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So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Matt Cinelli, owner/operator of AERC Removals in North Attleboro, Mass., says, If you can see it or smell it, youve got it.
Mold Removal For A Bathroom Remodel
Have you started a bathroom remodel project just to find tons of mold in the process? Not to worry! In most cases, mold can be dealt with quickly and following just a few steps. Here are the steps you need to follow when removing mold:
Although there are only five steps, the mold removal process can require a certain level of skill. So if youre not up for the challenge, contacting a professional could be your best move. But if you are, keep reading!
Mold can be found all over a bathroom in areas like grout lines, drywall, under cabinets, and on any fabric inside the bathroom. Mold should always be taken seriously because its a serious health hazard.
Mold releases microscopic spores that can cause allergic reactions, runny noses, and sneezing, as well as irritation to your eyes. These spores also cause irritating, and even harmful odors to be released into the air.
That said, youll need to exercise caution all throughout the mold removal process. If youre ready to get started on reclaiming your space, heres our complete guide.
bathroom covered in mold and mildew
Check For Licences & Insurance
Once youve reached out to the companies, its important to make sure they have liability insurance specifically for mold removal. Check that their policy states that they are covered for working with mold. If not, they arent the best company for the job.
Ask to see the companys IICRC certificate that clearly states the company name. This means that they have obtained a certificate from The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration and their technicians are properly trained and tested on mold removal protocols.
Last but not least, make sure that the company is going to remove the mold and not just cover it up. If the company uses terms like seal in or encapsulate the mold, this means they are not going to remove it. Be sure they state that they will completely remove the mold.
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What To Do If You Have Hidden Mold
If you can see mold, the solution is easy. Simply have it identified so you know whether its a toxic mold or not and then safely remove the mold.
But sometimes you simply cant find it by ordinary means, even when you nearly tear your whole house apart.
Sometimes, the only mold in your home is hidden in places you cant easily look. It can hide in attic insulation, in the wall cavity between drywall sheets, or between a finished basement ceiling and the floor upstairs.
There is a way to tell. If your home has a musty odor or anyone with allergies to mold seem to have more symptoms in your home, you can suspect you have mold growth somewhere even if you cant see it.
But, before you spend any money tearing down your house apart to find it, why not find out for sure? You can perform a preliminary air test that could tell if you have hidden mold growth.
Order our air quality mold test kit to know for sure whether that musty odor is mold or something else. Its an easy, inexpensive way to find out whether you need to investigate further for mold or not.
How Do I Detect Black Mold Inside My Walls In The First Place
Peeling wallpaper can also be a symptom of mold. While some scruffiness and discoloration tend to eventually strike your wallpaper, unusual surface or peeling abnormalities such as crackling or bubbling can be a sign of wall moisture. And remember, a reliable precursor to mold is always going to be moisture. Make sure to pay attention to any warped areas that feel damp.
To keep mold from growing in your cooling or heating systems, you can have a specialist check them regularly. Another indication of mold in the house is dark grout between bathroom tiles. Even if this type is most likely the harmless type, there could be flooding in the adjacent room or a leak in bathroom plumbing that could produce a more toxic fungus type that only professionals can remove. A sample sent for testing will let you know whether or not your shower is harmless.
Mold could also be the culprit when you have pre-existent problems with breathing that after long periods at home seem to flare up. Many household species of mold wont affect persons that do not have issues with breathing. However, in individuals suffering from asthma, it could aggravate it. Consider a mold inspection and a doctors appointment if the problems with your breathing seem to get worse with no clear cause.
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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.
Mold Growth On Bathroom Ceiling
Climates with cool winter temperatures or high humidity are most likely to suffer from mold on the bathroom ceiling. Warm, humid air generated by the shower contacts the cool surface of the ceiling, causing condensation. If the bathroom has a low quality exhaust fan or simply isnt used properly, the condensation will eventually lead to mold growth. Because warm air rises, the ceiling is often the first surface to experience condensation. This is why mold growth is typically noted on bathroom ceilings long before it accumulates on the walls.
If left unaddressed for an extended period of time, the moisture and mold growth can eventually degrade the dry wall and cause the paint to bubble.
