Are you surprised to find mold in your new home? Many people think that mold is mostly common to older homes and in high humidity areas, for example along coastal regions. However, that’s simply not true.
Mold grows where there is a source for food, warm temperatures, and moisture. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must have a burst pipe in your house.
In fact, sometimes the culprit for mold and mildew growth in a newer home is just how green the construction of the house was no pun intended.
Nelson Barnes Jr., a diy mold removal expert The Washington Post consulted with, says that increased energy efficiency in a newer house will be the perfect breeding ground for mold, because it prevents proper air circulation.
Mastering DIY Mold Removal
Do-it-yourself mold removal doesn’t have to be a giant pain in the neck as long as you go about it the right way.
There are certain tips and tricks that can help you master DIY mold removal so you can make sure the damage to your home is minimal.
1. Acting Fast to Stop Mold Growth is Crucial
Since mold can grow fast, identifying the problem and acting quickly to address it is crucial – especially if you live in an area with high humidity levels.
That’s why our first tip is to make sure you act fast to stop mold growth in its tracks.
There’s not much you can do to control food sources for mold, since they feed off of dust particles and dirt. However, you can control the temperature and moisture in your home.
If you have A/C installed in your home, decrease the temperature in the affected room or rooms. Set up a dehumidifier and increase ventilation, since you’ll need to bring down the humidity to 60% at the most to succeed in mold removal (30% to 60% is an acceptable range).
Remove any carpeting from the affected areas, as carpet can trap dust, hold in moisture, and increase temperature, providing the ideal living conditions for mold.
2. Dressing Appropriately for the Mold Removal Process
Before you begin, make sure you’re properly dressed. We recommend wearing gloves at the very least.
Using gloves will protect the skin on your hands from irritation or damage resulting from any of the cleaning products you choose to use.
However, especially when there is visible mold damage to your home, it’s best to follow certain attire guidelines for appropriate protection. This will help guard your health and wellbeing.
Since removing mold off of damaged surfaces usually requires using chemicals that could be harmful to your health, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you wear protection for your eyes, a specialized mask (a respirator marked N-95 on the packaging), waterproof footwear, and long pants and sleeves.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to use the above protection even if you are treating a small area of your home.
3. Remember that Health Comes First When Dealing With Mold
There are certain health risks involved when dealing with mold removal. If you have existing respiratory issues, conditions that have lowered your immune system’s response, or suffer from allergies, you probably should’t be involved in the process.
It is also best to avoid taking on the challenge if you are pregnant or if you are feeling under the weather.
Even if you are healthy as a horse, always take extra care and precaution to protect your wellbeing by wearing protecting gear, as metioned above.
Begin the process when others are away and make sure you’ve removed pets from the area, as the chemicals and the mold itself can be harmful to them.
4. Top-rated Mold Removal Products
To remove mold using a natural product, baking soda can help you when diluted in water or vinegar. Choose water if you’d like to limit the odor while you’re cleaning.
Combine a few tablespoons of baking soda into a couple of cups of water in a spray bottle, shaking vigorously to dissolve the crystals.
Spray the solution directly on to mold and let sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a brush and rinse. To make sure you’ve gotten it all, spray the affected area once more and let it air dry.
If you believe you need a more aggressive product and don’t mind the odor, try dissolving the baking soda in a vinegar-and-water solution.
The baking soda will react with the vinegar and create bubbles and foam that could help you clean the surface more easily, especially if the surface is irregular. Follow the same steps above to clean the infected surface.
If the mold infestation isn’t severe, we recommend this method. After all, who wants to expose their family to unnecessary harsh chemicals?
However, to succeed at removing mold that isn’t superficial, learn about the best products in the market.
The following are our favorite picks from the 10 Best Mold Removal Products, listed in alphabetical order:
Mold Bomb! by Biocide Laboratories
This product ranked at first in the list. Some of the consumer reviews cite that they were surprised that such a small quantity product could have such good results.
One reviewer even said he’d be okay paying double for the product, since it worked so well for his situation!
The most convenient Mold Bomb! feature is that it comes in a fogger can, rather than in a bottle or spraying.
Mold Control by Concrobium
If you have a sensitivity to harsh odors, then this product is for you – it’s odorless. Mold Control will remove mold as well as prevent it.
One of the characteristics that reviewers seems to love is that there’s no way to tell that you’ve sprayed it on the surface you used it on.
Some users recommend washing and scrubbing down walls before application, though the product instructions direct to clean up with the product itself.
While it is meant to be sprayed, some consumers also report using it in a fogger.
If your mold damage is located outdoors, this product is for you.The manufacturer notes on Amazon.
com state that this product will reactivate each time rain falls on the treated area. Their product can be used on surfaces such as asphalt, driveways, docks, natural stone, plastic furniture and houses, among others.
One reviewer said he was impressed that the product had an effect within weeks, when the manufacturer said it could take up to six months!
Vital-Oxide is reportedly the most safe, hospital-grade mold remover that holds an EPA registration, according to its product listing on Ebay.
Some consumers who are sensitive to bleach claim this product does not irritate them like bleach does. Others say that the product also helps eliminate odor from pet urine!
The label claims that it will remove mold in 15 seconds or less. That translates to a big chemical punch. Many users call it magical and say that it’s all they need to keep their homes clean.
However, there are some who have reported safety concerns. Be careful and make sure you wear extra protection while using this one!
5. Knowing When It’s Best to Call a Professional
Whether due to health hazards or the complexity of the issue sometimes, it just doesn’t make any sense to try to tackle a project on our own.
It may be best to hire a professional in some cases:
- You have asthma or any other condition that puts you at risk: Risking your health and well-being to save a few dollars just isn’t worth it. Protect yourself and your loved ones by avoiding the harsh chemicals and exposure to the mold.
- The water damage and mold infestation is extensive: Sometimes, no matter how vigilant you are, leaks and water damage can sneak up on you. If too much time passed before you noticed the damage, and it got out of control, it’s best to call a professional.
- The insurance will cover it: Insurance companies have certain restrictions and guidelines to their coverage, including filing the proper estimate and invoicing paperwork. You certainly wouldn’t want to do it yourself when that would prevent you from filing that claim.
If you find youself in any of the situations above, it’s best to call a mold removal professional to do the job for you.
Rinse and Repeat: Become a DIY Mold Removal Master
Once you’ve addressed the issue, make sure you keep an eye on subceptible areas, keep air circulating throughout your home, and keep humidity at the lowest levels possible.
The best way to master mold is to not even have to deal with it. Learning how mold grows and thrives will help you prevent it, since preventing a mold infestation is much better than having to go through this process.