If you have small areas of toxic black mold you can remove them yourself if you are very careful. Very large areas really need professional advice and removal. If you are going to attempt cleaning up your home of toxic black mold yourself then you need to be aware of the problems you may encounter and how to deal with them. You should always wear adequate protective clothing which includes gloves and breathing masks as it is important not to breathe in spores from the mold as they are very toxic. it is important that you not only remove all visible mold, but that you find any mold growing in hidden places such as in the walls or inside appliances such as air conditioners. You will also need to deal with the conditions that caused the toxic black mold to grow in the first place.
Identifying Damp Areas
The first thing to do before you even attempt to remove the black mold is to find out why it is growing and deal with these problems. Anywhere there is moisture that has accumulated can allow the black mold to grow so look for leaks in your roof or chimney, leaking pipes especially those that are hidden in walls and floors, condensation especially in bathrooms, blocked or leaking gutters etc. You should also check the humidity in your home and and make sure that it is below 55%. A hygrometer can be used for this and you should make sure that you check, not just the usual living areas, but also your basement, your attic, inside closets and cupboards especially those used for storing food and in your bathroom. If you find the humidity is above 55% then you will need to deal with this by using dehumidifiers. In bathrooms and basements make sure that you have adequate ventilation. Ensure that vents from air conditioners and clothes dryers lead to the outside so that they do not increase the moisture level in the air inside your home.
Toxic Black Mold Removal
Step one – Preventing Black Mold Spores From Spreading
Before you begin removal of the black mold you need to consider the ways that you are going to use to prevent any of the toxic spores from spreading through your home. Each room needs to be treated separately and you will need to seal off the room properly before you start. Shut off any ventilation systems and use heavy-duty plastic bags and duct tape to seal vents, windows and doors. You need to keep the dust levels as low as possible so before you start mist the area lightly mist with water to damp down any dust that may be caused during the removal process.
Step two – Removing the Black Mold
Once you have the room adequately sealed and the area to be treated damped down you can start to clean. Thoroughly clean using soap and then disinfect with a preparation specifically made to kill mold. Black mold may be growing in areas where it is not visible so you need to clean all the surfaces where the spores may have landed. After cleaning the areas thoroughly dry them. Non-porous materials such as plastics, metals, glass etc. can be reused. Some semi-porous materials, such as wood and concrete, may have been so damaged that they need to be replaced and many porous materials such as paper, ceiling tiles, carpets, insulation etc. can be so heavily damaged by black mold that they may also be unusable.
Disposing of Contaminated Materials
It is important that you do not dispose off contaminated materials in such a way that you reinfect other areas of your home. All contaminated material should be placed in heavy duty plastic bags and sealed carefully. Do not carry the infected materials through your house but use a window to place the bags directly outside. They can then be taken to a landfill for proper disposal.
Preventing Black Mold Regrowing
As we have noted earlier it is extremely important that you deal with any problems that have arisen that have allowed the black mold to thrive. In addition to repairing any broken pipes and gutters that may be causing more moisture in your home, plan on a regular tour of inspection to catch any black mold that is growing before it gets out of control. Include areas that you may not visit often such as basements, cellars and attics. Inspect your roof regularly for leaks especially after the winter and while you are there make sure your chimney is undamaged as these can be a major source of leaks from the roof.