You’re going about your day, and then you spot it: mold. Maybe it’s developed from a water leak. Perhaps you have some severe humidity. Or possibly the cause isn’t immediately identifiable. Whatever the reason, you are now the un-proud owner of a mold outbreak.
Mold, if left untreated, can grow and spread quickly, making it even more critical that you address the mold outbreak as soon as possible. While it’s always a good idea to call in the professionals, there are some small outbreaks that you can try to resolve on your own.
How To Spot Mold Before It Gets Out Of Hand
There are a few ways to know that you have mold on a wall before you see it: a musty or damp smell, cracked and peeling paint, bulging, visible mold growth on your walls or ceiling, and allergy symptoms that get worse when you’re indoors. You may even see the mold, depending on the color and size of the outbreak.
There are also a few key places to check for mold:
- the basement
- exterior walls
- laundry rooms
- humid areas
- anywhere with a water leak
High Humidity May Be The Culprit
All these areas are prone to moist conditions that are prime realty for mold. That is especially important to know because all airborne bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mites love high humidity. By understanding which areas of your home are more likely to experience high humidity, you can keep any mold growth under control while also being aware of areas that need specialized cleaning.
How To Remove The Mold
Here are some steps you should be sure to follow when remediating a mold outbreak on your own.
Prepare the Area
When dealing with mold, it is paramount that you take the necessary safety precautions to avoid any exposure or spreading the mold spores to other areas of your house.
Consider laying down a tarp and towels to soak up any liquid cleansers you use to scrub the area while also protecting your flooring. You should wear goggles, gloves, and a mask to avoid the mold spores making it into your body, which would lead to illness.
Grab the Cleaners
Your first step is to scrub the area with a mold-specific cleaner or a bleach solution. There are several all-natural recipes for cleaners that you can use, though that requires some additional prep work.
Be sure to scrub thoroughly and feel for any damages to the area. In wood and drywall, you’re looking for any soft spots or spots that are ‘squishy’.
Look out especially for green and black mold. Wear a mask, and if you can use a N95 mask or better.
Remove the Damaged Flooring and Walls
The mold on a wall you see is not the only mold that is present. You likely will have to remove some flooring or wall to evict the mold completely. Use clean tools to cut away moldy flooring and wall. You will want to keep these damp before you cut, so the mold spores can’t accidentally brush off somewhere else.
Keep track of all moldy sections you are removing and bag them immediately. Continue until all mold-damaged areas are removed. In the event that it started from a shower curtain, throw it away before the mold spreads to the walls again.
Repair and Replace
Now is the time to repair the areas that were removed. Follow credible advice as to how to install drywall, carpeting, and flooring. Be sure first to scrub the area with a mold-specific cleanser again to ensure that you don’t have to repeat the whole process again.
Clean Up and Keep It Clean
Clean up the area you were working on. Be sure to remove anything that has mold spores on it and throw it all out.
Now that your mold problem is resolved and your home is repaired, you need to keep the mold out. The best habit to get into is regular cleaning.
Understand the Cause
As best you can, try to find the source of the mold on a wall. If you don’t know what caused it, there’s a good chance it’ll come back, making all your hard work pointless.
It doesn’t have to be laboratory tested to create issues with smell and potential breathing problems.
Potential causes include:
- Leaking roof
- Leaking toilet
- Leaking pipes
- Damp clothes left out
- High humidity
It would be best if you also kept in mind the room’s humidity where the mold is growing. Once you know the root cause, you can start the process of getting rid of your pesky new roommate.
Humidity Is Often the Cause
One frequent cause of mold is humidity. Depending on where you live, you may have a high level of moisture. A sign you may have high humidity, other than mold, is headaches. Recent studies have shown there may be a link between high humidity and headaches.
You may also have a cooling system that produces humidity in your home. An option for those who experience mold from humidity is a petite dehumidifier. It can be a great way to resolve the moisture leading to your mold outbreak.