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How to Clean a Mold Problem in your Home

Black mold problems, whether it is toxic or non-toxic poses a serious threat to your health. Black mold has serious health consequences such as causing mold poisoning which leads to the development of illnesses such as Asthma, Migraines, Insomnia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Vomiting, Nausea, etc. The best way to remedy your home of a mold problem is to remove the underlying source of the mold. In this article, we will specifically go over steps to remove black mold. Go here if you are looking to remove pink mold.

Fungal growth usually occurs in areas of water accumulation, especially if the water is dirty. If there has been a severe flooding or water leak, remove the water immediately and dry the affected area. If the underlying area still remains wet, use hot heater fans or dehumidifiers to remove wetness off the floors. The quicker you remove the water, the faster the mold will die because it takes mold only 24 – 48 hours after a water leak to grow rapidly & spread. Moisture problems occur very frequently in the attic; learn how to remove mold in the attic.

Before you work on removing the source of the mold, such as contaminated water, be sure to take measures to prevent mold spores from evaporating or spreading to other areas of the home. Mold spores can easily get stirred & get airborne traveling through the air to other areas of the home. How do you go about preventing this spread? Well, you seal off each individual area & it should be cleaned separately one at a time. Sealing can be done by locking the doors, windows, escape spots, etc. You can also use plastic sheeting sealed with duct tape on doorways to prevent mold spores from spreading through the air. You can also use an exhaust fan next to a door or window as it will create negative air pressure & will limit the flow of air to other areas of the home. Mold spores that have become airborne will be channeled outside of the home via the exhaust fan, which is so much better than these spores traveling inside of the home.

If the moldy surface you are cleaning is very dry, spread some water over this area. Then mix water with soap and gently clean the area. After, apply a mold disinfectant to kill mold spores that may still be left behind. Scrub all affected areas thoroughly to remove microscopic mold spores that may still be there. Mold spores have the properties of being very durable & dormant for months. Then dry the area with a piece of cloth. Non-porous materials such as glass, plastic, metals, wood, or concrete may be re-used after cleaning them of mold. Moldy areas can also be cleaned with a combination of vinegar & baking soda, or a good mold disinfectant such as Concrobium Mold Control Solution. It is the best liquid solution to kill mold. It contains no bleach, ammonia or VOCs. When this solution is sprayed on mold, it works as it dries, killing mold in the process. Concrobium Mold Control solution hardens itself over the moldy surface to form an invisible film that physically crushes the mold & micro-organism underneath. Go here to read on practical tips to get rid of black mold. Discard the mold & particles into heavy-duty plastic bags and dump them in an approved landfill.

  • If all mold is removed, then there should not be any visible mold and/or a musty/mildew smell or odor.
  • Moisture should not build up in the clean area otherwise this indicates a more complicated problem with the home.
  • The home environment should feel a lot better & the air inside the home must be clean & feel healthy i.e. odor-free.
  • If health problems such as Asthma or Nausea persist even after cleaning the mold, revisit the affected area again & check if there is another mold growing.

How to Deal with Mold Problems in the Attic

The attic is the space found between the ceiling of the top floor of the home & the slanted roof. Attics are awkwardly spaced structures that hold support wood for the roof. Often, they are neglected structures, dirty & very hard to access. Mold development in the attic occurs often because the heat that rises from the floors of a home evaporate into the attic, from which they have nowhere to go. The humid moisture created as a result of this leads to the development of mold spores that grow & multiply rapidly. The warm air that is trapped under the roof will cause condensation to build up on framing, deck surfaces, roofing nails causing mold to form a ‘home’ there & grow. Some homes have multiple attics and the one just above a bedroom/bathroom is more susceptible to forming black mold. Below are some reasons why black mold could grow in your attic.

i) Air from your dryer, kitchen, or bathroom vents is responsible for condensation & mold build up in your attic. This occurs frequently in colder weather such as during winter. Air from exhaust fans also causes mold to build in the attic.

ii) Improperly fitted insulation on the ceiling or skylight can cause mold contamination in the attic.

iii) Air heating system ducts that are not insulated waste energy & increase chances of mold build up in the attic.

iv) Open vents into the attic can discharge moisture & saturated gases into the attic.

v) A leaking roof can allow water, moisture, leaves, dirt & lots more nasty substances from the environment into your attic that can make it very dirty, smell bad & build up mold. If this happens, call a roofing expert immediately to repair any leaks on the roof; this occurs most commonly when the roof tiles are broken.

vi) Hot water heaters & furnaces generate lots of heat. If installed nearby a poorly ventilated attic, moisture from these devices could condensate the attic & force mold to build.

vii) Poor or no insulation of the attic floor will cause heat & moisture to rise during warm weather. When it turns to winter, the mix of cold & warm moisture will stir rapid mold growth.