Mold growth in the corners is often due to a combination of poor ventilation and missing insulation in the attic above. This creates a cool surface during cold weather, which increases the likelihood of condensation and mold growth.
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How To Prevent Mold Growth In The First Place
According to the Environmental Protection Agency , There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. Even if you clean the mold, it will still come back if the room is humid and poorly ventilated or there is excess moisture from a leak, even a small one. Humidity levels should never exceed 50% to control mold growth.
That means prevention is the only permanent remedy for mold. After you’ve repaired the leaks and gotten rid of any moisture problems, moving forward, create an environment where mold cant grow with these tips:
- Add a dehumidifier or two to your home. Its best to keep indoor humidity levels between 30-50% to stop build-up make sure to buy one thats sized for the area you are treating.
- Open bathroom doors and windows or turn on the exhaust fan during and after showering to let moisture escape.
- Leave your shower curtain or liner spread open after showering to help keep it dry.
- Vent moisture generating sources, such as bathrooms and clothes dryers, to the outside.
- Avoid storing items in damp rooms, which may mean keepinglinens, books, or furniture our of your basement or attic.
- Seal bathroom grout lines every year if you have tiling. This will help waterproof your walls and floors.
The Path Of Resistance
Initially, Mikes landlord tried to fix the problem himself, bleaching the moldy walls. We call that spray n’ pray, said Scott Armour of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a global industry body for remediators. They, along with the EPA, advise against bleach for a variety of reasons, namely that fumes can be dangerous and its usually ineffective.
Bleach only works for non-porous surfaces. It cant touch the mold that has burrowed into surfaces like wood or drywall . But the most important reason bleach fails is that people dont stop the molds water supply.
First thing I do is check for leaks, in the bathroom or roof or a crack in the foundation, said Greg Bukowski, who runs the Chicago-based remediation company Moldman USA. Theres always a leak. If you dont fix that, dont bother with bleach or vinegar. Then kill and remove the mold with detergent and water, then prevent its return with mold-resistant paint like Kilz .
When bleach didnt work, Mike paid for an indoor airborne mold test, which raised more questions than it answered. We had no idea how to interpret the results. I just couldnt find any information out there that isnt written by remediation guys, he said. They told him he had the dreaded black mold, and needed professional remediation.
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Moisture & Mold Damage To Floor Beneath The Toilet Tank
If condensation is severe, water will drip from the holding tank and saturate the floor. The level of damage, if any, depends entirely on the flooring material. Well sealed tile will withstand constant water exposure. Hardwood or laminate flooring will fail relatively quickly.
Mold Under Toilet
Mold Under Toilet on Flooring
Clean It Up Right Away
Even if you already see some black mold spores in your shower, its not too late to do something about them.
As a homeowner, you need to stay attentive to dark spots in your shower. They might be colonies of mold just waiting to grow uncontrollably.
As soon as you notice something resembling black mold in your shower, begin the cleanup process by following these tips:
- Prepare your cleaning solution: You can get stubborn fungi off of a shower wall with a bleach-water solution. Use 1 cup of bleach for every 1 gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
- Work in a well-ventilated space: Open as many doors and windows as possible to provide fresh air.
- Wear protective gear: As you treat the problem areas with your cleaning solution and a cloth or sponge, wear eyeglasses and non-porous gloves to protect yourself.
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What Does Mildew Smell Like
When people say something smells musty, they often mean they smell mildew. Mildew in the house can smell like wet socks, rotting wood or paper. Mildew is an early form of mold and a quick way to determine which one you have is to see if the smell persists after youve ventilated the area. If the smell persists then you likely have mold but if it goes away you probably have mildew.
What To Do If You Find Black Mold In Your House
Black mold, as well as any other mold that you find growing in your home, should be cleaned immediately. Mold on hard surfaces can be cleaned with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water, per the CDCs recommendation.Jan 17, 2018
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Mold Cleaning Trick #: Vinegar
Vinegar has been found to kill 82% of mold species! Plus, it is great at preventing mold in the first place. Vinegar contains no toxic fumes like many other agents used to kill mold, such as bleach.
- Pour mild white vinegar into a spray bottle, do not dilute with water. Vinegars acidic qualities make it quite deadly to mold, thats why you dont want to water it down.
