How Do I Clean Up the Mold in My Home?

This is a continuation of an important topic that we’ve been considering for several weeks. Earlier GAMA Air posted a general blog entry about what you should know about mold. Then we discussed what you should consider if mold is in your home. I know... not exactly appetizing, is it? But for our friends and family in and around Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino it is topic we feel is important. So let’s say you’ve determined that you have a minor mold problem in your home. How can you clean it up?

Here are some tips and techniques you can use, that are recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Keep in mind that a professional cleaning or mold remediation company may use other methods.

How to clean up small mold problems in your home

First, get to the root of the problem. Mold grows when there is a constant source of moisture. So fix those plumbing leaks as soon as possible. Make sure rain water is directed away from your house. Then, dry all items completely.

If the mold is growing on a hard surface, scrub it off using an all-purpose cleaner and water. Some bathroom cleaners are advertised as being able to remove mold and mildew, but just be aware that some of those cleansers also contain bleach which you may not want to use on some of your household items. Then dry the items again.

If the mold is growing on an absorbent or porous material, such as ceiling tiles, furniture fabric or throw rugs you may have to throw the items away. Mold could be growing in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, making it difficult or impossible to completely remove or kill the mold. If it is a valuable item, either monetarily or sentimentally, then consider calling a professional mold remediation service company.

If the mold is growing on wall-to-wall carpeting, then you have to pull it up. The reason is because there is almost always an underlying material which most certainly will be growing mold also. If not, it will at least be damp and will promote the return of the mold in the carpet if it isn’t taken care of. It may seem expensive to pull out an entire room of carpeting for a small moldy spot in one corner. But it will be a small price to pay for the health and well-being of your family.

Lastly, mold may stain some surfaces and cause cosmetic damage. Removing the mold may not restore an item to its original appearance. Once again, if the item has some value to you, then consider enlisting the services of a specialist in mold remediation and restoration.

What to wear when cleaning up mold 

Avoid breathing in air-borne mold. So you may want to wear an N-95 respirator, which you can get at many hardware or home improvement stores. They will be more expensive than a standard dust mask, but work better at preventing breathing in mold spores. Of course, follow the instructions that come with the mask. If it doesn’t fit properly than it won’t be effective.

Avoid touching mold with your bare hands. So you may want to wear gloves, preferably long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm if possible. Ordinary dishwashing gloves may be acceptable if you are cleaning with water and a mild detergent. But if you are using a disinfectant, chlorine bleach, or a stronger cleaning solution, then you it would be advisable to use gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane or PVC.

Avoid getting mold in your eyes. So wear goggles, preferably goggles that do not have ventilation holes, if possible.

Do you have a question about your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner? Visit our Ask an Expert page, fill out the form, and our resident expert will get back to you quickly.

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