You can save money on your energy bills each month by insulating your home. Insulation is easy to install & more affordable than most people think. This video is courtesy of Owens Corning and shows you how to install insulation in your home. The insulation should cover the tops of exterior walls but should not block the flow of air from socket vents. Also remember to keep insulation away at least 3 inches from any heat-producing devices i.e. metal chimneys, lighting, etc. If these devices are covered by insulation, they could potentially overheat & catch fire.

How to Remove Mold from the Drywall

Little black dots on your wall indicate mold is building up on your drywall. If this is the case with your walls, there are some steps you can take to remove the black mold & make your home safe to live in again. Before you clean your drywall, you need to be 100% sure there is a mold infestation in your walls. This can be identified by the smell; molds have a dull musty smell. You can also check for mold in your wall through water damage. Water damage is commonly found in basements, windows & doors, attics, behind appliances & televisions, freezers, refrigerators, heaters, etc. These are areas where humidity & moisture commonly build-up & molds grow rapidly. In the image below, we identify black mold by seeing dirty black spots on the drywall; don’t they look disgusting?! Molds are also frequently found in garages.

Before you clean the mold yourself, determine its size. If the mold occupies less than 10 square feet on a hot surface, you can clean the area with Concrobium Mold Control Solution. It is the best liquid solution to kill mold. It contains no bleach, ammonia or VOCs. When this solution is sprayed on mold, it works as it dries, killing mold in the process. Concrobium Mold Control solution hardens itself over the moldy surface to form an invisible film that physically crushes the mold & micro-organism underneath. And Concrobium stays on surfaces to provide continual resistance against mold regrowth.

The most common cause of mold growth is water leakage that promotes damp, cold, moist conditions in your home. This is proven to be very common in home basements where insulation is poor or those that have poor drainage systems. The best way to stop water leakage is to find the source of the leak & take necessary action. An example is filling in cracks with cement, repair roofing & broken tiles on your roof that let water flow through into your home, excavating around the foundation of your home, etc. After making the necessary repairs, you need to ensure the area is dried up & moisture is removed from the air with the use of exhaust fans or dehumidifiers. Go here to learn practical tips on how to get rid of black mold

Here is a good picture showing you all the tools you need to clean mold from a ceramic tile shower. The mildew has accumulated on the edge of the ceramic tile shower that connects the two walls together. You should always wear gloves, long sleeve shirt & goggles to avoid contact with mold solution & detergents. Mix the Concrobium Mold Killing Solution with some water and roughly scrub the moldy area. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go away the first time, repeat several times. When this solution is sprayed on mold, it works as it dries, killing mold in the process. Concrobium Mold Control solution hardens itself over the moldy surface to form an invisible film that physically crushes the mold & micro-organism underneath.

How to Identify & Fight Mold Poisoning

With winter approaching, many people will get cold & flu that seems like it will never go away. Other than going to the doctor & taking medicine prescriptions, there are certainly other things you can do to make sure the sickness goes away quickly. You should consider yourself as having mold poisoning, especially if you have a basement in your home or wet showers. Having toxic black mold in your home can lead to illnesses such as coughing, abdominal pain, itchy eyes, sore throat, flu, dizziness, chest & kidney pains, skin rash, sweating, increase/decrease in body temperature, diarrhea & more. There are also less common symptoms that black mold causes including respiratory infections, seizure, heart attack, chronic fatigue, infertility, swollen lymph nodes, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, stress & inability to deal with stress, weight gain, panic attacks, etc. These symptoms are typically amalgamated with other sicknesses such as extreme fatigue.

If you believe you have mold poisoning, it is best to see a doctor immediately. Your doctor can check for mold poisoning by doing blood tests in your bloodstream for the effects of toxic molds on specific systems of your body. Using these tests, the doctor can recommend a specific treatment path to remove this poisonous fungus from your body. Your doctor will also recommend vitamins & minerals that will increase the strength of your immune system. Finally, don’t forget to clean your home of any black or pink mold that you see.

