No one wants to find mold in their house, but once you think you’ve found it it’s important to know the difference between mold and dirt. How do you test for mold, and how can you clean it properly? This post will go through all the ways you can test, and fight mold.
Identifying Mold by Temperature
So you’ve found a dark spot, but is it mold? Mold can survive in a temperature between 4 and 37 degrees celsius. It cannot survive during a cold winter. If you see black stuff in your home in a damp place, it’s likely mold.
Identifying Mold by Colour and Shape
Although identifying mold by color could be misleading, it’s a good first test if you find black spots in the summer. Mold could also be green or white – if it’s any other color it’s likely dirt. Look at the shape as well, it the mold in clusters? Are they shaped in circles around the area?
Identifying Mold by Bleach Test/Mold Kit
If you’re still not sure, try the bleach test. Dip a swab of cotton in some diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and swab the area. You’ll know it’s mold if the spot lightens quickly, or comes back after washing. Mold kit tests are similar to the bleach test, except they identify the type of mold.
How Much of the Area Contains the Mold?
Once the mold is identified, check the area for how far back the mold goes, and where the leak started. If the mold is surface level, poking it with a screwdriver or a piece of wood won’t make the area crumble. Crumbling foundation or tiles means the mold is deep. Moport restoration can help to return your molded area to its original state after mold has destroyed it.
Now you need to check for leaks. Look at the area surrounding your pipes if there’s leaking water. Outside leaks, for example in a basement or on an exterior wall, could move into the interior of your house. Pull back the foundation. Mold could also be in your air ducts if the problem is really severe.
How to Remove the Mold
You can remove mold yourself, unless it covers more than a few square feet, or if it’s in your duct work. Regardless, use special equipment and old clothes before attempting removal.
- Wear old clothes, a P-100 or N-95 respirator, gloves and goggles.
- Use an old fan, or a new cheap fan in the nearest window to ventilate the room. Throw it out when you’re done. Make sure to tape around the window so spores can’t come back in.
- Wrap all carpet, or foundation in 6-mil plastic and double bag it.
- To control spores, use a garden sprayer.
- Turn off the air conditioner, furnace, and close and cover all ducts.
Use Antimicrobial Spray and Soap
Cleaning mold with soap and water isn’t only cost-effective, it’s the best way to disinfect the area. After you clean with soap, use an antimicrobial spray to prevent mold from returning. If your mold is in the basement, spray the entire room just to be sure. There are also fogging machines available for rent to fog the whole house with this treatment.