Breathing in black mold has detrimental effects on our health — that’s scary when studies show that at least 45 million buildings in the United States contain unhealthy levels of mold.
Black mold is not only detrimental to your health though, but it also can ruin your home, completely eating away at its foundation.
Once you spot black mold in your home or suspect there may be black mold growing, it’s crucial you get to work removing it right away.
Here’s a step-by-step process on how to get rid of black mold.
Identifying Black Mold
A dead giveaway of black mold is its texture and color. Black mold is often slimy in texture and can look dark green or black, and sometimes even gray in color.
When it comes to the smell, black mold often smells wet and musty.
Black mold growth appears spotty or patchy and the growth spreads easily over time.
It’s also likely you have mold in your home if you constantly experience burning or scratching feelings in your throat and lungs.
Find the Source of the Moisture
Black mold is often caused by an excess amount of moisture in an area, so in order to get rid of it, you must first find the cause of it. Black mold commonly occurs in rooms like your basement, especially underneath cardboard boxes, but that’s not the only place you may find it.
Common areas to look for moisture sources include:
- Faucets and fixtures
- Damaged or leaking pipes
- Leaky water heaters
Black mold can also form in areas not exactly a faucet but near a water source, such as under your sink.
Pay attention to the smells in your home — if any areas smell musty, that’s likely the area where black mold is growing. Be sure to use a flashlight to make sure you can fully see into all the dark nooks and crannies.
Black mold is one of the most dangerous types of mold, so you have to protect yourself from exposure before you begin removing it.
Before handling black mold, you should put on the following items:
- Respirator – breathing in the spores can lead to black mold poisoning
- Pants and long sleeves – cover all exposed skin
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
Prepare the Area
Not only do you have to protect yourself from black mold, but you also want to protect the rest of your home.
Here are some things you should do once your protective gear is on:
- Turn off your air conditioner or heater
- Seal doorways to the rest of your home with a tarp and painter’s tape
- Place an exhaust fan near doorways leading outdoors
Turning off your air conditioner or heater can help prevent the spores from traveling throughout your home, and sealing your doorways is taking it an extra step.
Once the spores are in the air around you, an exhaust fan positioned near a doorway leading outdoors will help to push the airborne spores out of your home.
Here are some natural solutions you can prepare right in your kitchen for getting rid of black mold:
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Combine one part baking soda with five parts white vinegar and five parts water in an empty spray bottle.
Spray the black mold with this solution and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Scrub the area using a sponge and repeat as needed until all the mold has been removed.
Tea tree and grapefruit essential oils are effective at disinfecting and deodorizing areas plagued with black mold. Plus, they’re non-toxic and not full of harmful chemicals.
Fill a glass spray bottle with water, and for each cup of water add one teaspoon of either tea tree or grapefruit essential oil.
Shake the bottle and spray the area covered in the mold until it’s saturated. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes and then remove the mold with a sponge. Repeat as needed.
After all the mold is removed, wipe the entire area with paper towels.
Lemons are naturally deodorizing, antiseptic and are great cleaners and stain removers.
The high level of acidity in lemons helps to break down mold, making for easy removal, and works to disinfect the surface once the mold is gone.
Add the juice of three to five lemons to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray the mold, allow to sit for five minutes, and then wipe the surface with paper towels. Repeat as needed.
Clean the Area
Once the mold is removed you want to thoroughly clean the area and the room that the mold was found in.
Place any objects you don’t need that you suspect may also contain mold in a sealed black garbage bag to be thrown out.
After that, you’ll want to thoroughly wipe down all the surfaces in the room, including the floor, before unsealing your doorways. Leave the exhaust fan on for up to a full day to ensure all the spores are being carried outdoors.
Finally, throw out everything you used to clean the mold, such as the paper towels and sponge, as well as your rubber gloves. Give your clothing and safety goggles a thorough cleaning.
Preventing Black Mold from Returning
In order to prevent black mold from returning, you’ll want to keep an eye on the moisture level in your home. Run a humidifier daily in any areas of your home that are often humid, such as your basement, and make sure your bathrooms are well ventilated.
Regularly disinfect and clean areas that often get wet, such as faucets and underneath your sinks.
Be sure to repair pipe leaks or bursts as soon as they happen, and don’t store any items in your home that are wet.
How to Get Rid of Black Mold
Inhaling spores from mold can cause anything from headaches to full-on respiratory issues. Those considered at risk, such as babies, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems, can have even worse reactions to black mold.
It’s important you know how to get rid of black mold so that, if the unfortunate case does arise that you discover black mold in your home, you’ll know what to do. As long as you follow this guide you’ll have the mold out of your home in no time.
If your black mold is a result of water damage, or you’re interested in getting some other services done in your home such as air duct cleaning, contact us today for a free estimate.