Whether it’s black, yellow, green, or white, mold is a problem. It smells bad and can cause allergies, asthma, and other health problems. The most dangerous types of mold can even be deadly.
Steve Schulz at Dry Basement Solutions says, “A rare subset of molds actually produce powerful mycotoxins. Acting similarly to heavy metal poisoning, even mild exposure to mycotoxins can cause health nightmares, and high levels of the toxin can cause seizures and death.”
If you don’t remove mold properly, you could end up scattering spores throughout the space, making the problem worse. And if it is a dangerous type of mold, you could end up risking your life. That’s why it’s usually best to hire a professional to remove mold.
If you do want to take care of it yourself, there are options to remove mold. Natural cleaners can take care of small growths, and chemicals are available for bigger infestations. If you choose to clean mold yourself, wear a breathing mask and proper protection.
Natural mold removal
If there is only a small area that you need to clean, a natural remedy might do the trick. As long as it hasn’t spread from one spot, you should be able to clean it fairly easily. Here are a few home remedies for very smaller mold growths, which are considered to cover roughly less than 25 sq. feet of a surface.
White vinegar is a common household cleaner, and it does a great job on mold. You don’t need to add water. Just pour it on the mold, wait a few minutes, and wipe it clean.
Use a disposable sponge or rag to wipe it away. Then immediately throw it in the trash outside. The mold could spread from the sponge or rag to other parts of your house.
Hydrogen peroxide is usually used to prevent infections on the body, but it can also eliminate mold in your home. It’s a great option for removing small mold growths on fabrics because it won’t cause damage.
Unlike vinegar, it should be mixed with water in a 1:2 ratio. Wipe it dry with a paper towel after about ten minutes and dispose of the paper towel outside.
Tea-tree oil & grapefruit seed extract
These options aren’t as common in most homes, but they can also remove mold. Both should be mixed with water, sprayed on the wall, allowed to sit for a few minutes, and then wiped away.
Tea-tree oil solutions should follow this ratio: use 1 teaspoon of tea-tree for every cup of water.
Grapefruit seed oil solutions require 10 drops of oil for every cup of water.
Mold removal chemicals
Larger infestations can easily shake off most natural remedies. If you have a large problem, you will need to kill it with something strong. There are two main chemicals that are used for mold removal.
The most common thing people reach for when they have a mold problem is bleach. However, it can’t be used on carpets, fabrics, or wood. It’s most commonly used in bathrooms on ceramic, tile, and glass.
On these surfaces, it’s the cheapest, quickest, and easiest solution. Bleach will kill all mold it touches. If you have a mold problem on another surface, you’ll either need to completely remove the surface and dispose of it or use the next option.
This chemical isn’t as strong as bleach, but it is non-toxic. It has preventive qualities and can be used on surfaces that bleach would destroy.
It is more expensive, but it’s your only chance of saving precious items from an intense mold infestation. Most items that grow mold have to be thrown out if the infestation becomes large.
Waterproof your basement to prevent mold
If you don’t want mold to ruin your basement, you need to waterproof it. Prevention is easier than removal, and most large infestations should be handled by a professional because mold can be dangerous to your health.
If you have mold in your basement once, you’re likely to have it again unless you take preventative measures. You can try basic measures, like applying waterproof paint to the walls and installing a dehumidifier, but that likely won’t be enough.
A professional basement water proofer can install proper insulation, fix leaks, and even install pumps if necessary. Your number one priority should be to keep moisture out of the basement. That is the only way to make sure you don’t end up with a mold problem again.