD?

what is mold infographic
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The simple answer: molds are part of the fungi kingdom, similar to yeasts or mushrooms (the antibiotic Penicillin is actually a mold.)Mold is a living organism, a part of nature, and even has a beneficial function – it breaks down all of our dead organic matter. Mold reproduces by releasing tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, into the air. These spores land in moist areas and begin to grow and spread. While there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of mold, none would exist without the presence of moisture, air, and something to feed on. Since mold will always exist outdoors, it is important to control the one ingredient a homeowner doesn’t need inside the house – moisture.

Mold can grow on rotting wood, grass, weeds, and compost piles. The problem is that it can also grow where you don’t want it to – indoors. It can be found on food or clothing, in bathrooms and attics and damp basements, on carpeting, and even inside the walls of a house. Mold can feed on the wood in the wall, breaking down the materials as it spreads unseen throughout a house. As the mold digests organic material, it continues to spread to find new food sources.

HOW CAN I SPOT MOLD?

Mold infestation on walls
Mold infestation on walls

Spotting mold can be easy, if the mold colony is visible. Mold comes in a variety of colors (including white, black, green, gray, brown, and more), bunching as spots or discolorations. If the mold is not visible, someone may not recognize mold is present until it is late in the process.

People discover mold when there is physical damage to a structure or an increase in musty smells. Sometimes mold won’t be found until the occupants experience health problems. By then, it may be too late.

Here are some typical signs for mold in your wall:

•             Unexplained discoloration on a surface

•             Musty or earthy odor

•             Dark spots on or around vents

•             Water stains anywhere

•             Peeling or curling of floors or wallpaper

WHAT CAUSES MOLD TO GROW?

Causes of Mold Infograph
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Whenever a house or building has an overexposure to moisture, it is important to inspect for mold. Such moisture overexposure can come from:  

  • Floods
  • Roofs or basements that leak
  • Irrigation or fire sprinklers
  • Shower or bath water
  • Sink or sewer overflow
  • Humidifiers
  • Plumbing leaks

HOW DOES MOLD EFFECT ME?

There are two main reasons to worry about the spread of mold in a building. The most important consideration – mold can cause health problems. The second consideration – property damage. Frank Foreman, President & CEO of NO ODOR, Inc, a mold remediation company, believes mold is coming to the forefront because everyone is learning that mold damage can affect property value.

Mold effect on you infograph
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Let’s start with the health issues.

  • Molds produce allergens that can cause reactions such as sneezing, runny noses, even asthma attacks in those allergic to it. It can even cause irritation to the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes to those who are not allergic.
  • Certain molds can also release toxins (mycotoxins) that cause more serious problems. According to the Mold Help Organization, exposure to these mycotoxins could cause people “to suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more” Source: mold-help.org.

 Because many people are not as aware or concerned about the health threats of mold, it is also important to consider the damage it can cause to property. Everyone tends to pay more attention to a problem when it affects the wallet. A home or business is the largest investment most people have.

A colony or colonies of mold can cause severe devastation.

 According to the EPA website, “If you already have a mold problem – act quickly. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause”

Source: epa.gov

Mold can cause structural damage to a building, because it feeds on and breaks down the organic matter (wood, mostly) within the structure. When mold grows in the walls, on insulation, or under carpeting, these items must be removed from the building.

In addition to the damage caused to the building, mold may destroy personal items in the home. It can attach to personal property which may be very difficult or impossible to clean. Often the item will have to be destroyed because the mold cannot be completely removed.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE MOLD?

Mold remedies infographic
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BEST NATURAL MOLD REMEDIES:

Grapefruit Seed Extract to remove mold
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For the most part, since mold is everywhere, it is impossible to completely avoid all indoor molds. The key to preventing mold is to control the moisture levels indoors.

According to the EPA website  “If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.  If you only clean up the mold, but don’t fix the problem, most likely, the mold will come back” That only makes good sense.

MOLD REMOVAL HOW TO REMOVE MOLD MYSELF?

