What is Black Mold?
Black mold is what we all know as mildew. It is greenish-black in color, and it thrives anywhere there is moisture, and I mean anywhere. I found it on the inside of my freezer door! Usually you will find it in bathrooms, kitchens and basements. As mold grows, it feeds off of the material it is living on, and releases spores to germinate and spread. As it spreads, it releases compounds which produce that nasty, musty smell we are all familiar with. A person who breathes in the air where mold is present can aggravate or elevate asthma or allergy symptoms.
How do I get rid of Black Mold?
1. The first thing you should do is assess why the mold was present in the first place. Is your home’s moisture level too high? Do you have a leaking faucet? Fix the leak or purchase a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture level. Consider buying a hygrometer which measures your home’s moisture level so you know at all times what the level is (should not exceed 50%).
2. If you do not have the following items, purchase them, a mask, goggles and gloves. The mask should be a particle mask approved by OSHA.
3. Remove any items that have mold on them that need to be thrown out in a sealed plastic bag.
4. First clean the affected area with a solution of detergent and water, use a scrub brush.
5. Let the surface dry, then wipe the surface with a solution of one cup bleach and one gallon water. Repeat this step after 20 minutes.
6. Finally, mix a solution of detergent containing borate with water and apply it to the affected area. Do not rinse it off. This will prevent reocurrence of the mold.
7. Throw away the mask and gloves in a sealed plastic bag.
If the affected area is more than 10 square feet or you find it is behind walls or cabinets, it is best to bring in a professional mold remediation service as larger infestations can get tricky and can require special tools and chemicals.