How to Clean Black Mold
Black Mold, also known as Stachybotrys, is a notorious toxic mold known to produce mycotoxins that cause severe health problems, including breathing difficulty, sinusitis, fatigue and even depression. In spite of its Black Mold moniker, it can be dark green in appearance and has a slimy texture.
You may be able to safely clean the black mold yourself so long as the growth is confined to a limited area. Often times, the reason to call a professional is due to the scale of the problem, difficult access to the area, or the need to remove material such as drywall.
When it comes to cleaning small amounts of easy to access mold, you can get all the tools and supplies needed to do the job right at your local hardware store.
Before you start cleaning, make sure you protect your skin and your lungs. Wear rubber or latex gloves and a mask. A dust mask from your local hardware store may be sufficient, or you may choose a half face respirator for better protection.
If you feel like you need more protection than gloves and a mask, it may be time to call in the pros. More extensive measures such as containment walls and negative air can be utilized to ensure mold spores do not further contaminate your home or expose your family.
Cleaning Black Mold
On hard surfaces, us a rag with a gentle dish detergent, such as Cascade, to clean. Replace the rags often, and go ahead and throw the used ones away.
Stiff bristle brushes are great for reaching into corners and cracks. Buy the brush that you think will fit best into the area you are cleaning.
Make sure you clean the mold with safe products; there’s no sense in replacing one environmental toxin with another harsh chemical such as bleach.
Because mold spores are microscopic, be sure you cover all surface areas, not just the places where the mold is visible.
When you’re done, you may notice some stains remain. Not all mold stains can be removed, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the mold is still there. It’s not uncommon for black staining to remain and there is no negative impact.
Other stains, such as insect droppings or white oxidation, are sometimes mistaken for mold.
After you have cleaned the mold away, it’s time to kill any remaining spores in order to prevent new growth. It is unlikely you were able to reach every nook and cranny, so a little more work is needed.
We recommend a product called Concrobium Mold Control. It’s botanical-based, safe, and free of any Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Spray it onto the surface you cleaned to prevent mold re-growth and control any musty odors.
Many of the symptoms you may have experienced with Black Mold in your home should go away.
If symptoms of mold exposure remain after cleaning, you probably need to work on cleansing your body of the toxins. Check out this article for some great tips.
In severe cases, you may decide to see your doctor or consult with a holistic healthcare provider.
What You Can’t Clean
Depending on the severity of mold growth, drywall can be tough to clean. Often the water associated with the mold growth deteriorates the drywall and replacement is the best option. Know that when you remove contaminated drywall, you will likely release more mold that is hiding inside the wall cavity. A professional mold remediation can use methods that will eliminate the possibility of further contamination.
Textiles, fabrics, stuffed animals, and other soft materials can be tough to clean. You can start with the washing machine. It will remove the mold spores, but may leave staining.
For valuable rugs, curtains, and upholstery, there are professional cleaning options available. Start by calling your local carpet cleaning companies for more information on these items.
Fixing The Source
Mold is always associated with humidity, moisture, or water.
It is critical that you evaluate the area you cleaned and correct the issues that lead to mold growth in the first place. If you don’t solve the source of water… the mold will simply return.