Preventing Mold in My Bathroom

Preventing Mold in My Bathroom

If you’ve never experienced bathroom mold, perhaps you aren’t looking deep enough into the corners of your bathroom. It’s one of the most common problems in any house; it’s also one of the easiest to prevent and cure — as long as you haven’t let it get out of hand.

Common Causes of Bathroom Mold

  • Lingering moisture caused by lack of ventilation
  • Leaky toilets, sinks, and plumbing pipes
  • Damp cellulose materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, grout, drywall, and fabric
  • So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Matt Cinelli, owner/operator of AERC Removals in North Attleboro, Mass., says, “If you can see it or smell it, you’ve got it.”

Finding the Mold in Your Bathroom

Bathroom mold isn’t always obvious. Check out hidden areas, such as under sinks, access doors to shower and bath fixtures, around exhaust fans, even in crawl spaces and basements underneath bathrooms.

“It could be starting in the bathroom but actually forming in another room,” says Cinelli, adding that lack of proper ventilation is the biggest culprit for mold growth.

Preventing Mold

The best defense is preventing mold from occurring in the first place. Yashira Feliciano, director of housekeeping for Conrad Conado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers the following tips for keeping mold out of your bathroom:

  • Use your bathroom ventilation fan when you shower or bathe, and leave it on for 30 minutes following the end of your bath; if you don’t have an exhaust fan, install one.
  • Keep household humidity levels below 50%; an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help.
  • Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and wash or replace it frequently.
  • Don’t keep bottles of shampoo or shower gel, toys, or loofahs in the shower, as they provide places for mold to grow and hide.
  • Wash your bathroom rugs frequently.

Getting Rid of Mold

What do you do if mold growth is already a problem? As long as the infestation isn’t large, you can take remedial measures yourself:

  • Strip away and replace any caulking or sealant that has mold growth.
  • Clean your bathroom with mold-killing products, such as bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Just don’t mix those products; mixing can cause toxic reactions.
  • Open windows and doors while cleaning to provide fresh air and help dry out the mold.

If you have a problem area bigger than 10 square feet, refer to guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or call in a professional.

“When you see it creeping into walls and insulation, you need a professional,” says Cinelli, who notes that tearing out walls (which may be necessary for a big problem) can release mold spores into the rest of the house and create an even bigger issue.

“The idea is to kill it and then remove it,” he says. “And the most important thing is to figure out why you have it before you clean it up.”

fire damage restoration process

Fire Damage Restoration Steps for Restoring the Property

You should never try to remediate your property on your own after a fire. A fire damage restoration professional has the experience needed to observe the proper fire restoration process to make your home safe again.

There are certain processes professionals use when rebuilding a house after a fire and repairing fire damage, and as a homeowner, knowing what these processes look like is helpful.

1. CONFIRM THE PROPERTY IS STABILIZED AND IS SAFE TO ENTER

The first step of a remediation professional is to confirm that the property is safe to enter. They’ll check for signs of structural damage that compromises the home and carefully inspect the property from the outside before opening the door.

If you are concerned, you should wait for an inspector to deem the property safe before you enter.

2. MINIMIZE DAMAGE

Smoke and soot can cause damage even after the fire has been extinguished. You and the professionals working in your home should be cautious of soot staining, mold and mildew, rust and corrosion and the air quality in the home.

Soot staining occurs when the soot in the air adheres to surfaces and causes discoloration.  Depending on the surface material and the time elapsed, the soot staining may still be completely removable. In other cases, it will leave behind a permanent discoloration. Some sensitive materials include metals, plastics, grout, carpeting, textiles and wood.

Professionals will look at these materials in the home and properly clean them to reduce damage.

Mold and mildew become a problem after a wildfire because of the fire extinguishing process. Mold and mildew can form quickly, so you should look for any signs of water damage even if you don’t see mold or mildew present yet. If water damage is suspected, the proper restoration and mold and mildew removal processes should begin as soon as possible to minimize further damage.

Rust and corrosion is a risk for any metals that become oxidized. Water interacting with metal can cause the metal to corrode or rust. This is true for any metal, but it’s especially important to be aware of for small electronics that contain metal. If the components and conductors in the electronics corrode, the item is often irreparable, and the risk of electrical shock is increased.

