More Information on Mold
What makes mold grow in my home?
Mold can grow anywhere there’s a food source and moisture. It will even feed on the oils found on smooth surfaces that haven’t been regularly cleaned. All it takes is a moist environment, room temperature conditions and an organic food source for mold to feed, and you may see the signs of mold in just 48 hours.
How do I know if there is mold in my home?
When molds grow on surfaces, they appear as a discolored patch, such as black stains in your grout or a red stain on your shower curtain. Whether by smell or by sight, any detection of mold should be viewed as a red flag and an indication that it is time to disinfect.
Where is mold found?
A University of Arizona study looked at 160 homes in all regions of the United States and found the presence of mold in literally 100 percent of all those sampled. 1 The highest levels were found in places that people normally overlook: window sills, refrigerator seals, under the kitchen sink, air registers and entryways.
How can I remove mold?
Soap and detergents can remove mold stains but do not actually kill mold, and any mold that is left behind can quickly regrow.
Regular cleaning with a bleach-based products when used as directed can effectively kill mold as well as mildew. You should clean visible mold on nonporous surfaces (such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal) with an EPA-registered bleach-based product.
Is mold bad for my health?
Most of the time, a low level of mold will have little effect on you. However, if you are allergic to mold or you suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems, the presence of mold in your home can be particularly bothersome. Exposure to indoor mold has also been shown to exacerbate asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.
How can I prevent mold from colonizing?
The best way to control indoor mold is to remove its source. Mold is most likely to grow in homes that are damp, have high humidity levels due to daily activities such as showering and cooking, or have cold surfaces onto which moisture can condense. A humid bathroom or a damp basement is effectively a microclimate. First on your list of preventive measures is to clean hard surfaces regularly with bleach-based products that effectively kill mold.
Other tips for controlling mold:
- Vacuum and clean regularly
- Do not carpet bathrooms and basements
- Make sure your home has adequate ventilation
- Increase the use of exhaust fans in bathroom and kitchen
Common Causes of Mold
- Leaky roofs
- Plumbing leaks
- Overflow from sinks, sewers, tubs or toilets
- Damp basement or crawl space
- Inadequate venting of steam from shower or cooking
- Wet clothes line-drying indoors
- Clothes dryers exhausting indoors
- Firewood stored indoors
- Over-watered houseplants
Places Where Mold Can Grow
- Wood products
- Ceiling Tiles
- Garbage disposal
Top Nine Mold Removal & Mold Remediation Steps and Procedures
Use these proven and successful mold removal and mold remediation procedures and techniques for mold growth in basements, crawl spaces, attics, and on and inside walls, ceilings, floors, carpeting/padding, and heating/cooling equipment and ducts to get rid of toxic black mold, slime mold, Stachybotrys, and mold growth infestations caused by roof leaks, siding leaks, plumbing leaks, water wicking up through concrete slab floors, high indoor humidity, flooding, hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones, tornados, weather and wind storms, fire, and other water damage problems.
Just four words neatly summarize what has to be done in effective and safe mold removal, mold remediation, mold mitigation, and mold abatement: CONTAIN, KILL, REMOVE, and PROTECT—
(1) CONTAIN the mold from spreading into uncontaminated areas;
(2) KILL the mold;
(3) REMOVE the dead mold; and
(4) PROTECT the cleaned out area against future mold infestations.
“The only sure way to (do mold remediation) requires the physical elimination of mold and moldy materials by thorough cleaning or removal of the affected materials.”—American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Environmental Hygienists Association recommends that property owners, managers, and tenants take all ten of these proven steps in the order listed for perfect do-it-yourself or professionally-done toxic mold removal.
1. Mold Inspection and Mold Testing. Do thorough and complete mold inspection and testing to find all areas of both visible and mold growth hidden inside ceilings, walls, floors, heating/cooling equipment and ducts, crawl spaces, basements, and attics. Use a moisture meter, hygrometer humidity meter, and fiber optics inspection to help find hard-to-find mold infestation.
