Finding mold in your home or office can be scary. Don’t Panic! The situation is usually fixable if treated properly. There are several things you should not do to fix the problem and some things that you can and should do to clean up the mold you have found in your space.
First, the DON’Ts
- Do NOT use bleach on mold. Bleach will kill many types of molds. The problem is that killing mold does not necessarily get rid of it completely. Once mold dies or is threatened, it can release the mycotoxins (the poisons created by the mold) into your air or environment.
- Do NOT have your air ducts cleaned or serviced until your HVAC system has been cleaned by a licensed professional. If you have any mold your home or office, you probably have it in your HVAC system as well and it will need to be properly cleaned.
- Do NOT paint over the mold except to contain it just prior to it being removed. Painting mold covered wood or sheet rock is very ineffective at containing mold from spreading.
- Do NOT try to cover up a moldy smell with air fresheners or moth balls. Those release chemicals which can be very unhealthy for anyone to breathe.
- Do NOT do a quick “cover up” fix over a moldy area (IE: a black mold patch). This will probably just be temporary until the source of the mold is found and fixed. Also, this cover-up will agitate the mold and can cause it to become airborne and infest your HVAC system. It is best to call in a professional to remediate any mold you find.
- DO Find the source of the mold or water intrusion. Mold is everywhere and it grows where it has water and a food source. Until the water source has been stopped, you will not be able to stop mold from growing and spreading.
- DO use a DIY home kit to test your indoor air quality. If you smell or see mold, a home test kit can help you take the temperature of your air’s health. You can find them by clicking here. You can also call in a profession to do IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) testing if you think you have a serious issue.
- DO wear a breathing mask and eye protection when looking for mold or when treating it. Any exposure to mold and the mycotoxins they produce is harmful to you.
- DO use a high concentration hydrogen peroxide to kill the mold. As stated before, killing mold in and of itself is not ideal. However, the extra oxygen atom in H2O2 is very effective at neutralizing molds’ mycotoxins. However, for this to be truly effective, a high concentration is needed, usually a 27% solution. The 5% solution sold at most stores does not work very well for this purpose.
- DO be VERY careful when using high concentration H2O2 as it will burn your skin. Use good rubber gloves, a mask, protective clothing, and good eye protection when you are using it.
- DO wipe up the foamy residue from when you are using hydrogen peroxide. This will help pull the roots of the mold out of the surface you are cleaning which will prevent it from growing back. For best results, spray the non-diluted peroxide onto the moldy area, wait 10 minutes while it foams up, then wipe the area clean. Continue repeating this process until it stops foaming at which point the mold will have all been neutralized.
- DO continue to replace your air filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Dust and airborne mold will collect in them. Properly changing and disposing of the filter will help your space stay healthy.
- DO consult your primary care physician if you have any symptoms of mold exposure (click for more information
For those you living in the Dallas of Fort Worth Texas area or surrounding cities such as Plano, Richardson, Grapevine, Allen and Carrollton, please see this list of resources available to help you nearby: https://iaqrx.com/resource/
There are also ways of providing air restoration by killing mold and inactivating its mycotoxins in your home or office that are non-invasive and all natural. Go to https://iaqrx.com/services for more information.