In general smaller areas, with a moldy section of 9 to 10 square feet, the home owner can clean up the mold themselves. For larger areas, we would recommend to consult and hire a professional mold removal contractor to make sure the problem is taken care of right & safely.

Either way you best read this whole post an follow any instruction.

  • Wear a respirator or a face mask rated for black mold spore protection, and
  • Cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores.
  • Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold.
  •  If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning.
Mold Remedies -  tea tree oil

HOW CAN I TEST IF THE SPOTS ARE REALLY MOLD?

Let’s say you have a small patch of black, green or gray colored spots on your wall. You can use either hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Fill some of it into an empty and rinsed out spray bottle. If you don’t have one you can use a sponge. With the bottle spray the peroxide on the mold, if using the sponge squeeze it against the wall above the colored spots so the runoff will hit it.

If the solution runs down the wall and there is no reaction, then the spots are not growths of mold (it could possibly just be dirt.) Since mold is a living organism, when sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide, there will be an oxidation process. If you hit it with peroxide the growth starts to foam up with white foam, then you know you are dealing with mold.

However, if you use spray the spots with bleach, it will wash off the mold growth problem is it does it with many types of dirt as well.

You could also spend a few dollars and purchase a mold test kit at your building supplier like Lowe’s or Home Depot

Image of box with mold amor test kit
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ARE HOME TESTING KITS FOR MOLD RELIABLE?

Testing kits like “settle plate” or “gravity sample” are not the most reliable mold testing methods.

Scientific and Government studies support the use of the type of viable mold testing kits offered by Home Mold Laboratory. And most test-kits sell for about $10,-

HOW MUCH DOES A MOLD INSPECTION COST?

How much does a mold inspection cost? Residential mold testing can range from $250 to $300 on average, while commercial mold testing can start at $500. Testing isolated areas can cost less, but most experts will likely recommend a more thorough testing.

A shot of mold under wallpaper

CAN I REMOVE THE MOLD MYSELF?

Many sources recommend using a combination of water and detergent to clean the moldy surfaces. However, I will recommend the use of products that are approved by the EPA to kill mold.

Further you will have to take care and precaution when doing the cleanup on your own.

You need to keep in mind that “Mold is a living organism and it can travel easily when disturbed. For example you may wash half of the mold off and the other half might run into hidden areas to release mold spores. After a few says they can escape to another source of moisture in the home.

Or worse, into your heat duct which can spread the mold spores throughout the whole house.

Even though I am all about DIY, this is one of the time where you just should sit it out and let a pro take care of it. However, if you insist, I urge you to really educate yourself.

You need to educate yourself anyway, even if you decided hiring a professional to remove the toxic mold.

Mold inside of walls
Here is a typical situation with mold deep in wall cavities

According to Foreman :

“The mold removal industry is completely unregulated. Without any federal, state, or local regulations that govern mold removal professionals.”

This means for the consumer, that there are no standards. And therefore, there is no way to prove if a job was done right or not.

“Only about eighty percent of all mold removal jobs are done right, which means the property owner could have a ongoing problem.”

He also recommends to shop around, to get references, and to scan the Internet to learn as much as possible about toxic mold and mold removal. Education is the key. Learn the basics so you can talk to the remediation expert and you’ll have a good idea if he or she really knows what they’re doing.

MOLD REMOVAL HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF

In general smaller areas, with a moldy section of 9 to 10 square feet, the home owner can clean up the mold themselves. For larger areas, we would recommend to consult and hire a professional mold removal contractor to make sure the problem is taken care of right & safely.

MOLD REMOVAL HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF

Either way you best read this whole post an follow any instruction.

  • Wear a respirator or a face-mask rated for black mold spore protection, and
  • Cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores.
  • Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold.

 If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning.

