It’s common for most households to have to deal with mould infestations at least once in a home’s lifetime. Most of the time, you can remove mould with ordinary household cleaning products. However, if you discover extensive mould problems, the fix is not as simple.
Make sure to clean up these infestations right away before they get worse or cause health problems for you and your family. We strongly recommend contacting professionals in these cases to deal with the issue, rather than trying to solve it yourself. It can be risky to remove it yourself as mould spores are dangerous to your health and the rest of your home, and you might have to deal with electric wiring hidden behind walls.
Prepping your home before attempting to remove mould is crucial so you don’t spread spores to other areas of the house. Seal off the room you’ll be working in from the rest of the house by placing plastic sheets over doors and taping them shut. Also make sure to turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover any vents or air ducts as they can easily transport spores as well. Once you’ve taken care of keeping spores from spreading, you’ll want to make sure to create some ventilation in the room. Place a box fan in a window and tape cardboard around the window openings so spores can’t blow back in.
You will also have to take precautions yourself. Breathing in high concentrations of spores and VOCs can cause anything from irritation in your eyes, nose and throat to damage of the central nervous system. Protect yourself by wearing old clothing and shoes that you can either thoroughly wash or throw out after completing the removal, and by wearing the appropriate respirators, goggles and gloves.
Steps to Remove Mould
If you do decide to remove mould yourself, here are a few steps to follow:
- Disable your home’s power to avoid electrocuting yourself by accident
- Avoid accidentally cutting any electrical wires by locating the wires first
- Remove baseboards or trim covering the mouldy area using a pry bar
- Using a screwdriver, puncture holes in the moisture-damaged wall to reveal the hidden mould beneath
- Cut back the drywall and go further than the contaminated area to ensure the wall dries out
- Mist the drywall and insulation with water when trying to remove mould to keep spores from spreading
- Using heavy-duty plastic bags, double-bag mouldy materials you have removed and tie them shut
If the damage was neglected for a long time, there’s a high chance you will find rot when attempting to remove mould. Where possible, remove rotted sections and replace them. If it’s not possible, a more extensive fix is needed.
The cleanup is just as important as the removal. Start by vacuuming up any debris leftover, thoroughly cleaning the vac afterwards by disposing the filter and cleansing the hose, tank and other attachments using a bleach-and-water solution Avoid spreading spores further by keeping the vacuum outside and running a long hose through a window into the room you’re working in.
Scrub any mould-stained surfaces with the same bleach-and-water mixture and do not rinse it off. Let dry for at least three days using dehumidifiers and fans. If there’s still mould when you return, clean again with bleach. Seal any wood surfaces with pigmented shellac or oil-based primer, then repaint the surfaces with a latex paint that includes mildewcide to stop future mould growth. Finally, install new insulation and drywall.
The process to remove mould from your home can be costly and time consuming. Making sure your home is properly waterproofed is the easiest way to prevent mould from appearing and potentially harming you and your family.