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Mold Clean Up29 Apr

Mold Clean Up

The fact that mold infestation comes with several consequences makes it a nuisance that every homeowner would prefer to avoid. The presence of mold is associated with many respiratory complications, and can also trigger an asthma attack. Apart from that, it causes stains in the walls, and produces a musty smell, which can make the indoor air unbearable to live in.

However, at times, you may be caught up in the day-to-day activities at home or work only to realize one day that there is mold growing on your walls, even in crawl spaces or basements. It’s too late for prevention, so now you are part of the statistics, how do you go about handling such a situation?

Precautions when Cleaning Mold

  • Wear overalls or rugged clothes that you will probably never use again.
  • Wear eyeglasses and a dust mask.
  • Carry gloves, preferably those made from PVC or neoprene.
  • Most people often think that rubber gloves are the best for handling chemicals because they are thicker. However, that is usually a misguided notion. That is because rubber material reacts with most chemicals, and therefore it will most likely react with bleach, or any cleaning agent for that matter. 
  • Properly ventilate the rooms before you begin working, use fans for this purpose.

Seal Off the Damaged Area

It is important to seal off any open space in the room that you are working on. Ensure that all air ducts and door openings to other rooms are blocked off.

Expose the Moldy Walls

Usually, mold growth goes deeper than what is visible on the wall surface. Therefore, you should remove any insulating surfaces in the walls. If the walls are damp, you can drill into the wall a few inches to check if there is hidden mold.

Any affected surfaces should be removed, especially if the growth is extensive. For dry walls, it is advisable that you cut beyond the extent of the damage, just to be safe. Any wooden structural element that shows signs of dampness or rotting should be removed.  

Enclose the Removed Materials

These contaminated materials should be bagged in moistened, airtight polythene bags. This is done to ensure that these materials do not come into contact with unaffected areas, since it can cause further spread.

Scrub the Moldy Areas with Mold Cleaner

Surfaces containing mold stains should be thoroughly scrubbed with a mold cleaner. Ensure that you wear gloves for this process since the cleaning agent is corrosive. The areas should be scrubbed until all traces of mold are eliminated.

You may wipe the surfaces to remove any excess chemicals, however, avoid cleaning the surface with water, as it will further dilute the cleaning agent.

What If You Cannot Afford The Mold Cleaner?

For individuals who may feel that the price of the mold cleaner is too steep, you can opt to make an equally effective cleaning agent yourself. That can be done by mixing ordinary bleaching powder and powder soap, before diluting it with water. To a 1 liter solution, you can add 10 ml of vinegar.

Note: The Controlled amount of water should be used during dilution so that you will have an easy time destroying the mold.

Allow the Areas to Dry

The newly cleaned areas should be dried using either dehumidifiers or fans. For this process, dehumidifiers are preferred, since it will take less time to dry the surfaces. If you are not sure of the type of dehumidifier to use for this process, you can do a quick search on www.unipdry.com before you make a purchase.

Check for Presence of Any Mold Growth

Once the walls and cleaned surfaces are dry, you should investigate to check whether there are any signs of mold growth. Also, try to note whether or not there is any musty smell, which is a primary characteristic of mold growth.

If there is no visible sign, you can proceed with the next step. However, if there is growth, you should repeat the scrubbing process until you get rid of any growth.

Sealing the Surfaces

The surfaces you exposed while cleaning should be resealed to prevent water from soaking them again. For normal concrete walls, you can waterproof the surfaces using either film-forming, or penetrating sealers. If the surfaces are wooden, you can paint using pigmented shellac. Afterward, you can replace insulation and add new drywall.

The sheer fact that you have completely eliminated the mold does not mean that it will never return. If the surfaces become moist again, you run the risk of another mold infestation.