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How to Remove Mold and the Smell from Clothing

Do Items in Your Home Have a Musty Odor or Mildew Stains?

Mold thrives in places of high humidity and warmth. The more damp and warm an area is, the better. This includes walls, floors, personal items, and yes – clothes. So what can be done about it?

The first thing to note is timing. The faster you can find a mold contaminated item, the better. Mold becomes increasingly hard to remove and deal with as it grows and thrives.

Mold can be found in some of the oddest places because it has the ability to thrive almost anywhere as long as it has the following three things: (more…)

Mold Spores

Mold is Dangerous: 7 Tips You Need To Know

What is Mold?

Mold is an extremely small, dangerous element that belongs to the family of fungi. It can thrive on almost any surface especially cellulose-based objects.

Molds are present almost everywhere. Though they maybe harmful at times, molds are a big part of the ecological balance in the environment, as they play a major role in breaking down organic substances. Molds are the original recyclers.

Toxic Mold Litigation – Do I Have A Case?

What Do I Need To Win?

Toxic mold litigation is a growing field in law. However, only certain attorneys are qualified to handle these types of cases. Dealing with a toxic mold case absorbs resources and time. Be prepared as litigation can last for over 2 years and injuries can be difficult to prove. If you have been exposed to toxic mold you need to know your rights, and how to build your case. An attorney who specializes in mold cases will be able to tell you what your local laws are.

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House

7 Tips for Preventing Mold In Your Home

Exposure to mold is more common than you think!

Your home may be infected with mold, but you don’t realize it. Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside the home. Some people are more sensitive than others, especially those with allergies and asthma. Because mold spores are very small and can easily be inhaled into the lungs, it is harmful to live in a home with high mold levels. Exposure to high spore levels can cause severe mold allergies.
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7 Safe and Simple Steps to Clean Up The Clutter

Do you have a cluttered basement or garage that needs clearing and reorganizing that you keep putting off? Do you know what could be lingering in and around your personal belongings? Mold tends to occur in high moisture environments and areas that aren’t ventilated, such as storage areas. And if you’ve been procrastinating, it has only made it worse, allowing mold to grow.

Calling a professional is by far the best way to properly handle mold removal. However, there is a safe process that needs to be followed, if you do decide to try clean up the clutter on your own. Simply throwing out your belongings may not take care of the problem. The mold can spread.

Do it right by following these steps:

  1. Know your reaction to mold – Before anything, it might be best to know your weaknesses. Do you have allergies to mold? *If you happen to be allergic to mold or the mold damage seems too catastrophic, don’t be a hero. Skip to step 7 and Call a professional.
  2. Check before you touch – Before moving your belongings, inspect the area for water damage, leaking pipes, ceilings and roofs. This is usually a sure sign that there could be mold damage.
  3. Prioritize what you want to keep – If you do see some water damage to your belongings, organize your belongings into lists of what you want to keep and what you want to toss.
  4. Toss the rest!– Throw out all of the things you don’t want anymore. If you’re unsure about tossing something, just ask yourself, ‘is it worth cleaning?’ If not, toss it.
  5. Salvage other items – Make sure the items you do want to keep can be cleaned fairly easy. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the mold removal process to be completed correctly. For difficult items, or items that seem unsalvageable, call a professional. Keep in mind, even dead mold can still be allergenic, and some even toxic.
  6. Thoroughly inspect the area – Upon completion, scrutinize the area again once the items have been removed and see if the water damage is on or in anything else that would be impossible for you to finish the mold removal process, such as walls.
  7. Call a professional – If there is more water damage, do it right. Professional mold removal is the safest option, regardless of the damage.

Mold can be detrimental to your personal environment and to your health, which can vary depending on the type of mold and your body’s reaction to mold. Be safe when dealing with mold removal, but more importantly, be smart.

This guest post was contributed by Samuel Ott, a mold removal specialist with Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling. He is currently completing his studies at the University of Missouri.

New Book “Solutions To Mold”, On Its Way And A Strategic Partnership

Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of working with the folks at CSE Plus (more on them in a moment) as they’ve been working very hard on two new projects. First, they reached out to a number of experts in the mold “industry” (mold is big enough of a problem that it has an industry!) and worked diligently with them to produce a quality book, published by none other than Pearson – a major educational publisher. Learn more about their book and the next project, after the jump.

