If you’ve ever pulled back a baseboard to find those hair-raising black spots, you know how stress-inducing a mold infestation can be for a homeowner. Mold can grow on many surfaces, including walls, tiles, ceilings, and anywhere regularly exposed to moisture.
When you notice any sign of mold, it’s essential to address it immediately, as left untreated, it can spread and cause irreparable damage and contribute to health conditions such as respiratory illness and allergies. If you’re looking down the barrel of a model remediation project, your first decision is whether to go at it yourself or hire a professional.
Because of the equipment needed to remove mold safely, you should only consider DIY removal if you’re dealing with a minimal infested area. In that case, the following options are effective, depending on the severity of the mold: hydrogen peroxide, detergent, vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil.
For mold-affected areas larger than ten square feet, you’ll want to hire professionals. Reputable service providers like ECS Crime & Trauma Scene Cleanup will have all of the necessary safety and fumigation equipment to wipe your mold infestation off the face of the earth.
That decided, you’re probably curious about what’s in store for your house going forward. Here are the five steps necessary to any successful mold removal project.
Prepare the area
Before you begin, take precautions to remove any affected clothing or items from the infested area. You’ll want to disinfect these or, if they’re beyond saving, discard them. Wear old clothing and a mask to minimize the impact of the mold spores. Make sure you shut off any HVAC equipment before cleaning. You also want to ensure that you find out what caused the mold and seal your home against moisture.
Ventilate the area
Use a fan for air circulation and point it in the direction of any window or vents in the room. If there is an exhaust fan, make sure it’s on during the preparation and cleaning process. If you discard any items, spray them with a water bottle, then wrap and seal them tightly in plastic to prevent the spread of spores elsewhere in your home.
Apply the treatment
If the mold spreads over a wall or tiled surface, you can spray this area with the cleaning product of your choice or a store-bought mold remover. Before rinsing it down with warm water, you can leave vinegar and baking soda on the surface for up to one hour. Discard any sponges or rags used to clean these areas once you finish. Depending on the severity of your mold problem, professional cleaners may use fumigation to deal with it.
Removal of affected areas
Moderate to severely affected areas may require removing all or part of the wall or other parts of a room. This removal requires caution, as there may be electrical wiring and other hazardous areas to avoid. This additional hazard is why it’s a good idea to hire professionals to deal with larger mold infestations. Once you cut out the affected drywall and other areas, immediately move them into a large garbage bag and seal thoroughly. Clean any mold residue to prevent the spread of spores.
Clean and ventilate
Once you’ve successfully removed the mold-affected areas, clean the entire room or space thoroughly. Seal the room off with plastic wrap and electrical tape and run the exhaust fan to ventilate for several hours or a day. Discard all the mold-infected items quickly and monitor the area closely to ensure there is no return of mold.
If you have to remove walls, you’ll need to arrange for renovations and avoid using the area in the meantime.
If you’re dealing with mold mayhem, it can be tempting to take matters into your own hands. However, for larger infestations, you really can’t go wrong with hiring a professional cleaning service. When you hire experts, you can rest assured that your home will be back to its smiley, mold-free self in no time.