How to Complete a Black Mold Cleanup

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Black mold loves damp places like bathrooms and basements.
Black mold loves damp places like bathrooms and basements. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Finding black mold in your home is certainly something you never want to encounter. But-if you do have a black mold outbreak in your home, and If the mold is confined to certain areas of your home and has not taken, you can quite successfully remove black mold with a little help. You will minimize the damage of black mold by addressing it as quickly as possible. Since black mold germinates within 24 to 48 hours cleaning and removing it is the key when cleaning black mold.

Things You'll Need

  • Dehumidifier
  • HEPA air purifier
  • Rubber gloves
  • Heavy plastic bags
  • Goggles
  • Tyvek suit
  • Respirator
  • Mold disinfectant
  • Detergent in a bucket
  • Sponge
  • 6 mil plastic sheeting and duct tape

Lower the relative humidity within your entire home to below 55%. This includes all unfinished basement areas as well as crawl spaces. Check humidity levels with an reliable hygrometer. If humidity levels are above 55 percent, bring in dehumidifiers to lower the level. Also make sure that all leaks in your home are fixed, like ice dams on the roof, leaky pipes, moisture coming through basement walls and things like that.

Contain each space were mold exists. Seal off your first area with 6 mil plastic, sealed with duct tape. Also turn off all HVAC equipment and place plastic around all registers and return air grilles in the space. If possible try to set an exhaust fan in either a door or window opening that opens directly to the exterior of the space. This will create a slight negative pressure within the space, driving any airborne mold spores outdoors. It will also tend to keep the spores from traveling into the un-contained space.

Set up a HEPA air purifier within the contained space. The HEPA air purifier will scrub the air of any airborne mold spores. Make sure the air purifier has a HEPA filter, germicidal UV lamp, ionizer and anti-bacterial pre-filter to give you the assurance that all airborne spores have been removed.

Mist the affected area to prevent any mold spreading into other areas. Clean the affected areas with a sponge and a bucket with water and cleaning detergent. Scrub all areas thoroughly and leave to dry completely.

Dry the affected area and apply a disinfectant. Coat all surfaces in the space completely. Then let all areas dry out thoroughly and leave the air purifier running throughout this cleaning process.

Clean and reuse non-porous materials if the mold buildup is not too severe. Porous materials, which include carpeting, ceiling tile, drywall, furniture, paper, books, insulation, may need to be replaced if the mold buildup is severe. If the buildup is severe remove all porous materials, place in heavy plastic bags and dispose of them in a landfill. When removing materials from your home take care not to carry contaminated materials through the house. Take them directly outside.

When all signs of the mold infested area are gone, when the area is dry and you have had the HEPA air purifier running in the space, remove the plastic. Keep the air purifier running in the space for several days just to make sure all of he mold spores have been killed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't overlook your HVAC system in your mold mitigation plan. Spores can be sucked into the ductwork and air-conditioning coils should be cleaned and disinfected, condensate pans cleaned and disinfected and your ductwork may need cleaning by a professional duct cleaning company.
  • When cleaning mold, make sure you wear a Tyvek suit, goggles, a high quality respirator and rubber gloves. All exposed skin, eyes and air passages should be completely protected from invisible mold spores.
  • All family members should be evacuated from the house during black mold mitigation procedures.
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