Four Steps To Killing Mold Without Bleach After A Water Damage Incident

Construction & Contractors Blog

A mold problem caused by water damage can be quite a nightmare to clean up. Although many homeowners' first instinct at the sight of mold is to douse it with bleach, bleach is actually only useful for killing things on a flat and non-porous surface. If you have mold growing on a wooden wall, the bleach will only kill the parts of the mold that are on the outside of the wall and will not extend into the wall to kill the roots of the mold. As you can imagine, this just allows mold to grow back from the roots as soon as is conveniently possible. Here are four steps to using alternative killing methods that don't rely on bleach to take care of the mold for you.

1. Scrub it off with soap and water.

The first step to mold cleanup is always to remove the surface mold that's visible. You should lightly mist the moldy patches with water before starting because working with dry mold just encourages spores to disperse throughout the air, which can cause health problems and create more mold colonies elsewhere in the house. Once you've misted the area, use a dish-soap-and-water solution or a detergent-and-water solution to scrub the area. If it's a sensitive surface (for example, if you're worried about damaging the finish of a piece of wood furniture), test your cleaning solution on a small area in an unnoticeable corner before undertaking this step.

2. Use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Spraying straight vinegar onto the surface can kill not only surface mold but also mold beneath the surface of the porous material. The same can be said of hydrogen peroxide, which is also likely to be even more reliable at killing a variety of mold species. Either of these can be sprayed on at full concentration or mixed half-and-half with water. Be sure to test the solution before using it to ensure that it won't harm the surface. Then spray the surface thoroughly, carefully wiping up any runoff afterwards before it soaks into the floor. You should allow it to sit for a while so the solution can get down to the mold's roots, and then you can wipe it off with a damp cloth.

3. Use climate control to reduce re-occurrence of mold.

Reducing the humidity and dampness in the area is essential. If the mold occurred in the kitchen under the sink, using moisture absorbers and a small fan to help circulate air and control humidity can be helpful. If the mold is in the basement, you may need a larger electric dehumidifier, and if your entire house is damp, you may need multiple dehumidifiers. In this case, you may also have a drainage problem that needs to be taken care of.

4. Put on a mold prevention coating

Several mold prevention coatings are available on the market today. Many of them simply block mold's roots from taking hold, and some are quite safe to use in households with children (although you should still store them where children can't reach them). Use one of these to prevent a re-occurrence of mold in the previously moldy areas, and spray it in any other damp corners as well to forestall any problems there.

These four steps will help you solve your mold problem naturally, without bleach, in a way that gets at the root of the problem. However, if your mold infestation is extensive, you may need to have some sections of wall or floor replaced or other construction-type work done and you'll want to leave it to an experienced mold contractor. For additional advice, contact a water damage cleanup company in your area.


19 April 2017

Adding a Man Cave to Your Home: Tips

I have always loved baseball, and when the world series arrives each year, I enjoy inviting my friends over to watch the games. As our family grew, it became difficult for all of our guests to fit in our living room. We decided that we needed a dedicated "man cave" in our home, but we didn't have an extra room to build it in. We thought long and hard about how we could add it, but we finally decided to turn our garage into the man cave and have a carport built onto our home to park our cars under. I have always been interested in learning more handy-work, so I enjoyed watching the contractors build both the man cave and car port. I thought I would start a blog to share what I learned during the building process to help other homeowners!