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 Remove Mold Outside The House
External mold is just as serious as mold inside the home. Youll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or on your deck, as soon as possible. External mold can do significant damage to exterior surfaces over time, eating away at wood, stucco and other materials. In addition, exterior mold can easily work its way into the house if left unchecked.
- Don gloves and eye protection and liberally spray a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water on the surface.
- Scrub tough stains with a stiff bristle brush dipped in the solution.
- Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse with a garden hose.
There Has Been A Wet Smell In Our Newly Purchased Home Since We Got Here The Previous Owners Did Not Heat The Home In The Winter Months And There Is Very Poor Ventilation In The Basement We Removed Some Gyproc Todaydoes It Look Like We Will Have To Remove It All
Yes, the sheet rock should be removed. This is necessary not only to clean up the existing mold, but to implement the prevention measures.
First, you need to identify the source of the moisture. Three possibilities exist. 1.) Condensation from the warm interior air hitting the cold concrete wall. This typically does not happen behind a well sealed wall , but its possible.
2.) Vapor emissions through the concrete. This occurs when moisture moves through the concrete in vapor form, creating high humidity and saturation on the surface. In an uncovered wall, the water would simply evaporate into the air without causing an issue. The installation of the sheet rock traps the moisture, leading to mold growth. There are two solutions either keep the concrete exposed or install dimple board with a interior footing drain.
3.) Liquid water intrusion. Its possible youre having liquid water enter through the cold joint at the bottom of the wall. If this is the case, youll see more damage at the bottom plate/framing than higher up the studs. In most cases, the solution is an interior footing drain.
Read Also: Mould Bathroom Ceiling
Ins And Outs Of Air Sampling
Analyzing air samples isnt cheap and, depending on the lab used, can cost $30 to $150 for each sample. Some inspectors roll sampling into their base price others dont. So make sure you ask.
Not every mold issue requires sampling. If you can see mold, sampling is necessary only if you must identify the actual mold species for medical or legal reasons. However, if you think mold is present but cant actually see it, samples can confirm your suspicions. Also, sampling typically is used after cleanup to verify success.
Ask inspectors to explain why theyre taking samples and what hypothesis theyre trying to confirm.
If the cleanup is simple enough to perform yourself, a mold inspector can advise you on procedures, protective equipment, and tools. The inspector should also be able to pinpoint the moisture issue that led to the mold problem so that you can correct it.
Warning: Dont even think about diagnosing your mold problems with a home testing kit. They dont work. Theyll probably reveal some mold, but only because spores are always flying through the air. These kits cant:
- Guarantee a statistically significant sample of air.
- Confirm the presence of dead mold spores .
- Determine baseline levels of mold in your home in order to compare results with other non-mold-infected areas.
Seal Moldy Areas After They Dry
- Set out dehumidifiers and new fans to dry the now-cleaned areas for at least three days, then check them by sight and smell for mold.
- Pro tip: If you discover more mold, clean again with bleach for mold remediation.
Also Check: Cleaning Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling
How To Remove Mold From Walls And Ceilings
The bad news: If the surface is very porous, like a ceiling tile, it’s best to replace it. The good news: If you find small areas of mold on walls or ceilings of sheetrock or plaster, you can stop mold when it starts if you act fast. Here’s how:
- Clean the surface with detergent and water using a sponge or brush and let the surface dry completely.
- Follow with a water and bleach solution: Mix ¾ cup of chlorine bleach to a gallon of warm water. Wearing rubber gloves, apply the water-bleach mixture to the stains with a sponge or brush.
- Let sit five minutes, scrub, rinse, and air dry.
Dealing With Crawl Space Mold In Chicago Il Or Suburbs Were Here To Help
If you decide to take on mold in the crawl space, removal techniques are very important, so please follow our guidelines carefully. We want you to stay safe. Wear protective gear, and take your time.
Dont hesitate to call us if you have any second thoughts about doing it yourself. We have years of experience with crawl space cleaning services in Chicago and the suburbs. Our services cover residential and commercial properties, and our team members are industry certified in mold removal and remediation.
When the job makes you think twice, call us first here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba: 773-647-1985
Read Also: Removing Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling
Removing Mold From Books And Papers
Mold will eventually destroy paper, but mold can be removed from books and paper. For expensive books and historically significant papers, consult a professional curator.