Air quality is a major concern after a fire and should be one of the areas a professional should focus on if you detect any lingering odors. Cleaning up smoke damage begins by using air scrubber and air mover to clean the air. Smoke-damage cleaning products should be used on any surfaces that have absorbed the smoke. If there is any smoke-damaged furniture that might be saved or you hope to save, professionals should begin the smoke-damage restoration process on them immediately to increase the chance for a complete restoration.

3. REMOVE SOOT AND DEBRIS

Before any water damage or fire damage restoration processes can begin, all debris and soot must be removed from the home. The soot can cause more damage the longer it remains on a surface, while the debris is only going to get in the way the restoration process.

Removing the soot and debris will also help improve air quality and reduce airborne odors. A vacuum can help remove some of the remaining soot — it can be swept up or wiped down.

4. REMOVE PERSONAL POSSESSIONS TOO DAMAGED TO RESTORE

Any items that are too damaged to repair should be removed from the home. Take extra caution in

touching electrical machines or appliances because they can store electricity even after they’re unplugged.

It may be necessary to remove items that don’t appear to be damaged by the fire from the home as well. This will prevent the items from being contaminated any further. A professional can clean these items and prepare them for re-entry once the home is restored.

5. ELIMINATE EXCESS WATER AND DRY WET SURFACES

Professionals should clean up any standing water as soon as possible before running other water restoration equipment. Since water can soak into walls, flooring, and even subflooring, they will need air movers and commercial dehumidifiers to dry everything out properly.

6. BEGIN DEODORIZING, DEEP CLEANING AND REMOVING STAINS

It’s important to consider what items should be deep cleaned and restored and what items are too damaged and should be replaced instead. Professionals may use specific cleaning products depending on the product being cleaned or deodorized. They’ll consider the type of material and how much mold, mildew or smoke has penetrated the surface when determining which cleaning product to use. They should consult you to determine any priority items.

Carpets, curtains and other fabrics usually need special attention because they are easily ruined. In some cases, carpets can be shampooed and restored, while fabrics can be washed or cleaned. You should be able to tell if an item is far too damaged with a quick inspection.

Throughout the process, you should be updated by the professionals as they determine what is salvageable.

water loss

Steps to Take to Help Mitigate Your Water Loss

Did you know that water damage is one of the most commonly cited claims on home insurance? This should not come as a total surprise considering the many possible causes of water damage – heavy rain, bursting of pipes, and the bathtub accidentally overflowing. After making sure that you and those you live with are safely out of harm’s way, here are five important steps you should take if you experience water damage in your home.

Shut off the water until the broken appliance, pipe, toilet supply line, etc. (source of the water leak) has been repaired.
Contact a water extraction vendor. Water extraction vendors are appropriately equipped to handle any size water loss. Involving a water extraction vendor early on, following the initial incident, oftentimes lessens the amount of damage that may have resulted, including proper protocols to prevent or minimize mold growth.
Contact your Claims Advocate to report a claim. Your claims advocate will contact the insurance company on your behalf to file the claim. They will monitor the claim from opening until the conclusion. If at any point throughout the claim you have questions or concerns, you may wish to contact your claims advocate to assist you. At Gulfshore Insurance, we understand a claim can be both a financial and emotional burden, and we are here to help!
Document your damage. Take photos of damaged areas of your home, inclusive of your contents. Keep a journal of these damages, along with all relevant claim information to include: your claim #, adjuster contact, agency claims advocate contact, water extraction vendor information, and contractor information. Retain components relevant to the source of the water damage (i.e. pipe, broken valves, toilet supply line, etc.) for inspection by the company claims adjuster.
Make temporary repairs to mitigate damages. For example, if you experienced a roof leak, then place a tarp over the leaking area. Do not proceed with permanent repairs until the insurance adjuster has had the opportunity to inspect the resulting damages

4 Ways to Treat Residential Water Damage

4 Ways to Treat Residential Water Damage

From an old, leaking pipe to a disastrous natural calamity, many factors can account for residential water damage. Regardless of what causes the water damage in your home, you need to take effective and preventive measures in order to deal with it in the best way possible.

Water damage can lead to severe structural changes and can also cause serious health and safety issues, so you must be able to treat current and prevent future damages caused by water.

Here are some effectual ways to deal with residential water damage successfully.

Mold Inspection

Water brings with it a great amount of moisture, and it is a known fact that moist and damp places serve as breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. It is possible that after a flood or leaking pipes in your home, you might have to deal with a mold problem. So, one of the first important things to do is inspect your entire house for mold spores and other signs of mildew. In case you do come across serious mold infestation, get immediate help from a mold removal service in order to prevent it from expanding its growth.

