7 Tips to Removing Black Mold & Keeping It Out of Your Home

Black Mold is not something a home owner can ignore. If you see signs of black mold, use these 7 tips to remove it permanently.

Black mold can have a significantly negative impact on the health of you and your loved ones. Exposure to black mold has been known to cause many irritating issues. These issues include wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, rashes and sore throats. In more extreme cases, black mold can trigger asthma attacks, and irritate existing conditions like respiratory diseases.

Child wiping nose from sneezingIf people in your home with compromised immune systems, they may also be at risk of severe lung infections.

The best way to deal with black mold is to ensure that it can’t grow in your home. This may seem impossible considering all of the places black mold can grow but it’s much easier than you think. It’s actually quite easy to minimize its presence in your home.

Readers note: black mold is rarely found in new home builds. It’s more frequently found in older homes, but it can be found in new homes too depending on whether the building material was exposed to it. 

General Black Mold Prevention Tips

  • Keep every room in your house well-ventilated: Proper ventilation is especially important in new homes. Since new homes are energy efficient, many points of air flow are sealed up tightly. While this is very good for your energy bills, it makes it more difficult to ventilate your house. If a vent or open window is not an option, keep the doors open and regularily turn on a fan.
  • Use a dehumidifier: A quality dehumidifier is very cost-effective, and can be put in any room. Remember to empty out the tanks regularly. Remember the tank won’t work when it is full.
  • Control rainwater: Create trenches to direct rainwater away from the foundation.
  • Clean surfaces: Whenever possible, clean surfaces with solutions that combat mold spores. Use vinegar, bleach and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Air purifiers: Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to reduce the amount of mold spores in the air.
  • Look at your crawl space: Cover the floor of your crawl space with a plastic sheet to create a vapour barrier.
  • Look for leaks: Take early signs of leaks or mold growth very seriously. If you start to develop a mold problem, call a professional. You can clean mild cases of mold easily, but serious cases are much harder to properly treat. Even if you clean it, you may not have the tools or expertise to prevent the mold from returning.

Focus on the Bathroom First

Window ventilation bathroomMold and mildew thrive in bathrooms because they experience the most moisture and humidity exposure than any other room in the home. In order to ensure that your bathroom becomes less of a risk to black mold, ensure adequate ventilation.

Install a powerful exhaust fan in the bathroom and regularly check the duct for any obstructions or dust buildup that may need to be cleaned out. Regularly use the exhaust fan, especially when you’re bathing.

If you are lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom, keep it a little bit open during and after you shower. An open window helps air flow in the bathroom so keep the door open as often as possible too.

Get into the habit of wiping down the shower stall with a towel, sponge or squeegee after each use. Curtains are difficult to dry off, so try to buy curtains specifically designed to repel water if possible.

Target the Basement Next

Clean basement raftersAnother hot spot for black mold growth is the basement. Not only do basements typically have poor ventilation, but they occasionally have issues with humidity, flooding and leaking pipes.

To make matters worse, black mold is more frequently a problem in the basements of older homes so if your house is older than 20 years old you may want to get an inspection.

Builders will work through fall and winter to create a foundation for a home. They may accidentally seal up materials that have been exposed to moisture—making them a perfect breeding ground for mold spores. Ensure that your home is fully inspected after construction to check for wet spots or signs of early mold growth.

In older homes, regularly check your basement for wet spots and leaking pipes. Patch up and repair leaking pipes as soon as you discover them. If you notice any wet spots unrelated to the plumbing, it may indicate a weak spot in your foundation that could become a flooding issue during the rainy season. Make sure to look into this too.

If your basement is leaky there are a few products you can use to help seal these problem areas. If you cannot pinpoint where the moisture is coming from, contact a professional to diagnose the issue and to make any repairs.

It’s also a good idea to install a drain in your basement in case of flooding from rain or burst pipes.

Inspect Your Attic

Attic with mold on raftersAttics commonly have black mold issues. Moisture accumulates there regularly, and it’s an area of the house that people normally don’t enter very often, allowing moisture and mold issues to go unnoticed.

To help prevent black mold in the attic of your home, ensure that it’s ventilated as much as possible. Keep eavestroughs cleaned, repair cracks in your foundation, and ensure that there is a downspout that leads to the ground.

Check for any wet spots on the walls and floor. Dry the spots quickly and get any leaks patched as soon as possible.

The Take Home

The presence of black mold in your home is not the end of the world, and by following the tips in this article, you can make sure to get rid of it for good and prevent it from coming back in the future.

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