MOLD REMOVAL PROS GET MOLD GONE FOR GOOD

Mold removal methods vary from company to company. But the process can be complicated and expensive. For example, if a 10’ x 10’ bedroom has two walls infested with mold

  • First we would seal off that portion of the house.
  •  Next, we remove all wall boards until there are no more visible signs of mold growth.
  • Our technicians will then hand sand away the mold.
  • Followed by an application of a mold killing agent.
  • Bleach or similar will be use to wash down all remaining surface.
  • The exposed area will then be HEPA vacuumed to remove remnant spores.
  • After the area had time to dry and is tested negative for mold.
  • Now we rebuilding the walls, apply a special coat of mold inhabitant primer and finish paint the space.  

You easily can see, that the process can be time-consuming and very extensive. However, to prevent excessive destruction, some professionals use fiber optic technology to view within the walls or ceilings, looking for mold growth, before tearing down all the drywall. This however does not save many from the fact that it needs to get done. 

Spraying the mold with removal solution to wash of spores
Spraying the mold with removal solution to wash of spores

WHY DO YOU USE BLEACH DOES IT KILL BLACK MOLD?

Bleach kills mold if it comes into contact with it. The spores and allergens from mold are neutralized as well. It works well on surfaces like glass, tiles, bathtubs and counter tops. However, bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in materials like drywall and wood.

There is also a remedy if you do not like to use harsh chemicals like bleach. However I have not tested them in the field.

DOES BLEACH KILL MOLD BETTER THEN VINEGAR?

Actually both Bleach and vinegar can kill mold. However, vinegar is much more effective for removing mold from porous materials like wood. Because, bleach kills mold spores on the surface of affected materials. While Vinegar will penetrate porous materials and kill the mold at the roots.

CAN WE JUST PAINT OVER IT?

For one, mold is ugly, and a remediation can get expensive … But painting over mold is a very bad idea for many reasons. First of all paint does not kill mold. Further, it will not stop the source of the mold. Furthermore, the painting process will spread, and fuel the mold grow under the paint. And eventually you will see visible signs of mold again

Mold under painted wallpaper
Mold under painted wallpaper

SO, HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE MOLD INSIDE A WALL IS DEAD?

Well, the thing is this: Molds need water to grow. Without water, molds die. However, the spores do not. So, if water returns, the spores regenerate new growing colonies of mold. And you will know that because it will become visible again.

HOW MUCH WILL A PROFESSIONAL MOLD REMOVAL COST?

According to homeadvisor.com Bathroom Mold Mitigation Estimates.

Removing mold in your bathroom typically costs between $500 and $1,000.

If you find or suspect growth behind your vanity, sink, or tub, that budget can increase to more than $8,000.

Mold removal from a residential crawlspace costs between $500 and $4000,

The final cost of a typical mold cleanup project usually comes up to $2000 and $6000.

You better prepare yourself for:

  • $500 to remove surface mold in bathrooms
  • $4,000 to remove mold from crawlspaces or attic.
  • $2,000 to $6,000 to remove mold from ducts, crawl spaces, walls, or attics.
  • $10,000 & up to repair widespread structural damage.

Source: Jan. 28, 2020

Attic with mold infection
Mold in your attic is no fun either

IS MOLD REMOVAL COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?

Homeowners insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a “covered peril.” Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage. … Home insurance policies usually don’t cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity.

HOWEVER,

If you have had a flooding problem due to major water leak. It is important that you contact your homeowners insurance.  Many folks do not know that insurance may cover the mold removal.

But, most insurance companies are starting to put limits on mold removal coverage (sometimes keeping caps at $5000 to $10,000.) While it may sound like a lot of money, the insurance company will be giving you money to fix the damage and remove the mold. It will also take several days with professional equipment to dry out the home before you can repair any damages. Likewise you probably need a place to stay.

Kitchen Mold

The mold removal process may cost more than repairing the damage caused by the water. For example, if the roof of a house comes off during a storm and causes water damage to the house, the insurance company may give a lump sum to cover the repairs to the roof, the damage inside, and the mold problem.