Dry Out Affected Areas

It is extremely vital to get rid of all the moisture from your home by drying out the affected areas as soon as you can. This is to prevent any further structural damage or the growth of mold and fungus. But this greatly depends on the extremity of the water damage. For instance, if you’re dealing with small leaks from broken pipes, you can place portable fans in the affected area to dry them out. However, if the damage is quite extensive, perhaps due to heavy rainfall, you might want to consider renting a large-sized humidifier to thoroughly dry out wet or damp areas. Another option is to hire a water damage restoration service and get help from skilled professionals.

Remove Damaged Items

Residential water damage greatly affects porous materials, which include carpets, sofa fabrics, and other similar items. In case of serious water damage, all these things in your home are likely to be destroyed due to being soaked in water. It is best to remove them and get rid of them in order to prevent other problems from occurring. Water tends to permanently destroy porous materials, and if drying them out is not an option, consider disposing of them entirely.

Pump Away Standing Water

If there are big puddles of standing water inside your home, use a sump pump to remove all the water and pump it outdoors. This is a kind of a submersible pump that moves water in a continuous manner with the help of a pipe or hose. You can either rent a sump pump for a few hours or buy one if there’s a lot of standing water inside your home.

If the damage is far too big or widespread, the best way to deal with it is by getting help from a water removal or water restoration service. If you live in Tampa, you can get immediate help from EE&G Restoration Services, one of the leading restoration companies in the whole of Florida.

How Do You Know If There Is Mold Growing In your Home

How Do You Know If There Is Mold Growing In your Home?

Mold is a common issue in most homes, but it often goes unnoticed and unidentified because many homeowners struggle in terms of identifying that they have a mold problem in their homes.

From weird-smelling air all around the house to feeling sick all of a sudden, numerous signs indicate you’re dealing with a mold problem. However, some of these signs tend to be very subtle, so it becomes hard to ascertain that there is, in fact, mold living in your home.

However, these indicators are always definite, so if you ever experience or notice any of the following symptoms, immediately get in touch with mold remediation services for effective mold removal.

Mold Spores

One of the most obvious ways to identify a mold problem is the growth of mold spores that you are likely to notice in damp, dark areas in your home. The ideal breeding grounds for mold spores are the kitchen sink, the shower, the grout between the tiles of your bathroom, and moist ceilings and walls. It is important to note here that there are various types of mold, and they differ in terms of color and appearance. Some mold spores are hard to spot, while others are clearly evident because of their color.

Damp Smell in the Air

If the air around you has a weird, musty smell, there may be mold lurking in the damp and dark corners of your home. It might be tricky to identify the exact smell because different mold species exhibit varying odors; however, if it isn’t a common smell, it could very well be the smell of mold.

Watery or Stinging Eyes

One of the worst things about mold is that it can also affect your health, along with causing damage to your home. One of its major effects on your health includes allergic reactions, along with a variety of common symptoms. If your eyes start to water or sting just out-of-the-blue, there may be mold in your home, which is triggering these symptoms.

Bubbling-Up Paint

Have you ever noticed unusual kinds of bubbles popping up on the paint of your bathroom or kitchen walls, for instance? That mainly happens due to moisture seeping in between the walls, but it is much more than that. It is one of the biggest signs of mold residing on your walls because where there’s a lot of moisture, there is likely to be a mold problem.

Breathing Issues

If you find yourself coughing without having a cold, or you struggle to breathe properly when you’re in your house, you probably have mold in your home. Mold is known to contain toxins that make their way right into your lungs. This leads to breathing issues or a lingering cough.

Call a Professional

The best way to deal with mold removal is by getting in touch with mold remediation services as soon as you suspect a mold problem in your home. EE&G Restoration Services in Tampa have been dealing with mold remediation for many years and is one of the leading restoration companies in Florida.

Different-Ways-to-Prevent-Water-Damage-in-Your-Home

Different Ways to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

One of the most common culprits that are likely to weaken the sturdy foundation of your home is none other than water damage. Not only does it lead to severe structural damage, but it also turns your home into a breeding ground for mold, fungus, termites, and carpenter ants.

There are several factors that lead to water damage in your home. These typically include leaking or burst pipes, heavy rainfall, faulty plumbing systems, and natural disasters like floods, to name a few.

