Let The Unit Dry And Reassemble
Before you put everything back together, you need to let the unit dry completely. This can take up to 24 hours, so give yourself some time to do this. This is why you should do this before it starts getting hot out because you will be without your AC for a while. Once the unit is dry and there is no longer any mold, you can reassemble the unit and put the grille back on with your new, clean filter. Plug it back into a power source so that you can enjoy clean, cold air all summer long.
Know When The Best Time To Clean Your Ac Is
You are most likely to find mold in your AC after it has gone unused for a while. Mold is most likely to develop over the winter when you are not using your air conditioner for several months on end. Therefore, you want to inspect your unit right before summer when you may turn it on again. You want to ensure it works properly because you do not want the system to blow mold particles throughout your home. This can lead to health complications, such as headaches, sore throats, and other respiratory issues.
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 youre done.
Do NOT mix bleach with ammonia. This combination can create toxic fumes that are far more dangerous than any mold youre trying to clean.
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How To Get Rid Of Mold
Just as there are many types of mold, there are numerous removal methods. The best option for your situation will depend on what type of mold youre encountering, the surface that its on and the extent to which it has spread.
In some cases, it may be necessary to call an expert when it comes to home mold removal. DIY mold removal is only possible depending on the size and impact the mold has made.
If you choose to handle the mold removal yourself, make sure to don adequate protective gear. The CDC recommends that you wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, protective gloves and eyewear, waterproof boots and a mask rated at least N95 or more to protect your nose and mouth. Note that while these masks protect you from small particles like mold, they are not adequate if you are encountering any sort of gases, chemical vapors, asbestos or lead.
The Short And Sweet Answer Is Yes You Can Clean Black Mold Yourself
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention sets out the facts on cleaning black mold very clearly:
- At present there is no test that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum and particular health symptoms.
- If Stachybotrys chartarum or other molds are found in a building, prudent practice recommends that they be removed.
- We do not believe that one needs to take any different precautions with Stachybotrys chartarum , than with other molds.
- A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes.
I just love common sense, don’t you?
But be aware that all molds whether black, green, pink, orange or red can potentially cause cold or hay fever symptoms in healthy people and can aggravate symptoms in those with compromised immune systems, or people with breathing issues.
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Hiring A Mold Removal Expert
The EPA advises that if you have significant mold on the walls of your home, you should hire an expert to remove it. However, they state that you must ensure the contractor is certified, insured and trained specifically in mold remediation.
Mold removal professionals will follow a remediation procedure. Typically, theyll start by identifying the mold by collecting samples and testing it. They will then assess the extent of your issue and create a plan to completely remove mold from your property.
Next, theyll begin the mold removal process. Finally, they will carry out tests and issue a clearance report.
How To Remove From Bathroom
To treat an infestation in your bathroom, the location of the infestation is the primary concern. Surface mold on non-porous surfaces, as in the shower and toilet, are more easily treated than deeply contaminated wood or drywall. If removal of material is required when treating your bathroom, care should again be taken to prevent the further spread of spores. Read our in-depth removal guide: black mold in bathroom
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Limit Your Exposure To Mold
Its important to limit your exposure to mold and mold spores. Keep them out of your eyes and try not to inhale any.
- Wear a mask or an N-95 respirator to avoid inhaling mold.
- Wear gloves that extend to the middle of your forearm. If youre just using water and a mild detergent, household rubber gloves work fine.
- Wear goggles that dont have ventilation holes to avoid getting mold or spores in your eyes.
Use An Enzymatic Cleaner On Pet Stains To Prevent Mold
Another excellent way to prevent mold from forming on your carpets in the first place is clean pet stains immediately and with the appropriate cleaning solutions. Not all urine stains are visible at once, but using an enzymatic cleaner will breakdown the components of bacteria in urine no matter when you clean it.
Generally, you will notice a musty odor at first. This foul smell should keep the urine stain from progressing into mold without you noticing. Once you have located the stain, soak up the excess pee with a paper towel, and spray the area with the enzyme cleaner. This will completely obliterate the bacteria, which prevents the stain from transforming into a breeding ground for mold.
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Safety Precautions For Black Mold
If you’ve decided to handle black mold on your own, it’s important to take some precautions to minimize your exposure to the mold.