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Interview with Lori Tondini, author of “Are You Moldy?”

I had the privilege of connecting with Lori several years back. She sent me a copy of her then just published book, “Are You Moldy? The true story of a very moldy person.” It is a powerful story. If you’re battling with mold right now, you will find a lot to relate with and draw encouragement from. If you haven’t fought the mold battle, Lori’s story will do a lot to open your eyes to what others are experiencing and give you a context to understand them better. Lori has put her heart into the book and I highly recommend it.

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The Future of MoldBlogger

Dear Readers, I began work on MoldBlogger more than 6 years ago. It started out as an idea and, over the years, it has grown much bigger than I had originally imagined. Over the past few years, life has been very busy and Moldblogger has taken a back seat. I married a wonderful woman and I’m now the proud father of a baby boy, just over 2-years-old.

Even while MoldBlogger has waited on the sidelines it has stayed on my heart and I’m writing today to give you an update and shares a glimpse of my plans for the future.

First, I’ve simplified the design and focused on some improvements to the navigation.

Second, I’m opening up a “Questions and Answers” section on the blog. Over the past 2 years we’ve several hundred stories from all over the world. The stories have touched my heart and opened my eyes, and the eyes of many others, to just how big and serious of a problem mold really is.

What I noticed, though, is that the majority of folks sharing their story had questions to ask and, in the story format, I felt that many of the questions were going unanswered. With this new Q&A format, questions will remain in focus and the folks who take the time and energy to answer will be recognized.

And last but not least, I’ve migrated MoldBlogger.com over to the fine folks at WPEngine.com. It’s powered by WordPress and is now running a whole lot faster than before!

Over the coming weeks I will continue making improvements and introducing new content and features. I believe lives are at stake and I am more motivated than ever to make sure that this site is of as much service as possible in the fight against mold.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or write to me personally, jonathan@moldblogger.com.

Until next time,

Jonathan Wold

Dispelling Mold Myths (Don’t be Afraid of Mold Remediation)

Thanks to extensive media coverage, public knowledge about mold and the potential health problems associated with it has increased. It is common to find magazine articles, TV spots, news reports and blog articles on the topic

However, even with this dramatic increase in media coverage, many people often wait to seek mold and remediation help. A home owner’s delay in seeking the professional help often stems from perceived misconceptions about how the actual clean up could occur; from time, the level of invasiveness, to just plain embarrassment.

The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the five most common misconceptions about mold and mold abatement.

Myth #1: Only the “Dirty House” Can Have Mold Problems

Many people are embarrassed to seek professional help simply because they do not want their neighbors to know that they have a mold problem. This is due to the popular misconceptions that only a “dirty” house can have a mold issue. The truth is any home with the right combination of factors can be impacted by mold.

Mold will grow if certain conditions are met; there has to be a high level of humidity, an organic source of food, steady supply of oxygen and a proper temperature.

Does your house have to be dirty in order to meet these conditions? Absolutely not! All it takes is a prolonged exposure to water damage caused by plumbing problems, flooding or by any substantial water spill.

Since mold spores are microscopic particles (at most 100 microns in diameter), they can be easily carried into your home on your shoes, clothing, waft in from an open window or come in on your pet’s fur.

Myth #2: Mold Inspection is Messy and Intrusive

Due to the nature of the mold, it is often impossible to assess the scale and size of your mold infestation with just the naked eye. Mold may be hiding in hard to reach corners of your house, under the carpets and wallpapers, inside of the walls, or behind the sheetrock.
Before the invention of thermal imaging, the only way to visually verify the presence of mold in such places was by removing wallpaper, breaking through the walls and removing the carpet from your floors. Such inspection would leave a path of destruction and a mess in your home.

Fortunately, intrusive mold inspection methods are the thing of the past. Today, most mold inspectors are equipped with a thermal imaging camera. This camera allows them to confirm the presence of mold without the need to poke holes into your walls or rip up the carpeting.

Myth #3: You Must Leave Your Home During Mold Remediation

In case of a severe mold issue, the mold remediation process can quickly grow into a time-consuming and labor-intensive project. In such situations, surface mold removal is not enough, and remediation could require removing drywall, cleaning up the building structure and the replacement of the drywall materials.

Due to the level of work that may be required, many people think they have to leave the house while the mold remediation occurs. The good news is you do not have to leave your house during the mold removal, unless you want to.