As a homeowner, there are many ways and methods through which you can prevent water damage in your home. While you certainly can’t stop natural calamities from occurring, for instance, you can ensure that they don’t cause a lot of damage to your home.

Take a look at a few effective ways to protect your home from water damage.

Maintain Your Plumbing System

Often times, issues in your indoor plumbing system can lead to water damage without you even realizing it. Some of the most common issues include malfunctioning faucets and hoses, cracks and leaks in pipes, frozen or overheated pipes, etc.

Make it a point to inspect your home for any such plumbing problems once every few months to ensure that everything is working fine. You can also invest in handy devices, such as a water-leak monitor that has a shut-off system, which will alert you if there’s any indoor leakage issue.

Ensure Proper Drainage

A proper drainage system will ensure that all the water moves away from your house instead of accumulating on your roof or collecting in your basement. This involves cleaning your gutters at least twice a year and installing gutter guards to prevent them from clogging. Another important thing to do here is to secure all your downspouts and position them in a way that they point away from your home.

Protect the Exterior of Your Home

In case of heavy rainfall or downpour, you want to take effective measures to prevent any water from seeping into your house through your roof or basement. Seal and caulk all the windows of your home to prevent water seepage. Also, thoroughly inspect your roof for any possible repairs, be it broken pipes or damaged shingles. If you have sprinklers in the outdoor area, examine them regularly to ensure that they aren’t creating any water damage.

Re-Grade the Land

Many homeowners struggle with exterior soil and land grading issues because they aren’t usually sure as to how much slope they need to protect the foundation of their house. In order to prevent water damage in your home, you must make sure that the ground or the land that’s adjacent to your house inclines away from the foundation wall instead of declining toward your home. Re-grade the soil in a way that it slopes away from the house so that rainwater moves along on top of it, away from your home.

Call a Professional

If your home requires a lot of repair and maintenance work, get help from a water damage restoration service. If you live in Tampa, the EE&G Restoration Services is your best bet as they have extremely skilled professionals to help protect your home from water damage.

Mold on Human Health

4 Harmful Effects of Mold on Human Health

There are many different types of mold that can grow inside your home, of which the most dangerous is said to be ‘black mold.’ It is also commonly referred to as ‘toxic mold,’ primarily because it releases a compound called mycotoxin.

Mycotoxin is basically a toxic substance that has serious and adverse health complications. From mild allergies and irritation to mold poisoning, the growth of mold inside your home can lead to detrimental effects on human health.

Allergic Reactions

The most common effect of mold on human health is different kinds of allergies that mainly comprise of a runny nose, incessant coughing, rashes, itchy eyes, redness in the eyes, wheezing, and dry mouth, to name a few.

In case of a severe mold allergy, you can even experience shortness of breath. This is particularly risky for people who have breathing issues such as asthma or pre-existing lung problems.

Infections

If you end up having any kind of contact or exposures with any type of mold growing inside your home or even outdoors, it can lead to a variety of different serious fungal infections. One of the most common types of infections caused by mold is called Aspergillosis, which directly affects the respiratory system. The extremity of this infection greatly varies according to the length of exposure and also the existing conditions of a person’s immune system. For people with a strong immune system, the mold can lead to mild allergic reactions, but for others, the infection can quickly spread to their blood vessels and even beyond that.

Body Disorders

Exposure to mold can even lead to great many body disorders such as Hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This is a rare kind of disorder that is caused by mold spores and other similar particles that cause your lungs to become inflamed.

Another serious condition that can also be caused by mold is called Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, which mainly occurs in people who suffer from cystic fibrosis or asthma. When they come into contact with mold, their lungs quickly react to it be developing this serious condition.

Skin Problems

Besides allergies and disorders, many people also tend to exhibit skin problems like serious rashes and irritations if they ever come into contact with mold. This is particularly true for people who have sensitive skin and are already prone to problems like itching and redness on the skin.

Mold infestation is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with immediately as soon as you discover it. The best course of action would be to get in touch with a mold remediation company or a mold removal service to completely get rid of the problem.

Also, it is not just your home that is susceptible to mold, but also the food you eat. The growth of mold on food tends to break it down, causing it to rot and become completely inedible.

This is why you should always exercise great care and caution, and make sure that your home is mold-free by getting it checked on a regular basis. If you need help with mold removal, please contact us. References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold_health_issues

mold removal service, mold remediation

Leading Causes of the Growth of Mold in Your Home

One of the most common problems faced by many homeowners is the growth of mold in different parts of their home.