- Spray affected surface areas with straight vinegar solution and then wait one hour. If your bathroom has windows, open them up and let it air out during this time.
- After an hour passes, use hot water and a clean towel to wipe the area. Make sure surfaces are dry to prevent mold from coming right back.
Vinegar isnt always strong enough to get rid of mold on its own, but it is great at preventing mold from growing in the first place. Keep that spray bottle of vinegar in your bathroom at all times and use it to spray surfaces prone to mold whenever they get wet. This makes it difficult for mold to grow, which means you wont have to waste time removing it in the first place.
How To Check For Water Leak In A Bathroom
It is not uncommon for your plumbing to have a leak and go undetected for a long time resulting in something similar to the images above. Here are eight ways you can check for a water leak in your home and bathroom.
- Check the pressure relief valve on the hot water tank
- Check the toilet for leaks by removing the top off the tank and listening very closely If you hear any hissing at all, try to locate where it is coming from
- If the toilets are fine, check the line running from the meter to the house
- If you have the valve shut off at the house and the meter has stopped moving, then the leak is somewhere in the house
- Check the shower head for leaks
- Smell Old, accumulated water tends to leave a mildewy type of smell
- Floors Discolored grout, stains/water marks
- Cabinets Warping, delamination, signs of rot, finish is bubbling
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How About The Health Risks
Black mold is especially threatening to you and poses many health risks. You should consider removal as soon as possible. With these spores, you may experience the following:
- Respiratory issues
- Memory loss
- Allergic reactions
Any of the above symptoms are signs that you have been exposed to toxic black mold. If you feel youve been affected by these health risks, seek treatment immediately.
Your Complete Guide To Getting Rid Of Bathroom Mold
Mold is an ugly four-letter word that is found all too often in bathrooms. Learn the best ways to remove bathroom mold and prevent it from coming back.
With warm, humid conditions, the bathroom is the perfect place for mold, and it can grow on just about every surface. Once you find it, cleaning mold in the bathroom can be a big chore. Follow our tips for cleaning moldincluding products to use, instructions for specific surfaces, and key prevention tacticsto refresh your bathroom. You’ll want to make sure you get it all so you arent constantly fighting mold in the bathroom.
Editor’s Tip: If you suspect your bathroom has black mold, known as Stachybotrys chartarum, seek a professional to test it, as you may have a larger problem at hand. If the results indicate other common household molds, move forward with our cleaning tips.
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What Are The Signs Of Mold
Mold starts out as a little spot but expands quickly. Youll usually notice it early on, unless its in an out-of-the-way location.
Mold can be black, white, spotted, or just about any color, and may appear powdery, cottony, or velvety.
If you notice a spot and arent sure if its just an old stain or a splotch of dirt, heres how to tell if it could be a sign of mold:
- It has a musty, earthy smell.
- Theres a nearby source of moisture, but not much light.
- You see warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever material its growing on.
- A drop of bleach lightens its color in a minute or two.
- Unchecked, mold will continue to grow. Dirt and old stains wont.
Having mold in your home wont necessarily make you sick. But it does have the potential to cause certain health issues.
Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergy-type symptoms such as:
- runny nose and congestion
- lung irritation
In many cases, you can get rid of household mold yourself. Mold can be removed with:
- commercial products
- a bleach solution of 8 ounces of bleach per 1 gallon of water
Before you begin:
- Wear protective eyewear, nonporous gloves, and a face mask or N-95 respirator.
- Never mix other cleaners or ammonia with bleach, as it can create toxic fumes.
Use a brush to scrub mold off surfaces, making sure you get it all. Porous materials, such as carpeting, furniture, and ceiling tiles, may have to be discarded. Dont paint or caulk until youre sure all the mold is gone.
How To Remove Mildew Smell From Towels
As you might expect, the first thing youll need to do is find out where that yucky smell is coming from. If youre lucky, you might find its simply coming from your towels. If thats the case, soak them in all-fabric bleach for about 30 minutes, rinse them off and then run through the washing machine. But, if you spot the dreary discolored mildew spot in your tub, prepare to get your hands dirty.
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