During the cleaning process, the mold-infected area is isolated with plastic sheeting sealed with duct tape. Negative air machines and air scrubbers run around the clock to make sure mold spores do not spread outside the work area.

A typical mold abatement job takes one to three days with a full-sized crew. After mold has been removed and encapsulated, they rebuild and clean up the affected areas, leaving your house cleaner then it was before they started.

Myth #4: Mold Removal Presents Health Risks

Historically, mold removal involved using chemical cleaning solutions that, in some cases, were even more toxic that the mold itself. Fortunately, in the last decade this situation has changed.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires that only non-toxic mold cleaning solutions be used during professional mold remediation. There are many mold cleaning products that meet this requirements and completely safe and biodegradable.
Depending on your mold situation, you may want to consider a chemical-free mold removal method called dry ice blasting. The only byproduct of this method is carbon dioxide (CO2), a harmless gas that is ventilated away without leaving any traces.

Myth #5: Mold Removal Will Make Your House Smell

Many people think mold remediation will result in strong chemical odors during the remediation. Some types of mold have a strong characteristic odor and most mold cleaning products carry their own odor. However, a professional mold remediation company will put all of your “stinky house” fears to rest.

The work areas are always tightly isolated with plastic sheeting and sealed with duct tape. Negative air machines and air scrubbers run during the process to vent out odors along with the mold particles. Following the mold abatement, most crews will deodorize the house to make sure it smells better than before.

On the other hand, if you were to clean mold from a large polluted area on your own, there is a good chance that your home will be odor-filled, as you are not likely to have all the necessary equipment to keep the work area and air contained. Also, when you turn mold removal in do-it-yourself project, there is a risk of spreading the mold into the other, unaffected areas of your house.

Thanks to sophisticated equipment, non-toxic biodegradable cleaning products and time-proven remediation protocols, mold removal is a safe, fast and typically painless process.

If you think you may have a mold problem, don’t delay. The sooner you call a professional, the sooner you can get the issue take care of. Don’t let fear or misperceptions result in delays to deal with this serious life-threating issue.

This guest post was contributed by Carl Bennett, the vice president of Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning – a New Jersey based company specializing in mold remediation, testing & mold inspection services.

Prevent Mold Growth By Lowering Moisture Levels in Your Home

There are thousands of different types of mold all around us. Some are beneficial to us, like molds that are used to make yogurt, cheese, beer and wine, and especially penicillin. Whereas others can kill us, like the nasty black molds you hear about in the news that release poisonous mycotoxins.

Molds are very good at surviving in all conditions, which makes them so hard to get rid of once they start growing. All mold really needs to grow and thrive are food and water and they don’t need any sunlight. For food they especially like cellulose or wood which makes parts of your home, like the sheet rock or wood floors, a veritable mold buffet. Once you add in water, mold will start to take hold and within 48 hours it will produce spores that will spread out and find new places in your home to grow. The spores are what cause that nasty moldy smell and the health problems and allergies in many individuals.

Water for mold growth can come from several different sources, including a crack that will allow outside moisture to seep into your home, from a leaky pipe, or from high humidity. Humidity is moisture in the air and is measured in terms of relative humidity. When relative humidity levels go above 50% things start to become very uncomfortable for you. If you’ve experienced a warm summer day, especially along the Southern coast of the US, then you know what I’m talking about with that hot, muggy feeling, where you are sweating all the time and it’s hard to breath. As the humidity levels rise, condensation will form on surfaces in your home. This looks like sweat on walls or windows. This excess water is just an invitation for mold to move into your home and start breeding. The only way to reduce humidity levels in your home is through the use of a high quality dehumidifier. You can check out this top 5 list (outside link) to find one of the best models.

What are some important things you can you do to prevent mold growth? You can’t eliminate the mold’s food sources because that is essentially the main structures your home. So, one of the best ways to prevent mold growth is to limit its water sources. Here are the steps you need to take to eliminate excess water.

