According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water-damaged areas need to be dried within 24 to 48 hours to prevent the growth of mold. Suffice to say, this doesn’t always happen since these areas are often hidden.
Although it will be near-impossible to remove 100% of mold in your house, you can get it back down to safe levels.
It is impossible to guarantee the removal of all mold, given the nature of it being difficult to spot. It can end up in a nook or cranny you did not even know could have been a problem area.
This is why mold remediation, a way to bring mold back down to a normal and natural level, is the actual way a mold issue is dealt with.
How do you remove mold? There are a few steps you can take. Here is what you should do if you suspect you have a mold problem.
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Mold can live almost anywhere. Tiny spores flying around in the air give birth to it. Wherever there is some moisture and a comfortable temperature (40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) is a good place for mold to call home.
Mold will reveal itself as being tiny black spots that eventually cluster into large colonies. If you find evidence of this somewhere, like the grout in your bathroom, dab a few drops of bleach onto the suspected black area.
If it becomes a lighter color after a couple of minutes, you have toxic black mold.
Use a Mold Removal Product
There are several professional mold removal products you can use to combat dangerous mold. You can create a solution using a 1-to-8 ratio of good old fashioned concentrated Chlorox bleach and water solution. You can take 1/2 cup of bleach and mix it in with 1 quart of water.
There are also some really powerful and effective professional mold removal products on the market you can get. Some of these are RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover, RMR-141 RTU Mold Killer, and Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover.
Depending on where you identify the mold, you will find a specific formula slightly more effective than another. However, mixing any of these with concentrated bleach will kill mold on contact.
Mold Removal Process
Now that you have your mold-killing solution, you are going to have to use it in the most safe and effective way.
Take your solution and scrub it into the mold-ridden area. Use a soft brush and work in the solution until there is no more visible trace of it.
Once you are done scrubbing, allow the solution to seep into the surface you are cleaning. This ensures any lingering mold is killed off.
Next, you will want to wipe it off. It is important that you avoid rinsing the area. Simply let it air dry, or use a fan to speed up the process.
You can even go out and get a dehumidifier if you suspect the mold was in an area that tends to stay moist.
Call a Professional Mold Remediation Service
Mold can start growing in as little as 24 to 48 hours after a water leak. It can live anywhere that is moist and is within a comfortable temperature range.
This is why you should speak with a professional mold remediation service as soon as you discover a leak somewhere. During their inspection, this service can also uncover whether you have a growing mold problem elsewhere in your house.
Mold is nothing to casually brush off. The sooner you deal with it, the better for your health and safety.
Mold Prevention Tips
While getting rid of mold is possible, it’s usually not easy. Because mold spores are so hard to kill, mold will sometimes return even after you think you got rid of it and the mold source.
This is why the best thing you can do is get on top of it as soon as you suspect an issue since mold is a fast-acting organism that can spread quickly. To help prevent mold growth in the first place, here are some tips you can follow:
- Regularly inspect your water heater and other appliances for leaks. If a leak is found, the cost of a plumber is much less than repairing water damage.
- Install a water leak detector (such as this one) in your basement or other areas.
- Always run the bathroom fan when showering.
- Clean up any spilled water as soon as you notice it.
- Keep roof gutters clear of debris and repair/replace sections if necessary.
- Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation.
- Regularly check under any sinks for signs of a leak.
- Make sure all rooms in your home have adequate ventilation.
- Install an automatic shut off valve on your water heater.