After the completion of all mold removal steps, use do it yourself or professional clearance mold testing of the air of remediated rooms, the outward air flow from heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) duct registers, and horizontal and vertical surfaces inside the mold work area. For independent mold clearance testing in Louisiana Visit
2. Proper Containment. Seal off the room or area to be mold remediated with 6 mil thick floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, clear plastic sheeting so that mold spores released during mold removal do not travel to and mold cross-contaminate other areas.
3. Proper Worker Protection. Mold removal workers should wear a 3M or comparable breathing respirator mask with organic vapor filters rated P100, available for about $40 from a large hardware or home improvement store, plus eye goggles with no holes (“chem splash” type), disposable vinyl gloves, and Tyvek or comparable protective body suits with built-in parka hood and booties.
4. Mold-Eating Enzyme Treatment. Use a low-cost fogging machine or aerosol cans to fog the entire house or building (including the attic, basement, crawl space, and inside HVAC ducts) with Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution, one of the few fungicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is a proven, enzyme-based disinfectant cleaner that neutralizes and prevents mold and bacteria growth in both homes and commercial buildings.
5. HEPA Air Scrubbing and Vacuuming. After the completion of the ozone and mold enzyme treatments, run one or more HEPA industrial-sized air scrubbers inside the contained mold work area to establish negative air pressure therein to collect airborne mold spores, with the HEPA exhaust air duct going directly to the outdoors. Use one or more HEPA vacuums to vacuum walls, floors, carpeting, and furnishing surfaces three ways—horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.
6. Physical Mold Removal. While operating a HEPA air scrubber inside the mold work area, remove all visible mold growth by removing and discarding materials such as moldy drywall, curtains, and carpeting, and by cleaning wood timbers to visibly mold-free with the use of a power grinder with wire brush attachment, power sander, power planer, and/or hand held wire brushes and sanding blocks.
7. Safe Disposal of Moldy Materials. While inside the contained mold work area, place all removed moldy materials into 6 mil thick garbage disposal bags. Then, put each full bag inside a second 6 mil thick bag (known as “double bagging”). Then, wipe off the outside of the outer bag with a cloth lightly damp with hydrogen peroxide or borax laundry detergent dissolved into water to remove any landed or deposited mold spores. Then remove the bags to the outdoors through windows or doors without taking the bags through building areas that are outside of the contained work area.
8. Encapsulation of Wood Surfaces. After completion of the above steps, paint all exposed and remediated areas with a Fungicidal protected coating to keep any mold, mildew and bacteria from reoccurring. We recommend using Fosters Antimicrobial and Mold Resistant Products. Foster® 40-20™ Fungicidal Protective Coating is an EPA registered product and is the industry’s leading antimicrobial coating with a 10-year warranty. It is formulated to effectively prevent the spread of mold and odor causing bacteria on its surface in areas, such as walls, ceilings, pipes, interior and exterior surfaces where applied.
9. Clean and Disinfect HVAC Ducts. If there has been a mold problem inside a building, its heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts are likely to be contaminated with elevated levels of airborne mold spores and mold growth. Clean and disinfect HVAC ducts with these procedures: (a) hire an experienced air duct cleaning company to do thorough HVAC duct cleaning; (b) after duct cleaning, a treatment into the return air duct of the HVAC system and throughout the entire building; useing a fogging machine to fog thoroughly the HVAC ducts with Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution, one of the few fungicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use inside air ducts.
Mold Removal with Bleach
Bleach can kill virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with, along with its spores, leaving a surface sanitized and resistant to future mold growth.
Unfortunately, however, Unfortunately, however, using bleach is only effective if the mold is growing on non-porous materials such as tiles, bathtubs, glass and countertops. Bleach cannot penetrate into porous materials and so it does not come into contact with mold growing beneath the surface of materials such as wood and drywall. Using bleach on these materials will kill the mold above the surface but the roots within the material will remain and the mold will soon return
How to Kill Mold with Bleach
Bleach produces harsh fumes so make sure the area is well ventilated before you begin. You should also wear gloves during the process to protect your hands.
- For killing mold with bleach use a ratio of one cup of bleach per gallon of water (ie about 1 part bleach to 10 parts water).
- Apply the solution to non-porous surfaces with mold growth either by using a spray bottle or by using a bucket and a sponge or cloth.
