Black mould commonly grows in areas such as the bathroom, basement or kitchen, where it feeds on organic material and moisture. Although most moulds outdoors are beneficial, the moulds found in indoor environments should be eliminated, as mould exposure presents health risks to occupants. Mould-affected areas that are larger than 1 square meter should be handled by a professional mould restorer.
Before tackling a mould removal job, wearing protective gear is essential: goggles, dust filter mask or respirator, clothing that covers the whole body, and gloves. Exposure to mould can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing, and other symptoms.
The first step in dealing with mould is drying the affected area, regardless of what the area is. If the moisture problem is not remediated, mould will recur after the black mould removal process.
- Leaks in damp areas around tubs or sinks, as well as cracked or damaged pipes should be fixed.
- Water may seep into the home through dirty or damaged gutters, so the gutters must be kept clean and in good shape.
- The ground around the house should slope away to keep the basement and crawl space dry.
- Proper ventilation in a home is important in keeping the air flowing and maintaining a dry indoor environment.
Once the moisture source is eliminated, the room where mould grows should be sealed off with plastic sheets and duct tape to cover openings such as vents or doorways. These materials prevent mould spores from spreading the rest of the home when they are disturbed in the black mould removal process.
The area should then be inspected and wet materials must be sorted out into two groups: those that can be cleaned and those that should be discarded. For instance, mouldy drywall most likely needs to be discarded and replaced. If there was mould on carpet or other fabrics for more than 24 – 48 hours, these items should also be thrown away in most cases.
When the area is dried and sealed off, mould removal can begin. The surfaces should be scrubbed off with a detergent solution, but multiple washes may be required for tougher mould spots. Using bleach to clean mould should be avoided, since bleach does not prevent mould from recurring. After cleaning, the surfaces must be dried quickly with the help of dehumidifiers and fans. Any remaining mould spores should be vacuumed using a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner.
When remodeling after the mould removal, it is wise to use water-resistant materials, such as tile, stone, deep-sealed concrete, waterproof wallboard, water-resistant glues, etc. However, using water-resistant materials does not guarantee that mould will not occur. Mould will grow on these materials if there is moisture and a food source (organic material such as dirt or mud) on them, as well as warm conditions.