Many older homes have seen their share of problems. At one time or another, it's a good bet an old house has had a water leak or been a victim of flood damage. Whether it was a leaky water heater or a river rushing through the house, it means moisture got in--and mold could have gotten in, too.
Mold is a microscopic spore that floats through the air. When drywall, paper, and other cellulose-based materials collect moisture, they make the perfect habitat for mold to grow. If your old home has a mold problem, those spores are going to have to go.
Cleaning out the Mold
Here are seven tips for getting the mold out of that old home:
- How bad is it? If the mold covers an area more than ten square feet, consider hiring a professional to do the cleaning job for you.
- If your home has been flooded, some guidelines instruct you to remove the drywall to one foot above the flood line. However, mold can go higher than that, so it might be a safer bet to remove all the drywall in the case of a severely flooded home.
- Seal off the room with plastic, then remove all absorbent material. This means everything, right down to the studs. If the mold problem is widespread, you might have to gut the entire room.
- Now it's time to clean up the mold. First, loosen the spores from the surface with a stiff brush. Then use a HEPA filter vacuum to clean it all up.
- Consider treatments to prevent mold from getting another foothold in your home. Look into EPA-approved biocides and other treatments that might offer peace of mind.
- Using paperless drywall when you make repairs can prevent mold from finding a place to grow. Insulation with no cellulose material in it is also a good idea, especially for flood-prone areas.
- No matter how you choose to clean the mold from your home, remember to protect yourself! Wear a respirator at all times, as well as goggles and gloves. You can absorb mold through your skin as well as breathe it in, so protect yourself from both possibilities.
When to Call the Professional
If you have health concerns or are worried about cleaning the mold thoroughly, hiring a professional can give you peace of mind. Mold can cause serious problems for all members of your family, so don't hesitate to get the work done quickly and cleanly.
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