  1. Check for cracks
    If you have any cracks in the foundation of your home, then water will easily seep in from the outside. Basements are especially vulnerable. You should inspect all around the inside and outside of your home at the foundation to check for any cracks and patch them up using cement. Waterproofing the inside of your basement with specialized coating is also a good idea if you have a persistent water problem.
  2. Check for leaks
    You may have a leaky water pipe that is causing a moisture build-up. Many times you can repair the leak yourself using plumber’s putty and silicone caulk. In other cases, where the pipe is difficult to access, or you simply can’t stop the leak yourself, you’ll need to call a plumber. It may cost you a bit up front, but it will save you from a very costly long term problem.
  3. Test humidity levels
    You can do this using a humidistat, which you can find for about $10 at any hardware store. If humidity levels are above 60% for several days, then you have a humidity problem and a potential mold problem. The best way to lower humidity levels is through the use of a high quality dehumidifier.
  4. Purchase a dehumidifier based on the size and conditions of the wet rooms.
    You’ll need to measure the size of each room and match it up to a dehumidifier that can handle that size space. Generally large 70 pint portable models have enough capacity to handle 1,400 square feet. You can read dehumidifier reviews (outside link) to find out which models stand out.

The bottom line is that the best way to solve a mold problem is to prevent it from happening. That means eliminating the sources of moisture that allow mold to thrive. By planning ahead today and taking preventative measures you can save yourself from potential health problems and a very costly mold cleanup in the future.

This guest post was contributed by Will Turnage of DehumidifierAuthority.com, a site dedicated to providing resources and recommendations to help folks choose the right dehumidifier.

How Mold Can Affect Refinancing Options

If you’re thinking about refinancing your home, there are steps that you can take to make the process go as smoothly as possible. One thing that you have to keep in mind is that the mortgage company will require an inspection and appraisal of your property. You should never assume that all is well. By having your own inspection done first, you can be made aware of a serious problem like a mold infestation before you begin the refinancing process. It’s smart to deal with a mold problem before you apply to refinance your home. The following information will explain why that is.

Types of Mold Infestations

Mold is natural, but it’s not something that you want in your home. There are varying degrees of mold infestations, but your goal should be to have a mold-free home prior to beginning the refinancing process. There are three main types of mold infestations:

  • Pathogenic Molds
    While these types of molds can cause infections, they usually only affect people who have suppressed immune systems. They can also pose a serious danger to pets and infants.
  • Allergenic Molds
    These types of molds cause trouble for people who suffer from conditions like asthma and allergies. Healthy folks may not be affected by the presence of these molds, but they are still a nuisance and can cause problems during the refinancing process.
  • Toxigenic Molds
    This group includes the infamous “black mold” that can be a deal-breaker during the refinancing process. The presence of this mold can stop a real estate transaction in its tracks. It is imperative to have this type of mold taken care of as quickly as possible because it can cause serious health problems.

How Does Mold Affect Property Values?

When a bank orders an inspection and appraisal of a property during the refinancing process, it does so to compare its value to the value of nearby, recently sold homes. The presence of mold can throw things for a loop in a major way. Banks don’t want to finance loans for homes that have mold in them. The presence of mold can seriously reduce the value of a property, which could cause serious problems for you during the refinancing process. It’s well worth it to have an inspection done prior to applying for home loan refinancing. If mold is found, you can pay for mold remediation services to take care of the issue.

How Mold Limits Refinancing Options

The odds of getting competitive mortgage refinancing rates for a mold-infested home are very slim. If the problem is severe enough, you may not even be able to refinance your home at all. This isn’t something that you want to find out during the refinancing application process. A good inspection will reveal the presence of serious types of mold, and you will then have the opportunity to remedy the situation before you try to refinance your home. Once the situation has been handled, you will be able to refinance your home and should have an easier time qualifying for great rates.

This guest post was contributed by Jonah Trenton of RefinanceMortgageRates.org, a consumer based organization with a goal to help homeowners avoid the many pitfalls of the current mortgage market.

Black Mold Forces Family To Leave Rental

Mold is a serious problem and one that tends to be ignored until its too late. In May of 2011, a rental tenant in Pleasant Valley, Missouri made the decision to leave her rental unit after discovering a serious case of black mold in the basement. From the story:

“The black mold is so bad inside one metro rental home that a mom and her five kids are moving out after a mold expert said the levels are the second highest he’s ever found. The landlord says he had no idea the mold had gotten so bad, but he now promises to fix it.” (Read the full article on Fox4KC.com)

The trouble comes in when the land lord, well meaning I’m sure, recommended vinegar as the solution. Its somewhat like handing someone a coat hangar to fend off a charging rhinoceros – not much good.

