How to Remove mold from drywall is something every owner should know how to address, and as a homeowner or building manager, mold may be one of the last things you want to show up. Because of its porous nature, many building materials absorb moisture, which is the breeding ground for mold growth. Learning how to remove mold is not only important for your home but is even more critical for your good health.
Beyond its ability to damage your property, mold can also endanger your family or co-workers’ health by way of spores and mycotoxins released into the air you’re breathing. For these reasons, it’s vital that you know how to remove mold from wood or remove mold from drywall, with proper cleaning methods – or when you need to do full mold remediation, just as soon as you spot this fungus.
Determine Your Mold Problem
While there are many different varieties of mold and every infestation is unique, there are some relatively simple steps you can take on your own to deal with common mold problems.
If you’re ready and able to tackle the work yourself, we’ve put together this essential guide to deal with the mold in your home or workplace and to walk you through the two different mold scenarios. “Mold Removal” (surface cleaning), and “Mold Remediation” (removal and disposal of building materials).
The first part of our DIY guide will cover Mold Removal (Cleaning), which addresses minor mold growth on surfaces that can be cleaned without the building material being removed.
If you have a more serious problem, the second section of our guide discusses complete Mold Remediation, in which building materials will have to be physically removed from the structure of your home or workplace, and the chemical treatment of remaining materials, to get rid of the mold.
Step 1: Identify the Type of Mold
One thing you should know before starting in on your mold problem is what kind of mold you’re up against. Some molds, such as Aspergillus, can cause damage to your home but are unlikely to cause disease in healthy people.
The Mold you need to be particularly careful about is Black Mold. This mold can be toxic and create a variety of health complications. Black mold is easily identified by its characteristic black color, as seen in this photo:
Because this is the most critical type of mold, you should prepare for removal as soon as you find it, and for that purpose, this article will predominantly focus on how to remove black mold.
Step 2: Identify the “Source of Moisture”
This is critical. Since mold only grows with the presence of moisture, you must first identify the source of the moisture that is causing the mold to occur. Once you have identified the source and eliminated the moisture intrusion, you can begin with Mold Removal.
If possible with your conditions, it’s much easier and less expensive to remove mold itself from wood and other materials, without actually removing (remediating) the materials from your home. Small-scale mold removal of this type makes all the difference between your mold problem requiring a few chemical treatments and turning into a full-blown renovation project.
Check out this short video on “How To Remove Mold” to see some of these techniques in action:
If you’ve determined you do indeed have a mold problem, and have already eliminated the source of moisture intrusion, Here are 4 steps for Cleaning surface Mold before it becomes a major problem.
Mold Removal (Cleaning)
Step 1: Identify All Affected Surfaces
Keep in mind, that treating all of your mold growth at once will help to ensure that the mold doesn’t begin to spread again once you’re finished. Because If you have mold in one place, there’s a good chance you have it someplace else.
For this step, place a small piece of painters tape near but not on, each mold spot you locate. This will help you quickly identify them later when your removing mold in your house.
If your mold problems are on the Outside of your house – See our article on the Best Vinyl Siding Cleaner you can buy.
Step 2: Select Your Cleaning Agent
There are several options for how to kill mold. But take note, using Bleach to kill black mold is actually a false statement. While bleach may inhibit mold growth, Bleach does not actually kill mold spores.
Instead, use one of the DIY combinations of household ingredients we recommend below, or better yet, use any of the many mold-killing chemical sprays such as RMR-86 Instant for sale on Amazon. They are pre-mixed mold killers and come with their own spray bottle. For large scale mold removal, you can also purchase a gallon Concentrate of Mold Killer which you mix with water – and use in a garden sprayer.
Home Remedies: If you need to remove black mold from wood or drywall, you can use these home options:
1) mix 1 cup Borax to 1 cup of water
2) baking soda with vinegar
3) Hydrogen peroxide with water
All of these are effective home product alternatives. Peroxide is an especially good option on drywall, as it can help to lighten the stains that mold creates when it populates a surface.
Other mold killer products such as Concrobium is very highly rated and proven chemical product for removing mold. Concrobium is available online at Amazon, Home Depot or Lowes, and can be used on porous (soft) as well as non-porous (hard) surfaces.
Step 3: Spray Mold covered surfaces thoroughly
After placing on rubber gloves, and a safe, filtered face mask, you’re ready to begin cleaning off the mold. When it comes to removing mold from wood, drywall or other porous surfaces, thoroughness is crucial. You want to be sure you are cleaning every spot that is affected by mold, as well as the surface around it. Spray and saturate all mold surfaces before moving to any other affected areas. Be sure to read and follow directions carefully for Chemical cleaner usage and safety precautions.
Be aware that mold spores can remain on a surface long after the mold itself is gone, which is why you should wash down everything around the moldy area.
