Black mold, or any mold for that matter, can be found in homes across the country. When it comes to black mold, people often get scared because they are not sure what it is, what effects it may have, and how to get rid of it.
All mold has the potential to cause negative health effects and should be treated with care. It is always recommended to reach out to the professionals at PuroClean to handle the problem for you. If the black mold affects an area smaller than 10 square feet, this blog will discuss some tips you can choose to attempt the mold cleanup yourself.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold is a collective term for several species of fungus. These are fungi that are dark in color, usually appearing as brownish-black dots. Despite its name, it is not always black. Some appear greenish-black or blue-green when they grow on wood surfaces.
Mold spores are everywhere. When the perfect environment is created, these mold spores may latch onto a surface and grow. Black mold can grow both indoors and outdoors on just about any surface imaginable, including porous surfaces. This mold is often found growing in bathrooms and basements because moisture helps it grow. Remember, not all mold is visible; sometimes, there can be hidden mold behind drywall or wallpaper.
Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Yes, it can be dangerous depending on where you live and your level of exposure to it. Some people have allergic reactions to black mold. It can also cause asthma attacks or trigger asthma symptoms in individuals. When people with weak immune systems inhale fungal spores, they may develop fever, chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Prolonged exposure to this kind of mold may also damage the lungs and lead to lung infections or respiratory issues. If you suspect any sort of mold, regardless of where you reside, act quickly since it may lead to serious health concerns.
What Does Black Mold Removal Involve?
Because of the dangers that black mold can present, it is recommended to hire a professional to complete the mold remediation process. A professional will have the proper equipment and training to safely and effectively remediate the mold.
If the affected area is smaller than 10 square feet, there are some steps you can choose to take. Be aware this is not the same process a professional would use. Anytime you are near mold, be sure to wear protective gear. Proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) includes goggles/eye protection, an N-95 face mask, and rubber gloves.
Step 1: Assess The Extent Of The Damage
Since mold thrives in certain environments, the best way to combat mold is by fixing the source. Common causes of mold are leaky pipes, air conditioning systems, or roofs. Also, improper ventilation in bathrooms can lead to mold issues.
If you know what caused the mold problem, take steps to fix these problems first before attempting to get rid of black mold. This will help prevent further damage and thus reduce the cost of subsequent repairs and remediation efforts.
Step 2: Air Quality Testing
Black mold remediation cannot be done effectively unless there is proper ventilation. You should hire a professional to take samples that will determine the extent of contamination, identify the types of fungi present, and recommend procedures for safe mold removal and replacement of contaminated materials.
Step 3: Controlling Moisture Levels
All affected areas should be dried using dehumidifiers and fans within 48-72 hours after water damage occurs. This will prevent further mold growth and reproduction. If you want to do this yourself, make sure you wear rubber gloves, goggles, a face mask with particle filter, coveralls over your clothes, boot covers, and closed shoes.
Step 4: Mold Removal Procedures
Again, these are optional procedures that should only be attempted on black mold affecting an area smaller than 10 square feet. These are not the same procedures our professionals would use.
Seal up all affected areas with plastic sheeting to prevent cross-contamination and further spread.
Wearing proper PPE, start by scrubbing the mold with a commercial black mold remover. You may also choose to make a natural one using your own using household products. Mix 5 parts of white vinegar to 5 parts water with 1 part baking soda. Add the solution to a spray bottle.
Spray your home solution or commercial product on the mold and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Use a sponge to clean the surface. Repeat the process as necessary to kill mold. Ensure that windows and doors are put back to their positions, and all affected surfaces have been scrubbed clean and dried before removing the protective sheeting.
Black Mold Prevention
Prevention is always better than cure, and though we can never be 100% certain that mold won’t grow in our homes, we can certainly take steps to reduce the chances of this happening. Here are some tips on how you can do this:
- Keep humidity levels below 50% — Hire someone to install a ventilation system if your home does not have one. Also, residential dehumidifiers can be purchased at your local home improvement store.
- Make sure moisture is controlled by fixing water leaks rapidly before they cause serious damage.
- Always use exhaust fans whenever cooking or taking showers to remove moisture from your home.
- Ensure that any new building materials used for construction are properly treated since these usually harbor high levels of fungi which would only love to find their way into your home.
Ventilation Systems Should Be Installed Before Mold Remediation
Many people often make the mistake of installing ventilation systems only after a mold infestation has been discovered. This is a very bad idea since you need to get rid of all moisture and contaminated air from your home before you can control mold growth.
During remediation, you will certainly release spores into your air which will circulate until the new ventilation system removes them from your home. In addition, if you have allergies or asthma, it’s imperative that you take steps to install proper ventilation during the initial stages of moisture damage repair before doing anything else. And for this reason alone, hiring professionals should be considered because they know how to get rid of moisture and restore air quality effectively while minimizing overall costs.
Call PuroClean for Black Mold Remediation Today!
At PuroClean, we understand the stress and anxiety that a mold infestation can cause. Our trained professionals employ compassion and empathy while removing mold and helping to prevent mold regrowth in your home. Call us 24/7 or visit our website to get connected with your local PuroClean today!