Do It Yourself Mold Remediation
Most homes get mold infestations in one way or another. It can be light to heavy depending on what type of atmosphere you live in. Not everyone has the money to hire a contractor to perform this cleanup. This post will help with do it yourself mold remediation. It can either show up outdoors or indoors. Removal is important because it could cause health problems by releasing microscopic spores. It could also damage the structure with wood rot from dampness. When you are tackling this project, spores will be disturbed and could infiltrate the surrounding air. If you are highly allergic to mold or have a weak immune system, please have either someone you know or a professional perform this job.
Identifying Mold or Mildew
Mold spores are in the air and usually end up in moist places. It can be located on porous surfaces or in grout and in humid areas of the house like the bathroom, basements or attics. Also, outdoor areas such as siding, eaves, shingles, stucco and brick on the north side of the house. Wood decking and concrete can’t escape this nuisance either. This will typically be in a temperature range between 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (4 – 38 degrees Celsius). To be positive that this isn’t dirt, apply bleach and if it lightens within a few minutes then its mold or mildew. You will typically smell large concentrations of mold and may have spread to other areas that you can’t see. This could be behind the walls or within your carpet and padding. If this is the case, then it will need to be taken care of as soon as possible.
Removing damaged material
If your problem is minor, you can skip to the Cleaning paragraph. It is very important to remove items that can’t be cleaned. This will include carpet and padding, sheet rock, rotten or warped wood, paper, etc. While you are getting rid of the contents, wear eye goggles, a N95 respirator and latex gloves. Cover all HVAC vents to prevent spores from entering and passing through the rest of your home. If possible, run a exhaust fan to the outdoors. This can be a typical box fan facing outwards. After remediation, these items would be considered contaminated and could restart the problem if returned. You would seal these items in plastic and dispose.
You will need to dry the wet area if there was a flood. Mop up any standing water in the area. A wet vac with HEPA filter can be of help for hard to reach areas. The mop will need to be disposed of after use since it could contain spores. You would use both fans and Dehumidifiers to remove as much moisture as possible. Recommended equipment can be found here. You cannot start the cleaning and treatment until this is done. Most Dehumidifiers have a reading on the moisture levels. I would also suggest using a handheld meter to measure different spots in the area for accuracy.
Mildew and minor mold can be cleaned with a 1-to-8 bleach and water solution. Heavier concentrations will need to be cleaned with products mentioned on this website which can be found here. These cleaners will encapsulate the spores preventing it to spread. You will need to follow the instructions provided on the different products. Don’t forget to keep wearing the protective gear during this process too.
The sheet rock and carpet will need to be replaced. This could be done yourself or by a professional. After this step the job is finished and hopefully resolved your problem.