Step 4: Use a HEPA Vacuum to Capture Remaining Spores
Even with the most thorough cleaning, some mold spores are bound to remain in the vicinity of the moldy patch. For this reason, the final step of your cleanup should be vacuuming the entire room you were working in with a vacuum that features a HEPA filter.
A HEPA filter should catch errant spores so that the mold growth doesn’t start up again.
Note: If the Mold contaminated area you’ve encountered exceeds normal mold (surface) conditions, and you need to remove mold-contaminated building materials such as drywall, insulation, studs, flooring, etc., than Mold Remediation will be required instead of a Mold chemical cleaning process. See steps below to Remediate Mold:
Mold Remediation: Remove & Dispose of Mold Affected Building Materials
The following 7 steps will show you how to remove mold affected building materials on your own. However, if the contaminated material is more extensive than 10 square feet, you’re likely better off calling in a professional to handle it. Please read the EPA guidelines for mold removal here.
Step 1: Identify the Source of “Moisture Intrusion”
Your efforts to remediate (remove) Mold contaminated materials will be in vain unless you first Identify and Repair the Source which caused moisture to intrude into your finished space.
Once the repair work has been completed, Test the area (roof, walls, plumbing) to ensure you have indeed remedied the moisture problem.
Step 2: Protect Yourself
Black mold removal can be hazardous to your health once there is enough mold concentration in a room. If you’re at the point of remediation, you need to protect yourself with a Tyvek cover-up, a professional-grade respirator, safety goggles, and thick rubber gloves. Also, run an exhaust fan out of the room you’re working in, to direct airborne mold spores outside and prevent them from spreading to other areas of your house.
Step 3: Quarantine the Area
Before you begin to work on Black Mold affected areas: Close off all the vents leading to and from the space. Plastic wrap and painters tape should be used to seal off air from moving into other non-contaminated areas of the house. Use a shop vac with HEPA filter to remove any loose mold spores before you begin work.
Step 4: Remove the Mold Affected Building Materials
Once you have the right safety protection in place, you can go ahead and remove the flooring, drywall or other material that has become infested with mold. Go slow, and be careful not to kick up too much dust, as the dust can carry spores with it. Also, be sure that you have a safe and environmentally friendly way of disposing of the material you remove.
Step 5: Use Chemical Cleaners to Sterilize Remaining Surfaces
Just because the surfaces with mold on them are gone doesn’t mean that all of the mold spores have been eliminated. Before proceeding, you should wash down studs or other surfaces that were previously in contact with the material you removed with a mold-killing chemical. If the affected material surface allows it, use one of the mold killing chemicals discussed under “Mold Cleaning Agents” above. Again, our highest rated suggestion for chemical mold killers is “Concrobium Mold Control”. If you’re removing mold from drywall, be sure to check and remove or treat any wet or affected insulation and studs underneath as these materials may also be contaminated by mold.
Step 6: Replace Building Materials and Clean Up
Once the full remediation has been completed, you can replace the material you’ve removed from your house with new building materials, and proceed to clean up any room you’ve worked in. As a final precaution, lightly wash all new surfaces down one more time after installation, to be sure you’ve killed all of the mold spores. As with normal mold “removal”, you should definitely use a HEPA vacuum with “remediation” to catch spores that weren’t hit with the chemical wash. For added peace of mind, you can also use an air purifier in the room for a few days to catch any remaining mold spores that may have been left behind.
Step 7: Determine Mold remediation was a success:
Once the full mold remediation has been completed, and the site has been completely cleaned up, you should monitor the work for a few weeks afterward, to confirm your mold remediation work was a complete success:
Has the original cause for moisture intrusion been permanently repaired?
Has any mold, mildew, moldy odors, or moldy material re-appeared anywhere?
Not counting natural floods of course; consider ways to control and prevent moisture intrusion and resulting mold in the future.
Check out this short video on Mold Remediation before getting started:
Now that you know how to remove black mold from wood, drywall or tile, you should be ready to tackle the patches of mold in your house or office. Don’t forget to be extremely careful when dealing with black mold, as it can be toxic and harmful to your health. If your mold problem is widespread and too much for you to handle, contact a mold remediation specialist. Google it – there in just about every community.
Finally, always be sure to deal with mold as soon as you discover it. Fungi will only continue to grow if left alone, and the problem will rapidly get worse. Using a mild cleaning agent to get rid of the small patches of mold on your drywall now, can save the major cost and effort of tearing out entire sections of it a year or two down the line.
Thanks again for visiting BestHomeGear.Com, and much success with your own mold removal project!
Toilet running? Check out this handy DIY Guide for Simple Toilet Repairs
Additional Resources & Reading:
EPA Mold Guidelines For Removing or Remediating Mold – EPA.Gov
CDC Guide For Homeowners after flooding disaster – CDC.Gov
The Best Wet Dry Shop Vacs to Help with Your Cleanup – BestHomeGear.Com
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