Okay, you’ve found mold in your home, or you’ve had your home tested by a certified inspector and they have confirmed your fears. Now what? How do you get rid of it?
Sometimes homeowners decide to take on the removal process themselves. They will decide to wash the area with bleach, or peroxide, or benetac, or other similar products. All those products contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which are released into the home. Most of those chemicals create other dangers through inhalation or exposure for the home’s occupants. And use of those kinds of chemicals often create the release of mycotoxins from dead or dying mold spores further complicating an already bad situation. Bleach is only about 10% chlorine and 90% water. The chlorine evaporates quickly leaving behind the water….the very life’s blood for mold. The EPA has advised against the use of bleach for those very reasons. Additionally, the EPA has advised that if there is more than 10 sq ft of mold, its removal is not something to be undertaken without training, certification, and the proper safety equipment….it should be left to a professional.
If there is mold in the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, it is beyond the capability of homeowners to remove. And, since the typical residential HVAC system does a total change of air in the home about 144 times a day, that mold had been distributed throughout the home.
You need to determine what is causing the mold to grow, and just how bad the problem is. You should have a professional mold assessor come in to make sure you have found all the mold and advise you on how to fix whatever is causing it. Usually it is caused by a leak into the home, a leaky pipe, a flood, high levels of humidity, or poor ventilation.
The EPA recommends hiring a professional remediation (removal) company to remove the mold if any of the conditions are met: 1) mold covers more than 10 sq feet, 2) mold is in the HVAC system, 3) the mold was caused by contaminated water or sewage, 4) have health concerns and your physician recommends against doing the cleanup.
In addition to removing the mold, make any repairs that are necessary to be sure the mold does not return.