“What’s that musty smell?  What’s that black stuff?  Is that BLACK MOLD?”

Mold Containment-Venting When you first discover mold in your home, your immediate reaction is:  “How do I get rid of mold?  How dangerous is this type of mold?  Is there a way to kill mold with products I already have in my home?  Can I do my own mold removal?”

When you start researching on the internet, you quickly find that there’s a LOT of conflicting information.  Yes, there’s a big difference between science and myth, and you want to make sure you have the REAL facts before you start trying to take care of your own mold problem.

Disturbing the mold may release microscopic spores into the air, and that’s where your troubles begin.  That’s why we crafted this guide as a way to help you understand the gravity of your mold problem, and offer you some guiding thoughts to help you safely address the issue.

Exposing the truth: Why bleach doesn’t kill mold

We often hear that bleach will kill mold, but that isn’t actually true.  Bleach is a highly-effective cleaning agent and serves a great number of purposes around the home, but killing mold is not one of them.

Bleach may kill mold on hard surfaces (countertops, sinks, showers)  but it doesn’t help much if the mold has invaded sheetrock, base trim, carpet and carpet pad, tack strip, underlayment flooring, wood or other porous surfaces.

Learn WHY bleach is not an effective mold killer in this myth-busting article.

Safety precautions for handling DIY Mold Removal

We encourage everyone to seek professional help in dealing with mold.  The health risks are sizable and mishandling the remediation of mold can lead to a number of illnesses.  The risk simply isn’t worth it.

If you decide to remove mold in your home yourself, please follow these basic safety precautions:

  1. Locate the source of moisture and repair it: Leaky plumbing or pipes, cracked foundation, leaky windows or roof, overflowing AC condenser pan, sprinkler system, outside spigot, etc.
  2. If mold is discovered on ANY porous materials, they will need to be discarded:  Sheetrock, base trim, tack strip, underlayment, carpet, and carpet padding, insulation, ceiling tiles, cardboard boxes, papers, fabrics, pillows, soft toys, etc.  Always put contaminated materials in large plastic bags and seal them before carrying them through your home to dispose of them.
  3. Before handling moldy materials, be sure to wear personal protective equipment, such as a mask, gloves, and goggles, to avoid breathing in or exposing yourself to the mold spores that you will be disturbing. If the area involved is just a small part of a room, put up a Containment Barrier to avoid contaminating the rest of your home, using plastic sheeting; otherwise, keep the door to this room closed during the entire remediation process.  Tape closed any duct vents/cold air returns in the room.  
  4. After removal of moldy materials, you will need to: (1) HEPA-vacuum everything in the affected area: Exposed wall studs, flooring, walls, ceiling, hard contents.  (2) Wipe all of these surfaces with an antimicrobial agent.  (3) Sand, HEPA-vacuum, and encapsulate any exposed wall or ceiling framing.  
  5. Make sure all affected areas are free of moisture before replacing with new insulation, sheetrock, trim, carpeting, flooring, etc. Caution: If you use a drying fan, be sure the area is still under containment, and vent it out through a window, if possible. You do not want to risk blowing mold spores into the rest of your home.

Before you decide to tackle a mold problem in your home, consider the advantages of hiring a professional company instead:

  • Experienced technicians trained in the proper procedures for safe mold remediation.
  • Special equipment and materials specifically designed for mold remediation:  Containment Barriers, Negative Air Machines, HEPA Vacuums, Antimicrobial Agents and Encapsulants, Sanding Equipment, Air Movers, Wall-drying Equipment, Dehumidifiers, and Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Photos and written documentation for every phase of remediation:  Especially important if you ever decide to sell your home.
  • Post-clearance Air Sampling to ensure that the affected areas are now safe.
  • Peace of mind, knowing that your home is free from contamination.

NOT REALLY SURE IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM?

Mold Air SamplingDisaster Recovery can come to your home and perform a Mold Inspection in your home for $190 (plus mileage if outside Gillette city limits).  If a problem is discovered, we will also write up an Estimate of repairs for you.  If you decide to hire our company for the mold removal, that $190 will be credited back to the scheduled remediation job.

If you cannot detect visible mold in your home, but you suspect that it may be a hidden issue, we highly recommend testing the Air Quality in your home to see if the mold spore count is elevated in your home.  We can take air samples with our specialized equipment, which are then sent by FedEx to an independent testing lab in Washington state.  We need to take a least two samples:  An outside sample to determine what is normal in your area, and at least one inside sample in the area(s) of concern. Within 1-3 business days, the testing lab will email us a detailed report of the results, which includes the mold counts and type of mold spores present in your breathing space.  These samples are $80 each.

Continue Reading: Mold Facts