Wear long sleeves and pants or a body covering to cover exposed skin.
Get a respirator to avoid breathing in mold spores.
Wear goggles to protect your eyes.
Use rubber gloves for hand protection.
Scrub With Baking Soda Or Borax
Sodium bicarbonate and the natural mineral borax each have a high pH that inhibits the growth and survival of mold. Both products are inexpensive and easy to use.
Make a paste of the powders with a few drops of water and apply it to the areas of mold growth. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and then use a dampened scrub brush to scour the area. Rinse well with fresh water and dry with an old cloth.
Neither product is as effective at killing mold or removing stains as chlorine bleach or vinegar.
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How To Remove Black Mold From Walls With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a great mold killer, but it can have a bleaching effect. Therefore, this method is best on white areas. For this mold removing method:
Pour straight hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
Spray it on the mold.
Leave for 30 minutes.
Add Dawn and baking soda to a scrub brush and scrub the area.
Use a cloth to wipe away the stains.
Repeat if needed.
Treat The Molded Plywood
Treat exposed molded subflooring with a mixture of 1 cup of borax and 1 gallon of water or an EPA-registered mold removal product. Spray the solution on the moldy plywood. You can also soak affected subflooring with a brush broom. Wait 10 minutes, scrub the area, and repeat the process two more times.
Power Tip: Repeated applications allow a treatment to penetrate and kill mold deep in the plywood.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
If you find black mold on your property, theres 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 , black mold spores can generate cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath
So while black mold probably wont kill you, it can make you feel sick and should be removed as soon as possible.
Can You Clean Black Mold Yourself
I also watched the news shows and read the headlines reporting on the hazards related to the strain of black mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra- so I assume that some of you might be concerned that cleaning black mold is dangerous. Some people might even think it should only be removed by a cleaning professional garbed in full out hazmat suits!
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How To Find The Source Of Mold In Your Home
People encounter stray mildew spores on a daily basis. There is not a problem until a spore finds a wet area and begins to grow and spread more spores. The first step of mould removal is solving the cause of the problem, which is excessive moisture or wet materials. Without eliminating the moisture, new growth will simply appear after mould has been removed.
Any leaks should be repaired immediately. If something is spilled or a material becomes wet, it is important to dry it quickly to prevent the spores from growing. Even if there are no specific leaks or spills, household moisture can still cause mould to grow. Black mold thrives is a warm, wet environment. Once a home or business owner realizes that a building is excessively humid and producing fungus, he should install a dehumidifier and attempt to improve the buildings ventilation. Proper airflow reduces moisture and can prevent or stop mold growth.
Once the source of the moisture has been eliminated, one needs to make sure the area is dry. A wet vacuum can be used in areas where water has accumulated but is likely to spread spores if used on dry materials. If using a cloth or towel to dry an area, the material should be washed and dried soon after use.
Removing Mold In The Kitchen
Spotted mold in your kitchen? Scrub any hard surfaces with one of the solutions mentioned above, taking care to thoroughly rinse any food prep areas after. You may need to replace porous surfaces, such as wooden cabinets, that are contaminated.
To prevent mold and practice adequate kitchen maintenance, open your windows to improve ventilation and run the hood vent when cooking and cleaning. Wipe water from hard surfaces, and fix leaky faucets as soon as possible. Always make sure your tableware and serving dishes are dry before storing them to keep mold from proliferating in cabinets. Scrub mold from surfaces as soon as it appears, then be sure to dry the area to prevent it from spreading.
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What Is White Mold
White mold is often found in cool, damp environments such as in basements on walls and other structures. It is often confused with efflorescence, which is a mineral deposit that forms on foundation walls and other masonry surfaces due to water seepage. You can test to see if its mold by spraying it with water. If it dissolves, it is a mineral deposit if it does not, then its most likely white mold.
How To Eliminate Black Mold With Ammonia
Wear a respirator and gloves when working with ammonia-based mold cleaning products. Never mix ammonia with chlorinated bleach
Open nearby windows or doors to get a cross-flow of air to dissipate any fumes generated by your cleaning
- Combine ammonia and water in 50/50 proportions.
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray contaminated areas evenly.
- Allow the mold killing solution to sit for 5 or 10 minutes.
- Scour mold tarnished area with a small brush or equivalent and wipe clean.
