What Am I Dealing With
So, how can you be sure youre dealing with a mold problem? In some cases, there are visual signs of mold or clues that youre at risk for mold. For example, water stains on drywall arent a 100% indicator that you have mold, but theres obviously water getting there from some sort of source. With this in mind, chances are that youre going to get mold in time if you dont find and address the source. This is part of the reason many experts recommend doing home examinations during periods of the year when theres a lot of humidity or rain.
Other visual indicators of moisture include peeling wallpaper or condensation on the wall or ceiling. Be careful if you think theres mold under your wallpaper, though. Peeling it off yourself to see may end up exposing you to a cloud of spores! If youre willing to do a more intensive test, consider trying to probe the wall in question with a screwdriver. If things are soft or crumbling, you may already have rot taking hold because of mold.
Since mold is usually caused by water damage, it can be helpful to understand the different classes of water damage that can occur in the home. This will help to identify how serious the problem is and how it can be fixed.
Water Damage Classes
Use Grapefruit Seed Extract
The grapefruit seed extract is another very effective natural fungicide. The citric acid in grapefruit naturally kills molds. It also acts as a disinfectant and deodorant.
Make a solution in a spray bottle at the rate of 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in a glass of water. Shake the bottle to mix well and spray on the affected area. After a few minutes, wipe off the Mold and wipe dry with a clean cloth. The contact of the grapefruit seed extract with the Mold will kill it and prevent the Mold from growing back. You can repeat this process every two or three days to keep it from growing back.
Techniques For Cleaning Surface Mold
Surface molds grow in just about any damp location, such as the grout lines of a ceramic tiled shower. They’re easy to scrub away with a mold cleaner mixture of 1/2 cup bleach, one quart of water and a little detergent. In mold remediation, the bleach in the cleaning mixture kills the mold. The detergent helps lift it off the surface so you can rinse it away and it won’t return as fast.
- Even for simple cleaning, protect yourself from contact with mold and the bleach solution by wearing a long-sleeve shirt and long pants as well as plastic or rubber gloves and goggles.
- If the mold doesn’t disappear after light scrubbing, reapply the cleaning mix and let it sit for a minute or two. Then lightly scrub again for mold remediation.
- Seal the clean surfaces when they’re thoroughly dry to slow future moisture penetration. Apply a grout sealer to tile joints to help your how to remove mold project
Note: Do not mix ammonia or any detergent containing ammonia with bleach. The combination forms a poisonous gas.
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What To Do For Black Mold
If you see a patch of what you think might be black mold, don’t touch it remember, says Anderson, that disturbing the mold is what causes the spores to release its toxins. “Don’t attempt to wipe it or spray it or put any chemical on itthat’s just going to make it angry,” she says. “The best thing to do is contain it.” She recommends covering the entire area with plastica bag or dropcloth will worksecured around the outer edge of the mold area . “If you have HVAC running into that room, shut the vents so they’re not pulling anything into the other rooms,” Anderson adds.
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 with chronic lung disease
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Dealing With Mold In Walls
Before beginning the job of removing mold from the inside of walls, you need to cover doorways, air vents, and other openings to other parts of the home with plastic. If youre working in a large room, you can use large sheets of plastic to block off a smaller area in which you will be working. This prevents the spread of mold spores to other areas of the home. Mold remediation experts often recommend setting up negative pressure in the work area, as well.
Remove moldy drywall and insulation. Use a spray bottle of water to dampen moldy materials before removing them this helps prevent mold spores from becoming airborne during the process. When sawing through moldy drywall, you can have an assistant hold a vacuum hose with a HEPA filter nearby to further decrease the spread of mold spores. Enclose moldy materials in heavy plastic garbage bags before carrying it out of the home so no mold spores are spread to other areas of the home in the process. Its imperative that you do everything possible to prevent spreading mold spores throughout the house so that you dont end up with mold in other rooms.
