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Mold Removal Remedies

by BrianReeves
mold free bathroom

Mold can spread like wildfire if left untreated. If you find evidence of mold in your home, you will want to take care of it as soon as possible. Mold is often found in poorly ventilated bathrooms,  where moisture cannot dissipate. It will eventually be absorbed by the walls and reside there, creating the perfect environment for mold growth. Within a few weeks you may notice black spots on the walls or ceiling. This is evidence that mold has begun developing. There are a few easy steps and solutions to help you fight and conquer mold once it has been identified.



Cleaning mold on drywall and wood

There are many types of mold and mildew sprays on the market.  If you decide to use a store-bought spray, make sure it cleans and protects.  These products will help remove the surface mold and also distributes a mold preventative.  These can come in one- or two-bottle applications.

One of the most common misconceptions regarding mold is that bleach will kill and remove it. Bleach may remove mold on non-porous surfaces, but is hopeless otherwise. It has been shown to actually aid mold growth because bleach solutions are mostly water. Thus, although it appears that the mold is removed entirely, the truth is that the roots still remain, hidden and ready to reappear at the first opportunity.

Unfortunately, the only way to truly eradicate mold once it sets into drywall and wood is to remove the infected portions.  The longer you leave it, the more it will spread, so it is important to address moldy wall/wood issues as soon as possible.  Complete removal is a viable (albeit potentially expensive) solution for homeowners and business owners, but what about renters and those who lease the premises and are not able to alter the structure of the building?

Renters are not entirely without remedy.  For those of you who rent your residence or business space, alert your landlord of the mold problem immediately so he can make arrangements to have the problem rectified permanently.  In the meantime, in order to minimize the mold you breathe in and to inhibit the mold from spreading, there are a few options to remove it from surfaces

In addition to commercial mold and mildew sprays, like Concrobium, you can make your own solution by mixing tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and water.  Transfer this cleaning solution to a spray bottle to temporarily clean up the problem.  However, if the area you’re cleaning is painted, the TSP will dull the paint.

Once you spray the affected area you’re going to need a rough sponge to remove the surface mold.  Make sure to scrub the entire area that looks infected.  If you’re going to use a store-bought spray, follow the directions on the bottle, as a light wash may be required afterwards.  With TSP, however, you will definitely need to give the wall a final rinse.



Cleaning a bathtub and tile

If you need to clean mold off of a porcelain tub or tile you have a few options.  There are special mold sprays for tile and tub that won’t harm the porcelain or ceramic.  You will still need to scrub the mold off the affected areas and since it’s on such a fine surface, multiple scrubbings will be required.  Circular motions will leave the best results.  Make sure to keep cleaning off the sponge in a bucket of hot water after mold has been removed

After you have removed all of the mold, make sure to put everything that has come into contact with it into a bag to be disposed of.  If you get mold on your clothes you can wash them with ¾ to 1 cup of vinegar and detergent.

A simple way to help keep mold out of your bathroom is to install a good exhaust fan.  These fans will help pull the moisture out of the bathroom so it doesn’t get stuck on the walls.  Since dry areas are naturally mold resistant, look for a fan that is flow rated for the size of your bathroom or larger.  A rule of thumb to go by is at least 1 cubic foot per minute (CFM) per square foot of room size.  More airflow is better, but you will either trade higher noise levels or more cost to get it.  Airflow is the critical concern.  Noise, measured in sones, reflects both the fan size and its blade speed.

Following these steps and guidelines can help you to both remove and control the spread of mold in your home.  It isn’t usually an enjoyable task and can require time and effort, but the peace of mind and security you’ll have knowing your house is mold-free will be well worth it in the end.

Chris Long is a Home Depot “on the floor” sales associate and a regular contributor to Home Depot’s blog. In addition to mold removal and other home cleanup, Chris writes on everything from light bulbs to home automation.