- Repeat if necessary.
Often enough, many mold killing products will have ammonia already in them. Be extra cautious to follow the directions on the label to the letter and ensure that the cleanser is never mixed with bleach !
Otherwise, ammonia is similar to using bleach in that it should only be used on non-porous areas Always wear gloves when working with any chemical and wash hands immediately, thereafter!
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Getting Rid Of Mold With Baking Soda
From absorbing odors in the fridge to relieving heartburn, baking soda has a multitude of uses around the house including black mold removal. Its safe for your family and pets, and it not only kills black mold, it absorbs moisture that attracts mold.
Add one-quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water and shake until it has dissolved. Spray the moldy area with the baking soda and water solution, then use a scrub brush to remove mold from the surface. Next, rinse the surface with water to remove any residue and baking soda. Finally, spray the area again and let the surface dry without wiping. This will kill any left-over mold and help prevent the mold from returning.
For really tough black mold removal, mix two parts baking soda with one part white vinegar and one part water. Stir the mixture until it becomes a thick paste. Spread your mixture liberally onto the surface and let it dry. Scrub away the black mold and stains, and wipe down with water.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Kill Mold
Hydrogen peroxide is a good alternative to using bleach to kill mold because it is safe and doesnt damage the environment plus it doesnt leave behinid toxic residue or produce toxic fumes like bleach does. Hydrogen peroxide kills mold effectively on materials such as clothing, floors, bathroom fixtures, walls and items such as kitchen appliances.
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Leave Your Black Mold Removal Up To The Professionals
With our fully trained and certified team, eco-friendly mold removal products, and comprehensive remediation services, Green Home Solutions gives you one less thing to worry about when it comes to ensuring a safe, clean, healthy living space for your family. Learn more by giving us a call today, or fill out our online form to get started with a free, in-home assessment.
Monitoring Humidity Levels: Tools To Help
What if you arent sure about the humidity level in the house? In that case, you may want to invest in an air quality monitor. The one I have, made by Koogeek, tracks relative humidity .
It has the added advantage of being able to track particulate matter levels, temperature, and noise/light levels. to check out my full hands-on review of this device. Overall, Im quite happy with this monitor, and it gives me confidence that I understand the conditions in my home at any given time.
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How To Kill Black Mold With Tea Tree Oil
- Combine 1 teaspoon of your favorite teat tree oil to 1 cup of water.
- Stir or shake thoroughly and put the mixture into your spray bottle.
- Mist mold mixture on tarnished areas and wipe clean.
- No spray bottle No worries!
- Thoroughly dampen a disposable towel or old hand towel with green cleaning solution and apply to tarnished area.
- As a mold prevention measure, apply the tree oil to tile grout or around faucet handles and spouts then leave to dry)
Mistakes To Avoid While Mold Cleanup
When doing mold remediation on your own, make sure to avoid the following mistakes:
- Choosing the wrong mold cleaner. Again, bleach is not what kills mold. Cleaning mold with bleach is not going to help. The best way to clean mold is by using natural products like the ones mentioned above.
- Not addressing cross-contamination. Heres one important thing you should know. Once you start scrubbing off the mold from the surface, some of the spores will become airborne. This means that your entire home can be exposed to mold infestation. Thus, it is essential to containing the area. Dispose of all the cleaning materials and clothing you used to prevent cross-contamination.
- Not eliminating the moisture source. No matter how hard you clean the parts of your home infested by mold, it will just keep coming back until you address the moisture problems. After the cleanup, speak with a mold remediation professional to determine the causes of water problems or leaks in your house.
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How To Kill Black Mold With Vinegar
No need to mix anything here white distilled vinegar can be used to clean away black mold as is and right out of the bottle.
- Evenly spray white vinegar onto the mold stains or you can make your own mixture of a vinegar borax-water solution
- No spray bottle! Just pour the vinegar or borax solution onto a disposable towel and generously wipe onto the mold covered area and allow to dry for an hour or so.
- Get a damp towel and wipe clean again, allow to air-dry .
- If staining persists, then give the hydrogen peroxide or baking soda and vinegar combo a shot. The borax-water combo may work for you here as well on any lasting discoloration.
- Add a little elbow grease with an old toothbrush and you should be good-to-go!