Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Black Mold Removal - Tips and Helpful Information

Black Mold Removal

Black Mold Removal is not something you want to take lightly. Mold can spread through out your house extremely easy. So I am going to help you and give your some black mold removal tips to help keep that from happening. Plus i am going to help you find the source of the moister that is causing the water damage mold. Because there is no point in doing black mold removal if you don't fix the cause.

Black Mold needs a source of moisture to grow actually all mold needs a water source to grow. So finding the cause of the black mold growth before you start your black mold removal would be wise. If you just clean it up then the water damage mold will grow right back. So I am going to start this out by helping you find the not so obvious moisture problems. I am sure you know if you have a leaky faucet in the basement and you have mold growth. Then I am sure you know that is your problem. However in many cases the water source isn't going to be that easy to find. 

Lets start in the attic for the water or moister source:
  • You might be wondering what could be in the attic that would cause this problem. Well the first thing i would check is to see if the bathroom exhaust fan vent pipe is connected and not broken. I would also make sure that it is vented through the roof and not laying in the attic. I have been in many homes where someone installed there own bathroom exhaust fan and never vented it properly. If that vent pipe is broken or laying in the attic then the moister from taking a shower will end up soaking the insulation. So while you are up there do a mold inspection because you could also have mold in the attic. The moister from this vent can also cause mold on your walls and mold on the ceiling. This is the first place i would check for water damage mold.
  • Next I would make sure the insulation in your attic is installed properly. You might have noticed that there are vents in the eave of your home. These are there to let air circulate and not hold in the humidity. If you have insulation stuffed into this area of the attic, you might be blocking the air flow. This can cause the attic to become very humid and cause mold growth in the attic so again make sure you do a mold inspection and look for water damage mold.
  • Next place i would look in the attic, if your central air system is located in the attic make sure the condensation line is draining properly and that it is insulated. These lines can plug up often and several times a year and then it will over flow and cause water damage mold. If they are not insulated they will sweat like a cold glass of water and will drip on the the insulation and cause mold growth so again do a mold inspection. 
  • Now one of the biggest places I have found black mold or mold growth is on the evaporator coil or right after the coil in the air ducts. This is very common and if you do have black mold in the ducts make sure you have home air duct cleaning done or have them replaced. Replacing them would cost more but it would be the safer way to go.

Now lets look in the living area of the home for moisture and the cause of your black mold
  • Today everyone is trying to save money on their electric bill, so they upgrade the windows, add insulation and they try and seal up the house as best as possible. That is a good thing however if you go to far in the summer you might notice that the house seems a lot more humid. You might even think that the air conditioner isn't working that well. But that is not it at all and here is whats really going on, when you upgrade a house and seal it up to save money what you are doing is changing the heat load on the house. So to fix this problem have an HVAC company that has the ability to do a heat load come out and check your house. You might find that after you have upgraded the house you may need to replace your system with a smaller air conditioner. Now I will try and explain why, your old system was designed to cool your house and the older homes were not sealed up as well so they sized the system to the square footage of the home. However when you seal the home up all that changes and that old system will end up rapid cooling and shut off before the humidity is pulled out. So you are left with a lot of moisture in the air and this will cause water damage mold. In this case you can get mold in the carpet and mold on the walls, cloths and just about every place in the home.
  • Now this next one might surprise you but pet urine can also cause mold growth. If you have a pet that you can't take out side as often as you like. Well then that can be the moisture source, I was working on a house not that long ago and they had a male dog that was going everyday down in the basement and that was causing black mold growth on some boxes and a few other things. This can also cause mold growth on the carpet so look for this problem as well.
Now Lets move down to the basement for the odd source of moisture that can be cause in your water damage mold so you can get on with your black mold removal
  • If your drain pips are uninsulated then this could be the water source. These pips will get cold and like a glass of water that will collect condensation and drip onto the floor or down a wall and cause basement mold.
  • If your central air system is located in the basement then like I stated above you need to check your condensation lines to make sure they are not plugged and that they are draining properly. I recommend that once every few months you pour a cup of bleach down the pipe and that will help keep the line clean and free flowing. Again I recommend that you inspect your ducts for water damage mold and when you do this inspect right after the coil. If your condensation line was plugged up then it most likely has over flowed and I would bet that you have mold grow on your blower of the system. So inspect that for mold growth. If you need to clean the mold out of your H VAC system then I recommend that you do not do that yourself. Because if you do that wrong you can ruin the motor and short out the electronics. If you find out that you have mold in the ducts i recommend that you also have you could cleaned and the ducts cleaned by a professional. This will apply to any of the 3 possible H VAC locations.
  • Cold water pipes can be a source of water in the basement and this can cause your mold in basement. Now i don't mean your water pies are leaking water i mean if they are not insulated then they will collect condensation and cause mold growth. So if your pipes are uninsulated then after you do the black mold removal insulate those pipes and put an end to that water source. Please don't over look the cold water side of the hot water heater.
  • If your cloths drier is located in the basement then please inspect the exhaust vent pipe and make sure that is plugged up. This happens often with basement installations because the pipe climbs up the wall and out of the house and lent will tend to settle in the pipe and over time it will plug up. If it is plugged then you might notice mold growth on the edges of the drier door or you will notice that the basement gets really humid while you are using it. This humidity will condense and cause mold growth in the basement.
Black Mold Removal - Safety First

Yes you can take care of most small mold problems. However if the area of mold growth is larger than a 3' by 3' then it would be best that you call in a professional. Now please don't take offense because I know you are capable of doing it but the tools and equipment you might need can end up costing you more than if you had a professional that is already tooled up for the job and they have the proper mold removal safety equipment.

If you are going to do the black mold removal yourself then you need to dress and wear the right protective clothing.
  • For small areas you should wear at least a (N-95) face mask and safety goggles. If your dealing with a larger area then you will need a full face mask that has an approved disposal HEPA filter. Because mold spores when agitated can spread into the air very easily.  During the mold cleaning processed the mold count can be 10 to 1000 times higher than normal.
  • I would also recommend that you wear disposable protective clothing that way you can remove them when leaving the area that your working in so you don't spread the mold throughout the house.
  • Don't forget to get some disposable rubber gloves. 
  • Make sure you seal off the air return and supply ducts and turn off the ventilation system. Because you do not want that turning on while your doing your black mold removal. If you forget this then you can really cause yourself a major problem.
  • If you use bleach to kill black mold then you will need to make sure you have proper ventilation with a HEPA filter installed on the exhaust side to trap the mold spores.