If you’ve found black mold in your home, take it seriously. The long term consequences of black mold exposure can be devastating and even deadly. If you’re looking for professional help, choose a remediator carefully. Experience is key.

Know someone who has been affected by black mold or have our own story to share? Send us your story!

Keep fighting!

Mold Removal Products – An Overview

If you need to remove mold from your house, you want to use the right mold removal products. The good news is that small areas of mold can be easily removed with soap and water and a sponge. For bigger areas of mold, though, or persistent mold problems, you’ll need to use something stronger.

In between using soap and water and calling in the professionals with their knowledge and chemicals, there are choices like Concrobium, Safe Shield, Molderizer, Allersearch, and others that offer chemical treatment of mold and mildew. Some of them are designed to block mold and mildew from appearing at all, and some of them are designed to kill it. Ideally, a combination of killing the mold that’s there and stopping new mold from appearing is generally the best choice.

“So, What Mold Removal Products Should I Buy?”

If you aren’t sure what to use, it’s best to research several products that are available. Because mold removal products can really vary in strength, safety, and other features, you don’t just want to use the first one that you find. It might be great, but there might be something out there that’s a lot better for your particular situation and that may even end up costing you less. It’s worth doing some checking.

You should also pay close attention to what the mold removal products you’re considering are actually made with. Many contain bleach – and that’s something you can purchase on your own for a lower price. Others, though, are ‘green’ in that they are all natural, and there are also chemicals that are used by various manufacturers. If you or your family members are allergic to any kind of chemical, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s not in the mold removal products you’re considering buying. Reading labels is important.

“What About The Mold Coming Back?”

The advantage to buying cleaning products and handling the mold yourself is that you already have everything you need if the mold returns. Mold removal products are designed to get rid of the mold and stop it from coming back in a lot of cases, but whatever is causing the mold has to be corrected, as well. If you get rid of the mold but you don’t stop the leak or moisture problem that caused the mold in the first place, you’ll continue to have mold problems.

Even if the mold doesn’t come back in that same spot, it’ll still find a place to return – generally just past where the sheetrock or other substance was treated with something that is supposed to keep mold away. By taking care of the mold problem at its source, even if you need a professional to do that, you can more easily take care of the mold problem in your home. Then, no matter what mold removal products you choose, you won’t have to worry about the mold returning. You and your family will be healthier and happier in your mold-free home.

How to Get Rid of Mold

Understanding how to get rid of mold is something that all homeowners should know. Even if you don’t see mold in your home right now, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to battle with it later. You may also have mold growing in areas where you don’t commonly look – like under the sinks, for example, where it can be very damp and small leaks can go unnoticed. Most homeowners don’t think about checking there.

How to get rid of mold, though, depends on the extent of the problem that you have with it. Some mold issues are very easy to handle, and others, like a black mold infestation, require a professional mold remediator (we have some tips on choosing the right one) to deal with them because of their size and/or severity.

“So, How Do I Get Rid of Mold?”

Knowing how to get rid of mold on your own is a great way to keep costs down and protect your family and pets from the sicknesses that can come from mold exposure. Of course, some removal jobs are too big to tackle on your own. Knowing when to get a professional is important.

For small infestations, cleaning them thoroughly is usually all you need to do. Use a cleaner that’s specifically for mold and mildew, use a bleach solution, or simply use soap and warm water. If you’re cleaning sheetrock or drywall, don’t soak it heavily. That can keep it from drying properly and cause more growth later. Cleaning the moldy area won’t solve the entire problem, though, because you have to stop the spores from coming back.

Fixing Mold Problems Yourself

To do that, you need to find the source of the problem. It could be a leaking pipe, it could be from flood damage or another type of water damage, or it could be just a buildup of moisture in a kitchen or bathroom where there’s a problem with proper ventilation. Finding the problem and fixing it has to be done – and you might need to get a professional to fix it for you.

Simple things like tightening a loose pipe fitting are easy for a homeowner to handle, but if you have more serious issues or you need an exhaust vent put in so you can get the moisture out of your bathroom or kitchen, it’s best to call in a professional. That way, you’ll know the job is done right.

Calling a Mold Remediator

Sometimes mold removal is too big of a job for a homeowner to handle. If that’s the case for you, you can call a mold remediator. They know how to get rid of mold, and they can help you by making sure mold is removed from your house and the problem that caused it is taken care of. It’s a great way to get larger infestations removed and keep them from coming back in the future.