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National Restoration Experts March 22, 2013 - 1:05 pm

Humidity plays a big role in mold growth. If you recently had a leak try to dry out the area by running fans and keep the a/c on to keep the air circulating. Just a quick tip until you can get a professional out to inspect since it only takes 48-72 hours for mold to grow and spread. Learn more about mold removal and mold inspection at http://www.nationalrestorationexperts.com/services/mold-damage

Suzanne April 7, 2013 - 9:44 am

I have a 150 yr old antique corner cupboard with beautiful original finish. The wood is cherry. It is a beautiful family heirloom, but has always smelled musty. Especially inside….. Do you know how I can actually get to the root of the problem without damaging the finish? Thx! I also have thousands of dollars of mildew smelling books. Got rid of half my book collection already because they were too far gone… Anyway to save books?

Mold Removal April 22, 2013 - 6:39 pm

Good information to get rid of mold. Thanks.

Chris- Mold Removal June 10, 2013 - 11:40 am

Not all products will work. Many of them do not penetrate into the surface and that’s what you need them too. They may kill the surface mold but that doesn’t mean you got rid of all mold. Once you spot mold you want to act on it as soon as possible. Mold can cause lots of harm and its something that will give your bathroom a terrible smell.

Ally Thomas November 25, 2014 - 1:38 am

That’s really a great piece of information. Thanks ! When winter is around, it’s really necessary to remove the molds as it may lead to various health issues and may put your family in danger.
Know more http://www.floodservices.ca/blog/with-winter-around-the-corner-mould-removal-is-important/

Jennifer March 11, 2016 - 8:06 am

To Suzanne’s post about an antique cupboard and books (an old post from 2013), I suggest stuffing the cupboard with wadded up newsprint and not sure if it is free standing, but if it is, set it outside out of direct sunlight on a blue sky cloudless warm day and repeat as often as possible. Change the newsprint about every month or so. This process may take many months to a year or so. With patience and just walking away and not thinking about it, helps. Same with the books. nestle them within some wadded up newsprint (not printed!) and put them in a cardboard box and close. Do not use a plastic rubbermaid type container, plastic can’t breath. Again, take the books outside to air when possible also. This may take many months to a year or so too. This may help a great deal or you may find that the musty smell is eliminated. I have had success with this procedure on an old sewing box. It had been in a wet basement and was musty and smelled of cigarette smoke too. I can’t remember exactly how long it took, but it was quite a few months. I am working on a train case now that smells of medicine.

Sara January 9, 2017 - 5:39 pm

We had some mold issues in our current house for 16 years, kind of usual for our area; it would grow around inside window frames, in corners that weren’t ventilated. 3 yrs ago we had work done under the house. The contractor sprayed entire underneath with TSP for mold & dryrot. Within 6 mos. we had mold – different kind than ever before – growing on everything from the carpet and baseboards up. I checked with mold experts who had been treating infestations state-wide and they said they had never known TSP to kill mold…. so don’t know why people are saying TSP. They said a strong Borax solution was the best. Clorox will wash away the stain/residue from mold, but will not kill it. Concorbium and a couple other commercial mold products have washing soda as active ingredient.

verifyairqualitytest November 6, 2020 - 3:14 am

The most important thing is not to panic! More harm can be done without a plan and without the right information. Mold can be spread to other areas making the mold issue more difficult, more costly to remove and put occupants at higher risk. A detailed mold inspection should be considered.Don’t touch it! Mold growth can release tens of thousands of mold spores into the air if disturbed.

Have a professional look at it.
Don’t let your mould removal contractor decide the size and scope of the work. An independent third party like Verify Air Quality Test can save you money and make sure the work is done right.

verifyairqualitytest December 8, 2020 - 12:23 am

Unless you’ve had a mold remediation specialist conduct a thorough mold inspection and mold testing in your workspaces, then how can you be sure what the extent of the mold damage really is? Are you dealing with a strain of black mold, which can be highly toxic, or a more neutral species of mold spores? Choosing a Mould Inspection service provider isn’t an easy task, but it should be a simple one. Look for a company like yours which is staffed with local professionals who take pride in a job well done — on time, on budget, and above your expectations.


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