No matter how vigilant you might be in cleaning your home, black mold can creep up and become a problem before you get to halt it in its tracks. It is an allergen, is toxic and unsightly, and black mold removal can, unfortunately, be quite a challenge.
Due to its toxicity, it is vital that you are aware of the risk factors of illness that it can bring to your home. When carrying out black mold removal, you must exercise caution, wear protective clothing and follow some specific procedures to avoid re-infecting the home.
Do not D.I.Y. if you are not well
A home affected by black mold is considered contaminated and will remain so until the problem is rectified. Unless you are in good health yourself, you should leave black mold removal to the professionals because doing it yourself could make you sick, or sicker.
Anyone who suffers or is prone to asthma, allergies or any lung conditions should not tackle this job, nor be present when it is being carried out. Ask your contractor for proof of certification for black mold removal and if possible, references as well; that way you will know that they do a proper job and render your home rid of the mold.
Do-it-yourself black mold removal requires the use of some measures to prevent you falling sick:
- A respirator or high efficiency dust filter mask will protect you from inhaling the black mold spores. Wear this at all times when exposed to the mold.
Prevent exposure of your skin to the spores. Put on protective clothing that you will be able to remove and wash easily.
Always wear eye goggles to protect your eyes, and rubber gloves.
Send all of the family and pets to another location while the black mold removal is underway.
Clean a single area or room at a time to avoid further contamination and to keep the job manageable.
Dispose of any contaminated materials in sealed plastic bags.
Keep the house well ventilated while working.
Work for short periods of time and take regular breaks in an outdoor location where fresh air is plentiful. Remove all protective clothing when eating, and wash your hands.
While black mold removal is taking place, work on one specific area at a time. Seal off the work area from the rest of the house and seal air ducts to eliminate spores from the ductwork and ultimately, other rooms.
When the removal is complete, but before the family moves back in, allow the affected area to dry out thoroughly. Ventilate the room by opening windows and doors, or even use a dehumidifier to speed up the process. You can even use an air purifier that will help to mop up some of the spores that may be lingering in the atmosphere.
Begin at the Beginning
Of course, black mold removal is going to be a pointless exercise if you do not first identify and eliminate the cause of the dampness that resulted in the growth of the spores. Track the moisture back to the source and repair any plumbing or appliances that are leaking.
If the problem is condensation, the area may need to be more efficiently ventilated. A prior flooding episode may not have dried up properly. Whatever the culprit, it must be resolved before you tackle the mold, otherwise the mold will return with its original vigor.