Black Mold Symptoms – Know The Enemy

symptomsBlack mold symptoms are nothing to play around with. Black mold can be extremely dangerous, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms, varying in severity. Some are easy to deal with and more of an annoyance than anything else. Others can be debilitating and potentially life-threatening. If you think your home or business may have a black mold problem but can’t locate the source of it, you should consult a professional mold remediator about finding the mold problem and eradicating it.

“What are some of the symptoms?”

Until the mold is cleared up, there’s a lot of potential for symptoms. Most people only have mild symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, and a cough. Some people get much sicker, though, and even the mild signs can be annoying and debilitating after a while. Because they’re so persistent, black mold symptoms sometimes turn into more chronic respiratory problems that can cause missed days at school and work, as well as other health problems.

Those With Respiratory Problems Beware

People who have allergies to black mold or who are already dealing with chronic respiratory problems like asthma or emphysema can be at serious risk when it comes to mold, and they have to be more careful than the general population. That’s a very important thing to remember if you fall into one of those groups or know someone who does.

Treating The Symptoms

Black mold symptoms should be treated by a doctor or healthcare professional, and the source of the problem should be located and eliminated. That will make sure the person who has sickened by the mold has the best chance to recover, and it will also help to ensure that the mold doesn’t keep coming back, poisoning other people.

Don’t Let Symptoms Escalate

If the mold isn’t removed, there are more serious black mold symptoms that can develop. Many people become nauseated and fatigued when they live with a mold problem. Those kinds of problems persist, and they can take a toll on the body. It’s difficult to get anything done when you’re tired all the time. Being nauseated is a problem, as well, because it’s difficult to eat and can lead to poor nutrition.

“What are the most dangerous symptoms?”

In rare and extreme cases, some of the most dangerous black mold symptoms are bleeding from the nose and lungs. Thankfully, this is uncommon. When it does occur, though, it can be life-threatening. The best choice is not to allow mold to get to the point where it causes those kinds of symptoms. Black mold symptoms should always be treated properly and quickly and the source of the black mold removed. If you’re unsure how to do it the right way, you can get a professional to help you.

“When do I need to call in the professionals?”

A mold removal service run by professional mold remediators may be needed if the job is a large one, you have trouble finding the source of the problem, or you think you’ve removed the mold but you’re still battling black mold symptoms. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional if you need one. Most of them are very reasonable in cost and can take care of the problem quickly. Your health and the health of your friends and family members is too important to compromise.

Black Mold Removal – Where To Begin

Screen shot 2010-03-21 at 6.22.59 PMBlack mold removal can be a real trial, and it’s best left to professionals if it’s a large area. There’s no reason to risk harm to your health and potential damage to your home when you can get professionals to handle the issue for you. For small areas, though, you may be able to remove black mold yourself.

Understand The Process

Whether you try to do it yourself or hire a company it’s a good idea to know how the black mold removal process is handled. That way, you’ll be prepared for any issues that might come up and you’ll be knowledgeable enough to make sure the job’s being done right – no matter who’s doing the work.

Identify The Source

The first thing you should do with black mold removal is identify the source of the moisture problem. If you don’t know where the moisture (and, therefore, the mold) is coming from, you won’t get it stopped and the mold will continue coming back. Flooding, water leaks – including slow ones, and even high humidity can all contribute to the growth and recurrence of black mold.

Stop The Leak

Stopping the moisture or the leak from causing further damage is the first step with black mold removal. From that point, the cleanup needs to begin. Black mold isn’t something you can just spray with an antibacterial spray like Lysol and forget about.

Contain The Spores

If the area is a small one and you’re going to handle the cleaning of it yourself, you should first seal off the room so that mold spores don’t drift around. They can easily get into the air, mix in with dust and dirt, and get carried throughout the house. By isolating them to one room and not letting them get into the rest of the house, you’ll be better off and healthier. The cleanup will be easier, as well.

Avoid Further Contamination

Even for a small area, it’s important to seal off the room so you don’t risk any further contamination in the rest of the house. Once you’ve sealed the room, make sure the moldy area is damp. If it’s dry, mist it lightly. Dry mold spores are very quickly airborne. Keeping them damp is another way to help cut down on contamination.

