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Removing Mold From Your Home

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 30, 2011

If you find that there is mold growing in your home from a wet or damp basement, you need to act fast in order to remove it. However, if you have a mold problem that covers more than a 10-foot by 10-foot area, consider calling a professional.

When dealing with mold removal, be careful, once mold is disturbed it will release mold spores that can cause additional growth, or those spores can lead to health problems.

The first phase of work will be to completely remove drywall and carpet and all other “non permanent” affected items.  Also remove any furnishings that are carrying mold.  It is rare that these items can be saved once they have mold.

Once that is completed, it is time to clean the mold.  Use a cleaning product that is designed specifically for mold removal.  This will ensure that the spores have been killed, and the entire mold organism has been removed.  You must be very thorough, especially in wall and ceiling cavities. 

Remember that mold spores are often invisible.  So, even though the visible mold has been removed from surfaces, the spores could remain in the air for quite some time. It is very important to isolate the area where you have mold from the rest of the house because mold spores are designed to travel in the air until they can find a place to settle which is good for growth.  Mold spores need warmth, moisture, and a food source.  The food source can include wood, drywall, paper, fabrics and other typical household items. 

The next step is to eliminate the moisture and the food source.  The mold cleaning detergent needs to eliminate the food source from the washed surfaces but you also need to lower the humidity levels in the area.  The temperature in the space should be higher than normal because this will promote faster drying.  Be sure to close any windows or doors to the outside as well, so that humidity from the outdoors cannot come in.

The basement or other affected area should have good airflow for several days, so use fans; but most importantly, be sure to have a dehumidifier in this space.  It should be a reliable, powerful unit that will remove moisture from the air into either into a reservoir or a hose running to a drain or sump pump.  With a moisture meter you can regularly check surfaces and materials for moisture content.  Once you are able to get walls and floors to 12% moisture content or less, mold growth can no longer be sustained.

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