Cleaning Black Mold

Learn how to clean black mold, prevent its spread and guard against its return.

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Black mold is scary stuff — it can be expensive to remove, and it can even contribute to a host of health problems, some of them serious. Cleaning black mold is an important step in the process of evicting this fungal menace from your home.

The Biggest Threats to a Healthy Home

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Water Intrusion

Biological Contaminants

Mold

Dust and Respirable Particles

Toxic Chemical Compounds

VOCs

Formaldehyde

Carbon Monoxide and Other Combustion By-Products

Lead

Radon

Asbestos

Fire

Absence of AFCIs

Shorts and Shocks

Slip-and-Trip Zones

Pests and Pesticides

The first step in cleaning black mold is to identify the source of moisture that's feeding it — it could be a pipe, roof or foundation leak, or condensation from an appliance. Stop any leaks, and dehumidify any areas affected by mold growth.

Next, seal off the room where the mold is located — shut doors tightly and cover vents, doorways and other areas where air can escape with plastic and duct tape. Place an exhaust fan in front of any outdoor-facing openings to push spores outside. Be sure to wear a respirator or mold-spore rated facemask, and cover all exposed skin when cleaning black mold.

Lightly spray the mold with water to limit the amount of spores that will become airborne. Scrub the mold with a brush, rag or sponge and soapy water. Be sure to scrub all adjacent areas as well, as not all spores will be visible. Finally, thoroughly scrub the area with bleach, a professional mold removal product or vinegar.

After cleaning black mold, place all equipment and debris in a heavy-duty trash bag, and, if possible, exit through an outdoor opening rather than the main home area, to prevent distribution of spores inside.

Taking these steps while cleaning black mold should help to eradicate the problem and ensure that the process is safe and effective.

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