- You don’t need to rinse the surface afterwards (unless it is used for food preparation or a surface which may be touched by small children or pets) as the bleach will inhibit mold growing in the future.
Does Bleach Kill Mold?
Although the active ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is the main ingredient in many mold removal products, there are many reasons to use alternatives to chlorine bleach when killing mold.
One reason is that bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in porous materials. The chlorine in bleach cannot penetrate into porous surfaces such as drywall or wood. The chlorine is left on the surface of porous materials and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, providing more moisture for the mold to feed on.
Some of the mold on the surface might be killed but the roots of the mold are left intact meaning the mold soon returns, leaving you in a cycle of repeated bleaching. Perhaps this is why some people believe that spraying bleach on mold doesn’t affect it but instead just bleaches its color so you can no longer see it.
Another disadvantage of bleach is that it can damage the materials it’s used on as it is a harsh, corrosive chemical. Chlorine bleach also gives off harsh fumes and it even produces toxic gas when mixed with ammonia. There are safer alternatives such as borax or vinegar which don’t produce dangerous fumes or leave behind toxic residue. For these reasons try to avoid using bleach and if you must use it, only use it on non-porous surfaces.
Mold develops where there is excess water and moisture over a period of time. The most effective way to protect your family and property from the threat of mold is to have it remediated immediately by a professional restoration company. Healthy Air offers mold removal services to stem the tide of mold, as well as cleaning and sanitization, including mold odor removal to restore your home or business to its original state. Our professional deodorization techniques erase molds. Removal of mold can be a serious endeavor, and Healthy Air has the expertise and technology for the job.
Efforts by well-meaning homeowners can actually accelerate mold growth. Using UV light or high-heat drying has only temporary benefits and can be harmful to people, pets, wood, plastics, and plants. People are often confused by thinking that mold-resistant means mold-proof. It does not. Healthy Air Mold Remediation services are comprehensive, encompassing mold remediation, mold odor removal, as well as cleaning and sanitization.
TIPS FOR BLACK MOLD REMOVAL
Are you looking the other way when you see a moldy substance growing in the dark and damp areas of your home? You shouldn’t be if that substance is greenish-black. It’s a mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra. This is more commonly known as black mold and it’s very toxic and very deadly. That’s why when you’re dealing with molds, you need to know all of the facts. And when you’re dealing with Black Mold Removal you need to be very aware of this dangerous fungus and know how to stop it dead in its tracks. Immediately!
Black mold symptoms can be severe. A person who has been exposed to black mold may have the following mold health symptoms: difficulty breathing, they may experience headaches, coughing, nausea, memory loss, dizziness, asthma, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and over time they may even experience infertility.
Black mold is responsible for more than 100 types of lung conditions. But worst of all, Stachybotrys chartarum can cause respiratory bleeding, which is fatal in infants.
And while that’s pretty darn scary, many people refuse to believe that they even have this nasty substance in their home. They believe that if they keep their house clean, they will never encounter this dangerous fungus. Unfortunately that just isn’t true! Even the cleanest home can create the perfect place for fungus to grow.
For instance, when you live in an area that has a lot of humidity, you’re definitely prone to toxic fungi. Since moisture causes molds to become more susceptible to the area, the risk of having black mold in your home is even greater to homes that are in a high humidity area.
However, humidity in the environment isn’t the only factor that can create a breeding ground for black mold. Leaky pipes can also become a potential toxic hazard for the fungus. And often, those leaky pipes go unnoticed because the leak is so small. To make matters worse, the fungus isn’t always visible since it can attach itself to the insides of the pipes, which makes it virtually impossible for removing the black mold.
Another common breeding ground for black mold is anywhere a flood has occurred. It makes no difference if it’s a major flood that happened during a rainstorm or a minor flood that occurred when the toilet overflowed; it’s all breeding ground for fungi. Yet the worst part is it can take several days to dry the area out which gives the dangerous fungi an even better chance to grow.
Some other good indications that you have a problem with fungus growth are stains on the walls or ceilings of the home. These stains are usually yellowish in color, but signs of black, green or brown can indicate a fungi problem.
Another sign that could mean your home has the deadly fungus is odor. If the smell of mildew or must is present, it could mean that there are molds growing where the odors are lingering. Common areas may include closets and heating and air conditioning units.
