Mold is a common problem in homes, and it can be difficult to get rid of. But by taking action quickly, wearing the proper protective gear, and choosing the right products, you can safely remove mold from your home. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to get rid of mold, from identifying the source of moisture to using safe and effective cleaning solutions.
Why Do I Have Mold in My Home?
Mold spores can find their way into our homes through open windows, doors, clothing, or shoes. The key to preventing mold growth is to remove moisture before it can latch onto a surface and grow. However, mold growth can often remain hidden, and it can be hard to detect. The most common cause of mold growth in homes is excessive moisture, either from a leak or high humidity. Common places where mold grows include basements or crawl spaces, bathroom caulk and plumbing, sinks and appliances, attics, shingles or roof rafters, water-damaged flooring, carpets, peeling wallpaper, ceiling or wall leaks, garages and sheds, HVAC systems and ventilation ducts, and overwatered houseplants.
Things to Consider Before DIY Mold Removal
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends only handling mold removal yourself when it covers less than 10 square feet of space in your home. If you have recently experienced flooding or a major leak, it’s important to hire a professional mold remediation specialist for assistance. In addition to mold removal, you must also remove the source of excess moisture to prevent the mold from growing back. This may involve identifying a hidden water leak or lowering the humidity in your home.
Wear Protective Equipment
The EPA recommends wearing a N95 mask, gloves, and goggles to avoid inhaling or coming in contact with disrupted mold spores. Mold exposure can cause negative health responses in some people, including respiratory issues, a runny nose, itchy eyes, or a rash, so it’s important to protect yourself accordingly.
Be Wary About Bleach
While bleach is an easy solution for getting rid of mold, it is not necessary for most small residential cleanups. Not only can bleach be hazardous when used incorrectly, but it can also leave dead spores behind, which can still lead to allergic reactions.
How to Get Rid of Mold
Before attacking the mold, open as many windows as possible to let fresh air into your home. Keep pets and children away from the area you plan to clean, as even non-bleach cleaning solutions can be potent.
Borax and holstery before using any water-based cleaning solutions, even homemade ones. Use undiluted vinegar on harder surfaces like tiles and grout, and dilute it with water for use on fabrics and rugs.
Here’s what to do:
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antimicrobial agent that can be used to kill mold. It is effective on a variety of surfaces, including wood, tile, and grout.
Here’s what to do:
- Mix one part tea tree oil with ten parts water.
- Apply the solution to the affected area with a spray bottle or a cloth.
- Scrub the area with a stiff brush or a scrubber.
- Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth.
- Let the area dry completely.
With the right approach and the right products, you can effectively remove mold from your home. Remember to wear protective gear, remove the source of moisture, and use safe and effective cleaning solutions. And if the mold covers more than 10 square feet, or if you recently experienced flooding or a major leak, it’s best to hire a professional mold remediation specialist for assistance.
It’s also important to keep in mind that mold can be found in places that are not visible to the naked eye, such as within walls, ceilings or floors. In these cases, you may need to cut away affected drywall or remove flooring to access the mold. This type of work should be done by a professional with the proper training, equipment and safety gear.
Another important step to take after cleaning mold is to prevent it from returning. This may include increasing ventilation in your home, fixing leaks or other sources of moisture, and using a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels. Additionally, regularly inspecting your home for mold and addressing any issues as soon as they arise will help keep mold at bay.
In summary, getting rid of mold in your home is an important task that requires attention and care. By identifying the source of moisture, wearing protective gear, using safe and effective cleaning solutions, removing mold from hidden places, preventing mold from returning and being vigilant, you can keep your home safe and mold-free.