Remove mold from your house before it damages your health.
Mold, like any other part of nature, has its place in the environment. Outdoors, it breaks down dead materials, but indoors, mold can pose a danger to the health of a home’s inhabitants. Getting rid of mold completely in a household environment is nearly impossible. Reducing an existing mold infestation to the point where it no longer poses a danger, as well as avoiding outbreaks of new mold, is possible. You can complete the removal process successfully using a methodical DIY approach.
Locate the existing mold in your home through a thorough search of all areas of the property. Begin your search in moisture-rich areas where the mold is most likely to grow, like bathrooms, kitchens and the basement. Sniff as you search, trying to detect musty odors. Concentrate on any areas where water damage has occurred or where there’s been flooding. Look for any area containing black or white spots on walls, ceilings or floors. These slightly fuzzy-looking spots are usually signs of mold growth.
Measure the moldy area. An area more than 10 square feet in size will need professional cleaning; less than 10 feet, and you can clean it yourself.
Seal the area that you’ll be cleaning to prevent mold spores from traveling from room to room. Cover air vents with plastic sheeting, securing it in place with duct tape, and open windows in the room.
Move furniture in the cleaning area to a room without mold in it. Place moldy items such as papers or books into a plastic trash bag for disposal. Bag all moldy fabrics for later cleaning.
Wear safety goggles, nonporous gloves and an OSHA-approved particle mask when cleaning.
Wash the moldy surface with a warm water detergent solution, containing 1 cup detergent and 1 gallon water, using a sponge. Allow the surface to air dry and then wash it again using a bleach solution of 1/4-cup bleach added to 1 gallon of water. Do not dry the surface to allow the bleach time to disinfect. Wait 20 minutes after the bleach wash and then repeat. Wait another 20 minutes and wash a third time with bleach. After 20 more minutes, wash the surface with a borate-based detergent solution consisting of 1 cup detergent to 1 gallon of water. The borate detergent wash prevents a reoccurrence of the mold. Do not rinse the borate detergent from the surface.
Use normal cleaning methods to give the remainder of the room a thorough cleaning. Wash the carpet and mop floors in the area.