Finding out where the problem lies is only the tip of the iceberg. The next step is the mold removal. While this may seem like an easy task to some, it actually requires careful handling when coming into contact with this toxic substance.
First and foremost, a respiratory mask, eye protection and gloves should be used when attempting to remove mold. There are many products than can be used to remove the substance. The most common of them is bleach. There are also many paints that are specifically designed to help reduce the growth of fungi.
In addition to mold removal products, using a dehumidifier can control the humidity that attracts the dangerous fungus known as Stachybotrys chartarum in the first place. However, if the problem is severe enough that mold removal products or a dehumidifier is simply not enough, a professional may be needed rather than trying to learn how to remove black mold yourself. Be safe, be smart. You and your family’s life may depend on it
EPA MOLD REMEDIATION GUIDELINES
If you are dealing with a mold problem in your home, EPA mold remediation is necessary in order to completely get rid of the mold spores that are present. The process of home mold remediation is intensive, and it is important that you follow specific cleanup procedures. Failing to follow the proper protocol is a problem, and you want to make sure that you and your family are safe from the health dangers that can occur as a result of mold.
Keep in mind that there are different protocols depending on the type of mold and where it is located in your home. Certain steps need to be taken for each type of building material, so it is a good idea to consult with a mold specialist before moving forward with the mold cleanup.
What is EPA Mold Remediation?
“EPA mold remediation” is the guidelines that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published in order to protect people from the dangers of mold exposure. Many people don’t realize how serious mold can be, and health problems can occur because they don’t follow a proper home mold remediation process.
Learning about the EPA’s guidelines for mold can help you to identify the supplies and techniques that are needed to effectively clean up the area and completely get rid of the mold. If you follow the steps as outlined, then the mold spores will be killed and you will be able to prevent future mold problems.
According to the EPA, you should not attempt a mold cleanup yourself if the mold covers more than 10 square feet, if the mold was caused by contaminated water, if the mold has gotten into the HVAC systems or if you have health issues that can be affected by additional exposure. You should hire a professional mold removal contractor Healthy Air Mold Remediation.
The EPA mold remediation guidelines outline steps that need to be taken to clean up water damage kill mold spores, sanitize all surfaces, prevent cross contamination, prevent health complications from mold exposure, and finishing up the job. Be sure to have a specific plan in place before you begin home mold remediation
Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional Cleanup
Even though you may want to clean up the mold on your own to save money, it is important to be aware of each necessary step so that you can understand the time and equipment that is needed to safely and completely remove the mold. Don’t make the mistake of cleaning up the area without the right equipment, because it will most likely result in the mold spores moving to other areas in your home. Mold will return in the future and continue to spread if it is not cleaned up correctly.
Start out by bringing in a mold specialist who can do air and surface testing in order to determine how bad the problem is. This mold professional will already be familiar with the EPA mold remediation guidelines, and they will be able to advise you on the proper steps that need to be taken for your situation. Also, this professional will come back after the mold is cleaned, in order to verify that all the mold spores are gone.
If you are concerned about the home mold remediation steps, it may be a good idea to hire a contractor to complete the cleanup work for you. It is a good idea to hire an independent contractor so that you have one professional company testing and another cleaning. This way you have a professional verifying that the mold removal was done correctly and completely.
Hiring a professional mold removal company will cost some money, but remember that the money is well spent because you will be preventing future mold growth and protecting your family from health problems. Ignoring mold growth within your home can result in serious health implications, and it is not worth saving a few dollars if your family’s health is in danger.
When the EPA Advises Consulting with a Mold Removal Specialist
- If mold covers a surface area greater than 10 square feet.
- If mold was caused by contaminated water (such as water that may contain sewage).
- If mold has gotten into the HVAC system.
- If you have health issues that can be affected by additional exposure (check with your physician if you have health concerns and aren’t sure if you can safely handle mold yourself or not).
Of course, you should consult a specialist any time you have questions about the best way to proceed with a mold cleanup task. Most mold removal specialists offer free consultations, so they will visit your home, assess the situation, and advise you at no cost to you. To find a list of local mold removal specialists offering free consultations, call Healthy Air Mold Remediation 985-868-1870