Great video that shows all possible medical conditions that could develop as a result of mold poisoning. This becomes even more important if you work in a moldy environment such as antique shops, construction areas, Saunas, farms, mills, flower shops, Greenhouses or Summer cottages. Some sicknesses mentioned in this video include:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Bladder incontinence or infections
  • Breast Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystic Acne, Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Ear Infections
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Damage to the Immune system
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of Balance
  • Loss of Taste
  • Migraines
  • Neuropathy
  • Panic attacks
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sinus infections
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Toenail fungus
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Vomiting & Nausea
  • Yeast infections

Measuring Humidity in your Home using Humidity Sensors

Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor in the air and is expressed as a percentage of the maximum that the air could hold at that temperature. When the relative humidity in your home exceeds 50% – 55%, nasty substances such as Black mold, bacteria, dust mites, viruses & other fungi will accumulate & grow. This is where a humidity sensor comes in to play. When you install a humidity sensor aka moisture meter & maintain humidity below 55%, you will have less chance of mold growth in your home. Also, measuring relative humidity will tell you where the problem areas are in your home and whether your moisture-reduction and control strategies are effective. Maintaining relative humidity below 55% will minimize:

  • Indoor fungus & black mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Bacteria
  • Dust
  • Viruses
  • Other Microbials

The best way to understand how moisture is produced & becomes airborne is via examples. Moisture is produced when:

  • You, your family & pets breathe or perspire, the outgoing air becomes moisture.
  • Plants breathe.
  • Household activities such as doing laundry, showering, bathing, cooking, or washing clothes are done.
  • Air enters your home through the basement or crawls space from the surrounding soil.

Improper levels of humidity can cause long term problems for your health & the condition of your home. Let’s compare the effects of too much humidity versus too little.

Too Much Humidity
Too Little Humidity
Typical Symptoms
  • Allergies
  • Wet stains on Walls/Ceilings/Basement
  • Musty smell
  • Condensation on Windows
  • Growth of mold
  • Breathing problems
  • Stuffy nose & sore throat
  • Static & sparks
  • Chipped lips
Long Term Effects
  • Damage to structural areas of home & its possessions including furniture, beds, other contents.
  • Mold poisoning
  • Discomfort
  • Damage to structural areas of home & its possessions including furniture, beds, other contents.

A hygrometer is a small inexpensive instrument that measures the relative humidity levels of a house. It is also referred to as a humidity sensor or relative humidity indicator. The image below is of a hygrometer that sells for $18.95 at major outlets across America. It typically comes with a 1-year warranty & shows temperature and humidity simultaneously. It also has a memory function installed to recall maximum/minimum humidity readings.

How to Get Rid of Pink Mold

Pink mold is a nasty substance that grows in damp & dark places that have heat and high levels of humidity. Examples of places in the home where pink mold is commonly found include bathrooms/showers, tile grout, toilets, etc. When people see the pinkish dirty stuff, they think it is a fungus. However pink mold actually is an airborne bacterium known as Serratia Marcescens. I Googled what this substance is and here’s what I found (from the source below). Serratia marcescens is a motile, short rod-shaped, Gram-negative, facultative anaerobe bacterium, classified as an opportunistic pathogen. It was discovered in 1819 by Bartolomeo Bizio in Padua, Italy.

Health effects of pink mold are very severe as it can lead to urinary tract infections and various mold allergy symptoms. It can also lead to Mold Poisoning. Pink mold is commonly found in hospitals & gymnasiums where the are lots of showers. To prevent pink mold from developing frequently, common-sense steps such as cleaning showers once every 2 days works well. To remove the pink mold, you would use the same steps as you would remove mold from drywallConcrobium Mold Control Solution is the best liquid solution to kill mold. It contains no bleach, ammonia or VOCs. When this solution is sprayed on mold, it works as it dries, killing mold in the process. Concrobium Mold Control solution hardens itself over the moldy surface to form an invisible film that physically crushes the mold & micro-organism underneath.

When cleaning any mold, be sure to open the windows in your bathroom to minimize the irritation that could be caused as a result of the chemicals. Also be sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt, goggles & gloves to present skin irritation. Rub the pinkish moldy areas hard & several times over until it starts coming off. Once the pink mold has started to come out, let it sit for at least 10 minutes then rinse with clean water. If pinkish mold still remains after you rinse with water, repeat the steps above till it wears away. After the final rinse, clean the area with dry cover.

In the video below, this lady uses a mixture of baking soda, vinegar & some water to clean mold off her tub’s grout. If you want to preserve some energy & not have to clean pink mold all the time, invest in a bathroom fan & leave it on during showers. Also when taking a shower, open your windows so that moist humid air evaporates from your bathroom & moisture does not build up. Remember, mold loves damp & wet places with high levels of moisture. It is also recommended to wipe your walls with a squeegee every time you take a shower. For shower walls & hot tub, you could simply dry them after every shower to prevent mold from finding a damp place to grow.