Whether it is pink mold growing at the bottom of your shower curtain or the slimy white patches on the ceiling of your basement, mold is nothing but unsightly and unpleasant.

If you’re wondering what causes the growth of mold in your home, you should know that it all starts with excessive moisture and dampness in the house. Moist areas are breeding grounds for different types of mold that grow in abundance if the wet conditions prevail.

However, there are many other leading causes that can result in the vigorous growth of mold inside your home.

Increased Humidity Levels

Humidity is defined as the amount of moisture in the air, so naturally, if you live in an area where there is excess humidity, there’ll be a high level of moisture in the air. In such cases, you are likely to see mold growing in areas like the basement, dark and damp closets, under the kitchen sink, walls, and ceilings, to name a few.

Additionally, high humidity levels indoors can prevent the proper circulation of air, which can further worsen the mold situation.

Poor Ventilation

Lack of proper ventilation is one of the major causes of the rapid growth of mold spores in your home. When there is insufficient ventilation, the air inside your home tends to stay stagnant, which leads to excessive moisture all around you. This is furthered by the high steam content that is produced by numerous household appliances and activities like bathing and cooking. These tend to leave surfaces and areas super sticky and damp, which greatly attracts mold and fungus.

Indoor Leakage

One of the most common reasons for mold growth is indoor leakage that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as old and broken pipes, a weak and leaking roof, or cracks in the foundation of your house. This kind of indoor leakage can lead to ceiling and wall mold due to a huge backlog of moisture in different areas of your home. Often times, a leak goes unnoticed because it’s very small and barely visible. This leads to the growth of mold in the ceiling boards and the corners of the walls.

Standing Water

In case of heavy rainfall or downpour, water tends to seep in through the walls of your attic or basement, which creates large puddles of standing water. These serve as the ideal habitats for different types of mold. Even water in sinks, toilets, and showers can lead to the growth of mold if it’s left standing for long periods of time.

Moisture in HVAC Systems

Most homes have a variety of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, which are also common breeding areas for mold. The duct of your air conditioner, for instance, is likely to attract mold because it’s dark, damp, and has a high humidity level. Excessive moisture in the HVAC system mainly occurs due to clogged air filters, lack of insulation, high condensation, and internal leakages.

There may be numerous other causal factors for the growth of mold inside your home, for which you need to call mold remediation or a mold removal service at the earliest!

wind damage

Damaging Winds Basics

What are damaging winds?

Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.
 Are damaging winds really a big deal?
 Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.
 Who is at risk of damaging winds?
 Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.

People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.

Mobile home that has been blown over by straight line winds

Types of Damaging Winds

The straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.

downdraft is a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground.

macroburst is an outward burst of strong winds at or near the surface with horizontal dimensions larger than 4 km (2.5 mi) and occurs when a strong downdraft reaches the surface. To visualize this process, imagine the way water comes out of a faucet and hits the bottom of a sink. The column of water is the downdraft and the outward spray at the bottom of the sink is the macroburst. Macroburst winds may begin over a smaller area and then spread out over a wider area, sometimes producing damage similar to a tornado. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, macrobursts can occur with showers too weak to produce thunder.

microburst is a small concentrated downburst that produces an outward burst of strong winds at or near the surface. Microbursts are small — less than 4 km across — and short-lived, lasting only five to 10 minutes, with maximum wind speeds, sometimes exceeding 100 mph. There are two kinds of microbursts: wet and dry. A wet microburst is accompanied by heavy precipitation at the surface. Dry microbursts, common in places like the high plains and the intermountain west, occur with little or no precipitation reaching the ground.

downburst is a general term used to broadly describe macro and microbursts. A downburst is a general term for all localized strong wind events that are caused by a strong downdraft within a thunderstorm, while microburst simply refers to an especially small downburst that is less than 4 km across.

gust front is the leading edge of rain-cooled air that clashes with warmer thunderstorm inflow. Gust fronts are characterized by a wind shift, temperature drop, and gusty winds out ahead of a thunderstorm. Sometimes the winds push up the air above them, forming a shelf cloud or detached roll cloud.

derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. A typical derecho consists of numerous microbursts, downbursts, and downbursts clusters. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.

haboob is a wall of dust that is pushed out along the ground from a thunderstorm downdraft at high speeds.

