Mold thrives in humid environments, so homeowners who live in a wet climate can expect to see mold growing on their walls every once in a while. Getting rid of mold isn’t as easy as it seems; it’s easier to prevent the growth from happening than it is to remove the mold once it’s already taken hold of your home’s surfaces and framing. Here are some tips for preventing mold, including the steps you should take if you already have black mold in your home and need to clean it up safely.
What is black mold?
Black mold is actually a type of fungus, also known as 'Stachybotrys chartarum'. It's often referred to as toxic black mold, but it isn't necessarily harmful in small amounts. However, people with chronic conditions like asthma can develop more serious symptoms if they breathe in enough spores. Most people are fine living in houses that have a bit of black mold; however, if you have small children or someone with a weakened immune system living in your home you should definitely work on getting rid of it.
Signs of black mold
You might also see black mold growing in your house if you have an air conditioner or heater. You may not be able to see it, but you’ll know it’s there because a nasty, musty smell will start wafting through your home. You can usually find black mold behind walls and under carpets, so it’s best to check those areas when looking for signs of a potential problem.
Is your home at risk?
If you're seeing black mold in your home, there's a chance that much more is hiding under your sink and between your kitchen cabinets. The more you notice it, and don't do anything about it, the bigger your problem will become. A small amount of mold can quickly spread out of control if not taken care of right away.
What you can do about it
Cleaning black mold varies by surface. Start with a gentle cleanser, and only move onto bleach if the mold persists.
- Wooden surfaces: Mold can grow on wooden furniture and fixtures. Using a Pot Brite™ All-Purpose Scrub Sponge, apply a detergent solution. You may finish it up with a Lola® Anti-microbial Clean N' Wipe™ Clothto wipe the surface dry. If mold still persists, use bleach.
- Walls and ceilings: Although it is generally made for washing dishes, use a Lola® Soap Dispensing Dish Wandwith your favorite dish soap to scrub walls and ceilings, then rinse with clean water.
- Bathroom tile and grout: Using a specialized mold cleaner, spray on your bathroom tiles and grout. Let it rest and penetrate, then rinse with water. If the mold remains, use a Lola® Any Which Way™ Flexible Scrub Brush.
Contact an expert if needed
If you can’t identify black mold in your home and you’re concerned about its presence, don’t hesitate to contact a professional who can offer you advice. You may need help from a professional who knows how to get rid of black mold if you have health issues or other difficulties. If possible, avoid activities that generate moisture in your home because they are likely to encourage black mold growth. For example, if there’s no running water in your bathroom, it makes sense not to use that room as storage space for boxes full of damp clothing.
Black mold doesn’t just look unpleasant; it’s also one of the most toxic types of mold. If you have black mold in your home, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible to avoid health problems and structural damage. You also need to be extra careful when removing black mold so that you don’t spread the spores throughout your home, making the problem worse than it already is. Follow the tips above to get rid of black mold in your home effectively and safely.