How To Identify Mold Vs Mildew In Your Home
Mold and mildew are often spoken of together, almost as if they were the same substance. We fear mold and mildew growing below our homes in crawl spaces, under house siding, around the bathroom wall surround, and behind the sink. Excessive, pervasive mold and mildew can hamper a house sale or cause homeowners to move their bedroom elsewhere. Neither mold nor mildew is welcomed in the home, in any form.
Though related, mold and mildew are separate microorganisms that grow differently and must be treated differently. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.
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Know Your Mold And Mildew
Mold can grow in your home wherever theres an abundance of moisture, especially when its allowed to remain for extended periods of time. Mold usually appears on walls, ceilings and floors of homes where moisture management is not at its best. In particular, basements, shower walls and windowsills are areas where mold commonly likes to live. Mold and mildew, for all intents and purposes, are essentially the same thing mildew is generically used to describe many minor mold problems in the home, such as on shower tile grout. However, some molds can become highly toxic to people if left to prosper. Mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complications, and is especially a risk for small children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory illnesses or weakened immune systems. Mold can appear in many shapes and colors, none of which accurately determines the actual species of mold. However, it does commonly present itself in various tints of black, white, green or blue, and in many combinations of these and other colors.
What To Do When Finding Mold In Your Home
Make sure to call the experts at ServiceMaster to properly remediate your mold problem.
Be alert of any of the aforementioned signs. Such things are likely indicators that your homes walls have mold growing behind them. Considering the damage that mold can have on not only your homes building materials but also yours and others health, it is important that you address any mold growth immediately.
With that being said, if you find your home has mold growth, then you should seek professional mold remediation services. Professionals can thoroughly tend to the damage, contain the mold, prevent further damage and spreading, conduct necessary repairs or replacements, and even treat your home in a manner that prevents mold from returning.
Restoration professionals should be IICRC-certified and experienced to remove mold growth of all sizes. Shortly after receiving your call, their experts will be on their way to inspect the area. They will then contain the affected area to prevent the mold from spreading.
Licensed restoration companies use only the latest products and equipment in order to completely remove mold at its source. After a thorough remediation service, we will ensure that all areas have been restored to their original conditions, giving you the peace of mind that your home is safe from unsafe living conditions.
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How To Test For Mold In Walls
Testing for mold in the walls is fairly easy if you follow these steps. Inspect damp an humid areas. Purchase a mold test kit and test if mold is present in your home. Send the mold test to the lab. See our 3 steps guide for all the details.
- Step 1: Inspect damp and humid areas.Sometimes plumbing leaks can trigger mold to grow. If there is a musty smell, mold may have accumulated in a hidden spot such as behind your refrigerator or drywall.
- Step 2: Purchase a mold test kit.This costs approximately $50 and is well worth it. Testing can take a few days before determining if mold spores are present in the air.
- Step 3: Send the mold test to a lab.A lab can help determine which type of mold is present within the walls.
Most Common Places To Check For Mold In Your Home
If you have allergies or a chronic lung disease like asthma, youre probably very aware of the effect mold can have on your health. But even if you have a healthy immune system and no allergies, mold can cause a variety of health problems coughing, wheezing, and throat, skin, and eye irritation, to name a few. Mold is everywhere and, though you cant fully control your exposure to it outdoors or in public spaces, you can check for mold in common places around your home and take measures to prevent and remove it.
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How To Identify Mold On Walls
Before you can start to remove molds from a wall, it is important that you identify all areas that have been contaminated. The most common areas where it is found typically include the basement, bathroom, kitchen, garage and bedroom, especially a bedroom that is next to a bathroom or a bedroom next to the laundry room. You should look in areas that have a lot of dampness or moisture, such as the laundry room, basement and kitchen. You should also look at the grout between the bathroom tiles, above ceiling tiles that water stains, in any area where you smell mildew or there is a musty smell and any area that has been subjected to flooding. If you have water stains on the wall, or peeling or bubbling paint, it may be inside of the wall, which means you may need to remove the drywall to look behind it, especially if you smell a musty odor. Identifying black mold is fairly easy, because it is as the name suggests, black in color. It also usually has a slimy appearance.