Never try to treat damp paper. The mold will smear and become nearly impossible to remove. Allow the paper in books to air dry thoroughly in the sun or place in a sealed container with moisture absorbent material like silica gel or cornstarch sprinkled between the pages.
When the book is dry, head outside and use a soft paintbrush or cloth to gently brush away the mildew from the cover and each page. Slide a sheet of waxed paper under each page to protect the page behind it. Slightly dampen a clean, soft cloth with hydrogen peroxide and gently wipe down each page, allowing it to air dry completely before moving to the next page.
Mold Reactions: Who’s At Risk
For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.
In addition to people with allergies and asthma, others who may be more sensitive to the effects of mold include:
- Infants and children
- People whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV infection, cancer, liver disease, or chemotherapy
- People with chronic lung disease
Read Also: Mold In Bathroom Ceiling
How To Kill Mold
This article was co-authored by Mike Kapur and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Mike Kapur is a home inspector and the owner of Sonic Home Inspections, a home inspection company in Westchester, New York. With over 15 years of experience in pre-inspecting properties, Mike specializes in mold, radon, asbestos, lead, water, and air quality testing as well as hazardous materials, pest, infrared, and general home inspections. Prior to founding Sonic Home Inspections, Mike worked pre-inspecting apartments. Mike holds a BS in Accounting from Queens College and is a Certified Mold Assessor in the state of New York. This article has been viewed 51,377 times.
Mold is a common household problem, but it can be hazardous to your health. It may cause a stuffy nose, a sore throat, breathing problems, coughing, burning eyes, or a rash, especially if youre allergic to it.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Fortunately, you may be able to kill small areas of mold on hard surface using common natural or commercial cleaners. However, you may prefer to hire a professional if you need to do a major mold remediation in your home.
I Live In A Condo With Concrete Ceilings And A Flat Roof I Get Mold Along The Exterior Edge Of My Ceiling Whats The Best Way To Prevent This
The simplest option is to increase the temperature and outside ventilation of this condo. Typically this is accomplished by running the bathroom exhaust fan 24/7. Our humidity page has an in-depth explanation of the approach. If you dont have a working bathroom fan, youll have to find another way to introduce fresh air into the condo. Keeping a window cracked is an option, but can be uncomfortable during very cold weather.
Also Check: How Do You Clean Mildew Off Of Leather
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Shower Tile And Grout
Shower tile and grout can be a difficult area to keep mold free because the wet and warm conditions make it a prime breeding ground for mold. However, small areas of mold can be removed with a grout cleaner , a mold remover, or a bleach-and-water solution.
- Spray the grout, let the formula penetrate, and rinse. In some cases, there’s no scrubbing needed: In our tests, Clorox Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover spray killed 99.9% of mold and mildew germs and bacteria in only five minutes.
We Just Purchased Our Home Three Months Ago And Recently We Discovered These Discolored Areas In Our Garage Should We Be Worried Should We Be Seeking Some Type Of Environmental Remediation
Its difficult to determine from the photo whether this is mold or efflorescence. An easy way to distinguish between the two is by flicking a bit of water on the surface. Efflorescence will dissolve in water, mold will just mat down a bit.
Either way, it likely indicates vapor emissions moving through the concrete. You can verify this by taping a piece of plastic to the concrete. Recheck this in a few days. If you find condensation on the backside of the plastic, you have a vapor emissions issue.
In a garage this is not a problem, as long as you keep sensitive items off the floor. The vapor will eventually evaporate from the surface. Do not install carpeting on any concrete showing signs of vapor emissions! This will lead to major mold problems.
You May Like: How To Remove Mildew From Ceilings In Bathrooms
Discolored Crawl Space Components
Mold growing on crawl space walls, posts and floor joists appears as fuzzy, slimy or powdery patches.
Look for these color-coded clues.
- Black Most common molds, including Alternaria and Cladosporium
- Green Also very common, may be Aspergillus, Cladosporium or Penicillium
- Greenish Black Slimy in appearance, dangerous Stachybotrys chartarum
- White Variants of Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium
- Brown Common Aureobasidium pullulans or Pithomyces chartarum
- Yellow Wood-damaging Serpula lacrymans or Epicoccum nigrum
- Orange Variants of Serpula lacrymans
Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House
Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold On Ceiling
How To Detect Mold In Walls
If there is an area of your home where you think mold may be present in the walls due to smell, a strange appearance of the wall, or any other factor there are a few ways you can test this.