Use Air Power

If the room you’re working in has a window, it’s a good idea to open it and place an exhaust fan in it, because any mold spores that do get airborne will be drawn that way and removed from the house. If you don’t have a window in the room, don’t just run a fan – you’ll just blow the black mold spores around and risk inhaling more of them.

Don’t Miss A Spot!

When you clean the area – which should be done with soap and a sponge – make sure you clean the moldy area first, and then expand your work to clean the entire room. Mold spores are tiny, and you want to make sure you get all of them so they don’t try to cause you health problems in the future. If you’re unsure about your ability manage the black mold removal from your home, do the safe thing and hire a professional to handle the job for you.

Hurricane Survivor: Should I be concerned about mold from water leaks?

Question: We recently went through Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike. We lost most of our metal roof on our home during Gustav and when Ike came we realized we had a leak and it started dripping through our ceiling. We were able to stop the leak by putting a tarp on our roof but not before it started leaking. Should I be concerned about mold? If so how should I tend to the area to make sure there is no mold and if there is how can I get rid of it? I do have a 10 month old baby that I am most concerned about.

Answer: Hi Concerned, You should always be concerned about Mold once you have had a water leak.  Mold is a known health hazard. The most important thing you need to  do is repair the water damaged area of the ceiling.  Once this is completed if you are still concerned you can wash down the walls and ceiling with unscented soap and water. This should look after any surface Mold that may be present.  Mold is only a concern when it grows in our living spaces.  Control Mould in your living spaces live a healthier life.

Jim Thomas, of MouldOff.com, is a Master Carpenter and C.I.E. (Certified Indoor Environmentalist) with 35+ years of experience in the restoration industrial including a specialization in mold remediation.

Can mold grow on brick and hardwood floors?

Q. Hi, I recently moved into an old building in eastern TN built around 1890. Since moving in, my asthma has flared significantly, and is worse when I spend a few hours or more in the building. I have been tested positive for moldallergy, however I cannot find any mold. The building was renovated 4 years ago and everything, except the brick walls (now exposed), and hardwood floors and beams were replaced. I haven’t been able to find any mold. Can it grow on brick? If so, what should I look for? How about hardwood floors? There are no apparent water leaks. Thank you very Much.

A. Hi Eastern TN, It sounds like you may have a humidity problem. Yes mold needs Water, Heat and a food source but the water does not have to be in the form of running water as like a burst pipe. High humidity, above 60%, will be sufficient to allow Mold to grow. Mold can grow on any organic material. We all have dust around the house and most of the dust we find in homes is organic. This dust settles on everything thus making it possible for Mold to grow on all surfaces. Remember stop the water stop the Mold.

Mold Question answered by Jim Thomas of MouldOff.com. Jim is a Master Carpenter and C.I.E. (Certified Indoor Environmentalist) with 35+ years of experience in the restoration industrial including a specialization in mold remediation.

12 Shocking Photos of Mold Damage by Hurricanes

Broken buildings, smashed cars, and torn up trees are typically what stand out when you look at hurricane damage. What usually goes unnoticed, though, is the often greater damage that takes place after the waters have gone down and the winds have died off.

The next 12 photos give a glimpse of the “aftermath damage” caused by mold. These were taken by volunteers, mold fighters, and often the homeowners themselves. 

Black Mold marks the 29th, the day Katrina hit New Orleans.
Black Mold marks the 29th, the day Katrina hit New Orleans.

Can mold grow on plastic and, if so, is there a way to clean it?

Question: We recently bought a used plastic outdoor toy set for our children. We had planned to clean it up and put it inside in our basement. While we were able to disinfect and clean the outside of the toy with a detergent, I am concerned that there may be mold inside the toy in areas I can not reach or scrub. When held to light we can see “spots” through the plastic. We cannot tell if it is mold or dirt. Can mold grow on plastic like this and is there a way to clean it? If not should we not bring it inside our home and just leave it as an outdoor toy? Thank you for your help!

Answer: Mold can definitely grow on plastic. If there is moisture and humidity and a way for the spores to gain access, mold start to grow. Cleaning will depend on the type of toy and your ability to access and disinfect the area. If you are unable to thoroughly remove the potential mold growth then, being better safe and sorry, I would suggest you clean it as best you can and leave it as an outside toy.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions.

Jonathan Wold
MoldBlogger.com