The fact that mold infestation comes with several consequences makes it a nuisance that every homeowner desires to stay clear from. Their presence in the indoor environment is associated with many respiratory complications and can also trigger an asthma attack. Apart from that, it causes stains in the walls and produces a musty smell, which can make the indoor air unbearable.
However, at times, you may be caught up in the day-to-day activities at home or work only to realize one day that there is mold growing on your walls even in crawlspaces or basements. Too late, now you are part of the statistics, but how do you go about handling such a situation?
- Wear overalls or rugged clothes that you will probably never use again.
- Wear eyeglasses and a dust mask.
- Carry gloves, preferably those made from PVC or Neoprene material.
Most people often think that rubber gloves are the best for handling chemicals because they are thicker. However, that is usually a misguided notion. That is because rubber material reacts with most chemicals, and therefore it will most likely react with bleach or any mold cleaning agent for that matter.
Properly ventilate the rooms before you begin working, use air movers for this purpose.
Seal Off the Damaged Area
It is important to seal off any open space in the room that you are working on. Ensure that all air ducts and door opening to other rooms are blocked.
Expose the Moldy Walls
Usually, mold growth goes deeper than what is visible on the wall surface. Therefore, you should remove any insulating surfaces on the walls. If the walls are damp, you can drill into the wall a few inches, to check if there could be hidden molds.
Any affected surfaces should be removed, especially if the growth is extensive. For dry walls, it is advisable that you cut beyond the extents of the damage, just to be safe. Any wooden structural element which shows signs of dampness and rotting should be removed.
Enclose the Removed Materials
These contaminated materials should be bagged in moistened airtight polythene bags. It is done to ensure that these materials do not get into contact with unaffected areas since it can cause further spread.
Scrub the Moldy Areas with Mold Cleaner
Surfaces containing mold stains should be thoroughly scrubbed with a mold cleaner. Ensure that you wear gloves for this operation since the cleaning agent is corrosive. The areas should be scrubbed until all the traces of mold patches are eliminated.
You may wipe the surfaces to remove any excess chemicals. However, avoid cleaning the surface with water as it will further dilute the cleaning agent.
What If You Cannot Afford The Mold Cleaner?
For individuals who may feel that the price of the mold cleaner is too steep, you can opt to make yourself an equally effective cleaning agent. That can be done by mixing ordinary bleaching powder and powder soap, before diluting it with water. To a 1 liter solution, you can add 10 ml vinegar.
Note: the Controlled amount of water should be used during dilution so that you will have an easy time destroying the molds.
Allow the Areas to Dry
The now cleaned areas should be dried using either dehumidifiers or air movers. For this process, dehumidifiers are preferred since it will take less time to dry the surfaces. If you are not sure of the type of dehumidifier to use for this process, you can do a quick search on alorair.com before you proceed.
Check for Presence of Any Mold Growth
Once the walls and cleaned surfaces are dry, you should investigate to check whether there are any signs of mold growth. Also try to note whether there is any musty smell, which is characteristic to mold growth.
If there is no visible sign, you can proceed with the next step. However, if there is growth, you should repeat scrubbing the surfaces until you get rid of any growth
Sealing the Surfaces
The surfaces you exposed while cleaning should be resealed to prevent water from soaking them again. For normal concrete walls, use can waterproof the surfaces using either film-forming or penetrating sealers. If the surfaces are wooden, you can paint using pigmented shellac.
Afterward, you can replace insulation and new drywall.
The shear the fact that you have completely eliminated mold does not mean that they will never return. If the surfaces become moist again, you should expect to see them again.