Thanks for asking this question. While I don’t recommend ever trying to do a mold remediation by yourself, it’s important to understand the process. I’ll tell you how to do it, but I recommend you get help to ensure that it is done correctly.
Mold removal can be a daunting process…especially if your home has had a history of flooding and if you are concerned that the initial water damage may not have been handled properly. Often, a property that is experiencing a mold issue has had a previous water intrusion, often from outside, that has caused some kind of flooding.
Outside water carries mold spores into the property, depositing them around where the flooding has occurred, and allowing them to start to grow. It takes less than 48 hours for growth to start, and though microscopic, if left untreated, it can grow slowly for years and develop into a serious problem.
The first item to address when you are looking to remove mold is to identify and evaluate whether or not you still have a water issue in the property. If the property is relatively dry, and if you have resolved the issue that initially caused a water intrusion, you can proceed to look at the mold issue.
Visible mold on a wall does not always indicate that there is an air quality issue in a home…so before you simply jump to conclusions that you have a mold issue, you need to evaluate the air quality levels in the space. Most companies will offer a test for a few hundred dollars that will compare interior mold spore counts to exterior counts in the air. If your air mold levels are higher than outside levels, you can bet that you have an issue.
So….let’s assume you’ve done the above and let’s assume that you now know you have an air quality issue in the space. Remember, you may not be able to see the mold growth that is causing the air quality issue. You have a few options from here:
- If you cannot identify where the mold is, you can cut into the wall where the previous flooding occurred (if any). You’ll probably find it there.
- If there was no flooding and you suspect this mold is the result of humidity, or if you prefer to not guess where to cut into walls, you need to seek professional help.
- There are several companies, like ours, which offer demolition free mold remediation solutions, usually in the form of a dry fog or aerosol based solution. These companies can treat any interior air and also force their mold solutions into wall cavities where mold may be entering into the living space.
- If mold growth is VISIBLE and OBVIOUS, you can opt to clean up the mold yourself. For a complete solution, DO NOT USE BLEACH. Bleach will hide the staining, but not resolve the mold issues. Use white vinegar or a mold killer from your local store. Wear protective equipment while disturbing the mold to avoid ingestion. In the case of severe wall staining and uncleanable surfaces, you may opt to demolish, remove, and replace the materials.
It is critical during this process that a containment is made in the space to isolate the area of the home where you might be doing demolition. Reduce air flow from the space throughout the rest of the home by hanging plastic sheeting to isolate the space. Consider running a HEPA vac while you clean to reduce dust. Do not use water to wet the space, as this may further encourage mold growth and sporing.
You will typically have to remove insulation and replace it if you are doing the work yourself. Scrub the walls of the foundation, the studs, and any dry wall that is salvageable with your mold solution.
Once you have completely removed and cleaned all mold from the space, ensure that the space is dry.
Carefully remove the contaminated material from your home, and clean everything in the contained area very carefully before proceeding.
After cleaning has occurred, you can rebuild in the space without isolation and feel confident that you have resolved the issue.
Feel free to reach out anytime with any questions. Also, we’re free for a consultation for professional help for any mold remediation, mold removal, or mold testing needs.