The simplest way is to probe the area with a screwdriver. If the area is soft or the screwdriver easily pierces the drywall, mold likely has rotted the surface away, and youll be able to see it once a hole has been opened up in the surface. Be careful when doing this and do not do it near any wiring or electrical outlets.
You could also use a fiber optic camera to look around inside after opening a hole in the wall, but at this point, you may as well hire a professional inspector. A professional inspector has the tools required to examine the wall thoroughly, and ensure that its mold free or detect any potential issues.
Who Is At Risk Of Mold
According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.
Also Check: How To Kill Mold In Basement
How To Remove Mold From Drywall
Removing mold from drywall can be tricky because if drywall gets too wet, it is ruined. In fact, its often easier to cut out the infected section of drywall and replace it, rather than trying to treat the mold directly. If the drywall feels soft, its beyond saving. However if you do want to clean the drywall without removing it, heres what to do.
Step 1: Brush the mold off the drywall using the scrubbing brush. Try to remove as much as possible without getting the wall wet.
Step 2: Make a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Spray it onto the area until it is damp, but not soaked.
Step 3: Wait 10 minutes then use a medium-bristled brush to clean the wall using circular motions. Dont scrub too hard or youll damage the drywall.
Step 4: Wipe down the wall using household disinfectant wipes.
Step 5: Allow the wall to dry. In high-humidity environments, set up a box fan directed toward the wall to dry it as quickly as possible.
If the drywall is stained when dry, use a primer or stain block before repainting. Consider a mold-resistant paint to provide extra protection, and reduce humidity in the room to stop mold from returning.
Use Fans To Send Moisture Outside
If your home has kitchen, bathroom or window fans that vent the moist air outside, use them when you cook or take a shower. If you do not have fans, open a window when you cook or shower, cover pots when cooking, and try to take cool, short showers. Dry clothing on a clothesline outside or use a clothes dryer that vents air outdoors.
Recommended Reading: Black Mold Bathroom Ceiling
Removing Mold From Wood
Removing mold from wood is easy if it has not spread far and wide. Before starting, put on your protective wear, especially a mask and gloves. First, vacuum up the area with the mold. This will suck up any loose spores on the surface of the wood. Next, scrub the area with soap and water. On bare, untreated or unpainted wood, you can use bleach. Soak up any cleaner and extra moisture.
If mold is still apparent in the wood, you can try to sand it out. Note that sanding will take off any finish and some of the wood. Since mold can live deep in the pores of wood, you may need to do a lot of sanding to fully remove it.
What Is Black Mold
To the inexperienced eye, it can be difficult to spot the difference between the many types of growths. While there isnt really a good type that you want growing in your home, there are some types that can be more harmful if left alone.
A great way to stay on top of mold growth in your home is by keeping a constant look out in the places that it is commonly found. Certain places throughout the home offer what is considered to be a perfect environment for fungus to form, so these places should be on your list!
These growths tend to thrive in dark and humid environments, so any room that has running water or poor ventilation is a possible contender for mold growth.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the most common locations its found. Whether you have a leak that needs tending to, or things just tend to stay damp, there is a good chance that mold has already begun to form.
As we mentioned above, there are many types of mold. Some are more harmful than others, with black mold landing at the top of the list.
Don’t Miss: Bathroom Mold On Ceiling
Can You Perform Black Mold Removal In Your Home
After youve identified a moldy area, the next step is remediation. Mold can be dangerous, and we always recommend you employ a professional to handle the situation. If the mold is affecting an area of your home smaller than 10 square feet, you may choose to take on the process yourself, ensuring the use of extreme care and always wearing the proper protective equipment.
In cases where structural damage is present, it may also be necessary to take more drastic measures like hiring contractors and replacing drywall and insulation. Mold can disseminate quickly and easily and possibly cause large-scale restoration work when not treated in a timely manner.
When attempting to get rid of black mold, always wear protective gear and take precautions to protect yourself from the spores. Always wear proper PPE , including rubber gloves, N-95 mask, and goggles/eye protection when performing any mold remediation, and make sure to thoroughly clean all of your clothes and equipment after youre finished with the job.
Keep in mind that these are at-home remedies and not what our specialists would do for your mold problem.