By accepting their lump sum, you have to pay to replace the roof and damage from water but the money also has to cover the costs to remove the mold that may come days, weeks, or months later.

CAN I STAY IN MY HOUSE DURING THE REMOVAL?

This will depend on the amount of infestation. If only one of 2 bathrooms is effected in general yes.

When your home was flooded definitely not. I don’t think you really would want to either.

Keep it Safe, Don’t stay in a mold or mildew infested home. … Mold can cause serious health problems, as well as structural damage to a home.  

HOW CAN I PREVENT MOLD FROM COMING BACK?

Once you have removed the entire mold infestation from your property, it is still important to control moisture levels in the structure.

Mold Prevention Infograph
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  • If there is any kind of flooding, it is imperative you remove the water within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Whenever possible, move wet items to a dry, well-ventilated place or outside to speed up the drying process. Remove all drywall up to the height of the water level.
  • Remove carpeting as soon as possible. 
  •  Keep the indoor humidity low. If possible, keep below 60 percent relative humidity.
  • If condensation or moisture collects on windows, walls or water pipes, dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
  • Keep gutters clean and make sure water drains away from the building to prevent it from collecting around the foundation.
  • Run or install venting fans in high moisture areas, like the bathroom.
  • Run a dehumidifier in moist areas, such as a basement or bathroom.
  • Ventilating areas can help reduce moisture, as well as keeping the temperature up or the air conditioner on. However, aim the air conditioning vents away from the condensing surfaces to prevent cold spots where moisture condensation can occur.
  • Adding thermal insulation to walls, ceilings, and pipes can help, too (in fact, rust spots on any water pipes could be an indication there is too much moisture in a room. Adding insulation to the pipes is a good idea.)

AT LAST HERE ARE SIX QUICK TIPS TO PREVENT MOLD FROM STARTING TO GROW IN YOUR HOME

  • And how to keep moisture from becoming a breeding ground in your home for molds.
  • Ensure that bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-creating sources are vented to the outside
  • Take care not to block any of your house’s air conditioning vents
  • Install de-humidifiers in basements and crawlspaces.
  • Use your kitchen’s exhaust fans when cooking
  • Install insulation on cold surfaces like piping, air ducts or basement walls to lessen possibilities of condensation
  • Install moisture sensor alarms in potential water back-up and overflow areas to alert you when a leak occurs.

GOT YOUR ATTENTION?

GOOD, there is one more thing I want to share with you. See the thing is this… Since your home was infested with mold spores, there is a good chance they gotten into anything else around.

For example, they could now be in some fabrics like your towels, clothes and such.

Therefore, I added the following Infograph as well.

It will tell you what household cleaner to use. And how to remove the mold from various materials like curtains, leather shoes, clothes and so on.

Infograph It will tell you what household cleaner to use. And how to remove the mold from various materials like curtains, leather shoes, clothes and so on.

CONCLUSION

Mold can be a very serious problem in homes and businesses and it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. The consequences to health and property can be severe. While remediation of mold can be expensive, the damage mold can cause could be even worse.

Frank Foreman & I have seen cases where it is actually cheaper for the homeowner to knock down and rebuild an entire house rather than remove the existing mold infestation.

Do your homework and hire a professional to handle even moderate mold problems as soon as possible. If one is not sure where to look for a mold removal and remediation specialist, we can help everyone to find a local professional.

You could also rely on your insurance since they likely worked with some of them. At top-home-design.com they have a network of pre-screened professionals for about any aspect of your home. Including some mold removal companies. And the consumer can register any mold problem for free.

Find a local mold removal specialist today.

Whenever a home or business owner believes there are signs of mold growth within their property, he or she should contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid future problems or costs. Attack those “Killer Mold Spores” before your own personal home invasion gets any worse.

Hope this answered all your questions about mold and its removal. If however you still have questions you can hit some of my sources up and start your search from there.

Or you could just simply send me your question or comment in the box below.

As always, thanks for reading & sharing… JK 🙂