Signs You Have Mold Inside Walls And How To Deal With It
When it comes to mold inside walls, The Mold Twins have been on well over 1,200 calls in Los Angeles alone. We know we can provide you the best tactics to deal with the potential dangers of it, how to determine if there is, and what you should do to remove it.
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How To Clean Mold From Walls
Hiring a professional is recommended. Many people are tempted to use bleach to clean black mold from their walls, but this can cause a variety of problems. Bleach often removes the color of mold, making it almost invisible. While the walls may look clean, they are still moldy and can cause health issues.
How To Prevent Mold And Mildew
- Keep things clean.
- Increase ventilation in the affected area with exhaust fans.
- Install dehumidifiers to reduce humidity.
- Ensure that sources of natural ventilation such as windows remain open, if possible.
- Make sure that sources of mechanical venting such as HVAC vents remain open and unblocked.
- Inspect vents for clothes dryers and ensure that vents are clean and that they are attached.
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Removing Mold From Drywall Or Ceilings
Drywall and ceiling materials are porous, so the mold you see on the surface most likely has threaded its way below the surface, too. Spray the surface with the homemade bleach-based mold remover until damp but not dripping, and let the area air-dry.
Then, respray it, wipe away any residue with a fresh cloth, and reapply a final light round of spray. Let this dry overnight, and the spray will continue killing mold as it dries.
In The Walls And On The Floor
From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.
Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold
- Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
- Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
- Check for leaky faucets and pipes
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When You Find Mold While House Hunting
The key to finding mold is knowing where to look for it. Check dark, damp places for mold, like under cabinets and in basements, crawl spaces and attics, advises Tina Tyus, a real estate broker at Town Square Realty in Birmingham, AL, and author of So You Want to Flip Houses?
Even if you dont find mold, Tyus says a home inspector will be able to locate it if mold is present. And if its found, mold remediation should be addressed prior to closing, she says.
During the home inspection process, theres an inspection contingency period and buyers have options, according to Shawn Kunkler, a San Francisco-based realtor and author of Insiders Guide to Home Buying. If mold is discovered, he says this can be point of negotiation or the prospective buyer may be able to walk away from the home.
Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It
It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.
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Mold And Mildew Health Concerns
The health of both humans and pets may be affected by the presence of mold and mildew in the home. While some people may not be affected at all, others who are especially sensitive may experience symptoms such as itchy eyes, wheezing, or a runny nose. People with asthma or allergies will feel the most severe reactions to mold and mildew.
Common Causes Of Mold
Mold flourishes in damp conditions, so most causes of mold growth involve unwanted water getting into the house. Some of the most common situations include:
- Leaky pipes or air-conditioning ducts
- Wet clothes
- Excess condensation on cold metallic, glass, or concrete surfaces.
Water can also pool up around sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, or washing machines, so be wary and clean any water up right away. Some problems to look out for outdoors include a yard that slopes toward the foundation of the house, leaky shingles on the roof, and improper caulking on windows.
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Where To Check For Mold In Your Bathroom
You may love a long, hot shower but, unfortunately, so does mold. The warm, wet environment of a bathroom is practically an invitation for mold growth. Bathrooms that lack proper ventilation are especially prone to attracting mold. While it may be clear to check for mold on shower tiles, there are plenty of less obvious places for mold to grow in the bathroom.
Is It Mold Or Mildew
Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that thrive in humid conditions with poor ventilation. The most common causes of mold and mildew on walls are condensation, humidity and water leaks.
Mildew is gray or white in appearance with a powdery texture. It can be found lying on flat surfaces in moist areas. As mildew is a surface mold, it wont damage your propertys structure .
Mold is a fungus that spreads from airborne spores. It is usually black, yellow, or green and has a fuzzy or slimy texture. Mold can cause structural issues in your home, as well as health issues.
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