Black mold remediation is simply the process of removing black mold from a home. Unfortunately, removing black mold is not as easy as you might think. If you’re picturing using a bathroom cleanser and sponge to scrub mold and mildew from your shower, that technique won’t do the job when you’re dealing with black mold.
Need for Black Mold Remediation
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, has been associated with numerous health problems, including respiratory disorders, infections like sinusitis and pneumonia, migraine headaches, and even bleeding in the lungs. While medical treatment is often needed for these conditions, treatment will not be effective unless all traces of mold are removed from the home environment. Black mold can grow in many places inside the home, some of them difficult to reach, so removing black mold can be quite a challenge.
Tips for Removing Black Mold
Many people hire a professional for black mold remediation, but others prefer to handle the job themselves. If you want to try to do the job yourself, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
- Wear disposable gloves, disposable shoe covers and a disposable hair cover when cleaning up mold. Wear an N-95 respirator mask (available at most hardware or home improvement stores). Wear clothing that can be laundered immediately after you’re finished with the clean up. Otherwise, you risk spreading mold to other areas of the home and inhaling mold spores, which is harmful to your health.
- Use duct tape to tape sheets of heavy plastic over air ducts (provided there is not already mold in the ducts) to prevent mold spores from drifting into the ducts during the cleanup process. Also cover hi-hats.
- Tape large sheets of heavy plastic over doorways, or otherwise use large sheets of heavy plastic to block off the area in which you are working, to prevent mold spores from drifting into other areas of the home.
- Scrub mold on floors, non-porous walls (like concrete) and tiled showers with a non-ammonia soap. Then rinse well.
- Follow with a biocide meant to kill mold, available at most hardware and home improvement stores. Don’t rely on bleach for the job; it
may not kill all the black mold.
- Remove carpeting, drywall, insulation or other soft, porous materials that have been affected by mold. (Removing black mold from such materials is usually impossible.) Seal them inside heavy plastic trash bags before carrying them through the house to prevent the spread of mold. Replace the removed materials with new only after you are certain all traces of mold have been eliminated.
- Inspect the insides of your air ducts by looking inside with a strong flashlight. If you see any mold, or if you see excessive dust or debris, your air ducts need to be cleaned. Because removing black mold from air ducts is very difficult and requires special equipment, we recommend contacting a black mold remediation professional for the job.
When to Call a Black Mold Remediation Professional
We appreciate that some people prefer to take care of home repair tasks themselves, especially in these tough economic times. If you have a limited amount of black mold in your home, you should be able to do the job yourself with a little preparation and some affordable supplies which you can pick up at your local hardware or home improvement store. If you’re particularly handy, you can probably successfully tackle more extensive jobs, like removing and replacing moldy carpeting.
Still, we recommend calling a professional if:
- Black mold covers an area greater than ten square feet in your home.
- You have mold in your heating and air conditioning ducts.
- You have mold under your carpet, inside your walls or in other places difficult to access.
What to Expect from a Mold Remediation Professional
Click on this link to find a mold remediation professional in your area, who will:
- Offer a free consultation and in-home assessment of your situation.
- Know how to find mold hidden in places where you might not be able to find it.
- Know how to remove black mold safely, without putting you at risk for further health problems.
- Offer free tips and advice you can use if you opt to take care of the mold remediation yourself.