Haboob in western Oklahoma

Oklahoma Mesonet

A haboob is a wall of dust that is pushed out along the ground from a thunderstorm downdraft at high speeds. [+]

Black Mold

The Truth About Black Mold

You’ve probably heard about the dangers of black mold, an alleged silent killer that hides in water damage and ceiling tiles. But what is black mold? And is it dangerous?

Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, surfaces as blackish-green spots or blemishes. It lives on moist, cellulose-rich surfaces like fiberboard, drywall, and gypsum board. Black mold is most attracted to moisture, which is why it lives in previously-flooded homes, leaky pipe areas, or anywhere with water damage.

Here’s how you can treat and prevent black mold in your home:

  1. Size up the problem spot—when to choose DIY vs. the pros
  2. Air out your home
  3. Wear protective gear
  4. Create a bleach cleaning solution
  5. Watch for future water damage
  6. Keep your home clean and dry

 

Is Black Mold Dangerous?

The short answer is—not really. But that doesn’t mean you should keep black mold as a pet.

Everyone has different levels of tolerance to allergens like mold spores, but that’s all black mold is—an allergen.1 Those with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immune suppression will feel the effects of black mold’s mycotoxins more than most folks. As one source put it, “Previous reports of ‘toxic mold syndrome’ or ‘toxic black mold’ have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria.”

But whether you feel black mold symptoms or not, it’s best to get rid of black mold as soon as you find it.

What Are the Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure?

If you find black mold on your property, there’s no need to panic. But black mold presents more health risks to sensitive groups like those with respiratory conditions or immune conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black mold spores can generate cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Wheezing
  • Skin and eye irritation

Longer exposure can cause more serious symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

So while black mold probably won’t kill you, it can make you feel sick and should be removed as soon as possible.

How Does Black Mold Get Inside a House?

Mold spores find their way inside by hitchhiking on clothes, pet fur, and air currents into your home. But spores can’t get comfortable without plenty of water. This is why you’ll usually find black mold around water-damaged areas impacted by plumbing issues like floods or leaky pipes.

Materials like drywall, carpet, or gypsum board can soak up water, creating a perfect home for a black mold colony. If you find water damage at home, it’s crucial to remove all the affected materials to prevent mold from growing.

Black Mold Removal and Cleaning

Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to the pros. This also applies to household mold exceeding 10 square feet. The contractors you choose should have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Homeowners can handle cleaning about 10 square feet (roughly 3 feet by 3 feet) of black mold on their own.3 If the patch is small enough, a combination of bleach, water, scrubbing, and ventilation should do the trick. Before treating mold on your own, prioritize ventilation and protective gear.

Pro-Tip

Find a contractor in your area to get started.

Clear the Air

Start the cleaning process by opening doors and windows to create a cross breeze. Dehumidifiers can also dry up the air and strip precious moisture away from mold growth.

Protect Yourself 

Even if you aren’t sensitive to mold, it’s nasty stuff. Be sure to wear protective eyewear, non-porous gloves, and a breathing mask to protect yourself from getting sick.

Create a Bleach Mixture 

If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. You can also find commercial black mold removal products.

Apply the cleaner to the mold spot and scrub away the growth. Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when you’re done. Important: Do NOT mix bleach with ammonia. This combination can create toxic fumes that are far more dangerous than any mold you’re trying to clean.

Black Mold Prevention 

Nobody wants black mold in their home or building. Follow these rules to reduce the chances of mold on your property.

Watch for Water

Flooding, leaky pipes, and malfunctioning appliances can all cause water damage. Once water seeps into a porous surface like drywall, black mold and its cousins are likely to appear. Water detectors can help you catch faulty appliances and leaks early. If you do find water damage in your home, treat it and cut off the problem area’s water source as soon as possible. You’ll also need to remove flooring, ceiling tiles, or any other material that was affected by the water.

Keep It Clean and Dry 

It never hurts to clean regularly. Make sure humid areas and rooms with plumbing get regular spot checks. Add mold and mildew removal products to your cleaning routine, especially for the bathroom and kitchen.

Mold thrives on moisture, so use dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home like bathrooms, basements, or closets.

The Verdict on Black Mold: Best Avoided—But Not Deadly 

As for black mold’s toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill. It’s not likely that you’ll die from black mold poisoning because it’s just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is it’s treatable, removable, and preventable.

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control, “Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds
  2. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology, “Mold and Human Health: a Reality Check
  3. Environmental Protection Agency, “Mold Cleanup in Your Home