Mold remover formula

What are the causes, how to clean it and prevent it

Black mold is very common in buildings and homes, especially at this time of year, and it can be extremely difficult to get rid of. It grows in places with a lot of moisture, such as windows and pipes, around roof leaks or where there has been flooding.

Besides being unpleasant to look at, mold can also cause many health problems. People with asthma or mold allergies can have severe reactions, and immunocompromised people, as well as people with chronic lung disease, can develop lung infections.

To prevent mold, humidity levels in the home should be kept between 30% and 50%, rooms should be ventilated, and leaks should be dealt with. If your home has been infested with mold and you’re having trouble cleaning it, these tips from professional cleaners can help.

Image of a person cleaning a surface covered in black mold. In addition to being unpleasant to look at, mold can cause many health problems.
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Is black mold dangerous?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to damp, moldy environments can cause a variety of health problems, including symptoms such as a stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes or skin.

Severe reactions can also occur in workers who are exposed to large amounts of mold in the workplace, for example, farmers working around moldy hay. These reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.

On Tuesday, a UK coroner ruled that mold had caused the death of Awaab Ishak, who died shortly after his second birthday in December 2020, due to a serious respiratory condition caused by prolonged exposure to mold in his home.

How to get rid of black mold

Mold spores can be found almost anywhere and when exposed to moderate temperatures and humidity they begin to grow and multiply. Since it’s usually not possible to remove mold, professional cleaners aim to reduce exposure to moisture that allows mold spores to grow.

1. Identify the source

Before you clean up a mold, you need to identify the source because if the mold is cleaned up but the water source is not found, it will come back.

Mike Powell, owner of Red Flag Home Inspection, said Newsweek that if the mold is very dense, you are probably dealing with direct wetting. It could be a leaking pipe, a faulty drain line under a sink, a window leak, or a damaged roof. If it’s less dense, you’re dealing with humidity (airborne moisture) or a lower volume water event. In either case, the source must be found and eliminated before proceeding.

2. Protect yourself: wear a mask, goggles and gloves

When dealing with black mold you need to make sure you are properly protected, which means you will need a respirator to protect against the spores, as well as clothing that covers all skin. You will also need to use safety glasses and rubber gloves throughout the process.

3. Prepare affected areas

Another important step before cleaning is to make sure your air conditioning and/or heating is turned off, to prevent moving air from carrying spores during cleaning. You should also seal all doors that lead out of the room to keep mold spores trapped inside and open all windows, using an exhaust fan near openings to the outside, to channel air in. outside the house.

protect yourself when cleaning mold
A stock image shows a person cleaning mold off a wall. Experts advise taking precautions when cleaning black mold.
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4. Clean the mold

Once the room is prepped, you can spray the black mold with a natural or chemical mold remover and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, said Andrii Gurskyi, co-founder of HomeClean Cleaning Services. Newsweek. It can then be scrubbed with a sponge and additional cleaning solution. Once dry, repeat the process as many times as necessary to completely remove the mold.

5. Throw away ALL products used to clean mold

When you are finished scrubbing, clean the area thoroughly removing any dirt or debris that may contain additional mold, making sure to clean the entire room before unsealing your doors, leaving the exhaust fan on for 12-24 hours to ensure all airborne spores are gone.

Other ways to clean mold, Powell says, are to vacuum surfaces or clean them using a quart of water and half a cup of bleach.

He said: “Many also recommend using vinegar, which is fine, but please note that bleach and vinegar create a toxic vapor when mixed, so don’t use both! This mixed [of either water and bleach or water and vinegar] can be used to scrub mildew, with a sponge or scouring pad, until you can no longer see the mildew or stain.

“Whether [any] visible discoloration remains, this is likely due to hyphae (rooting structure of the mold) embedded in the material. No amount of rubbing can remove the discoloration and replacement may be required.”

What products to use to remove black mold

According to Gurskyi, you can use both natural and chemical products to clean mold in your home, and here are some of his suggestions.

Natural products

  • Tea tree oil—For this method, mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil for every cup of water.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract—Mix 10 drops in each cup of water.

Chemical products

  • Household bleach – Regular household bleach can kill mold, but you will need to add dish detergent if you want to remove mold from painted walls or wooden floors.
black mold
A picture of mold. Black mold is particularly problematic for certain groups of people, for example, those with allergies and lung disease.
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How an Air Purifier Can Help Prevent Black Mold

Although air purifiers won’t help treat active mold already on your walls, they can control the spread of airborne mold particles to other surfaces. They help capture mold spores by cleaning and recirculating the air, preventing them from reproducing and spreading.

Tyler Orehek, president of Airgle Corporation North America, said Newsweek that the use of a medical grade air purifier, coupled with corrective measures, can lead to a permanent solution. He added that it is important that an air purifier is properly certified, for example by CARB (California Air Resources Board) or AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers), two highly respected certification bodies.

How to keep your home mold free

To keep your home free of black mold, you must first repair leaks to prevent excess moisture and keep humidity levels around the home as low as possible, ideally between 30% and 50%. The use of exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom is also helpful.

If you have direct wetting mold, Powell suggests removing and replacing the drywall or material, because when it comes to wall materials, you can clean the surface, but you can’t clean the side of the cavity. mural inside the wall. If you want to go even further, Gurskyi suggests adding mold inhibitors to your paints before painting the walls.

Correction 11/18/22, 6:30 PM ET: This article has been updated to correct the name of Airgle Corporation North America.