Have you looked up at the ceiling above your shower and seen brown or black spots?  Have you remodeled your kitchen and found mold growth behind the backsplash?  Have you removed flooring in your home and noticed dark spots that look like old water stains, only to brush over it and realize it is mold?  We immediately tend to worry about how it can affect our health when we notice these areas in our homes and then our focus shifts to how to clean mold.

Most often, the first thing most homeowners reach for when they see a small area of mold is a common cleaning agent found in homes…bleach.  The bottle says it can kill germs and when applied to mold and mildew it appears to clean it up.  This is one instance when looks can be deceiving.  Bleach is effective in temporarily removing the appearance of mold, but it doesn’t effectively kill or prevent future mold growth.

The first thing you need to do if you notice mold is figure out how it ended up there in the first place.  Mold spores are found and travel in the air but need moisture in order to grow, this is why you most often find mold growing in kitchens and bathrooms where water is present.  Check to see if you have a plumbing leak.  Inspect grout and caulk lines for cracks or openings where water can seep into.  Are you using your exhaust fan in the bathroom while showering?  If so, do you notice condensation on the bathroom mirror?  This may mean that your exhaust fan isn’t strong enough to remove the moisture in your bathroom and needs to be replaced.  The source of the mold growth must be identified before you can completely clean up the mold.

Once the source of the water loss has been detected and fixed, then you can turn your attention to cleanup, but again, don’t reach for your bottle of bleach.  Bleach will take the color out of mold, just as it does with taking dirt stains from white baseball pants; but it does not completely kill the mold.  So what can you use to clean mold in your home?

First, we do not recommend that you try to remove or clean large areas of mold on your own.  If you are in the middle of a remodel and notice that mold has grown behind the walls or if you notice substantial mold growth in your crawlspace, these areas need to be treated and cleaned by professionals.  Containments need to be set up in these instances to keep the mold spores from spreading to other areas in the home.  Air scrubbers are then set in place to clean the air while the affected materials such as drywall or subflooring are removed.  Then we clean and treat the area to prevent further mold growth.  PHC uses a botanical disinfectant made up of essential oils to treat for mold.  Benefect is 99.99% effective in removing bacteria and is safe to use around children, pets, the elderly and chemically sensitive individuals.  There are no known adverse effects to human health or the environment.  If you have a small area you want to address, Benefect is available for purchase online, but remember, mold will return if the moisture problem is not addressed.

PHC Restoration has certified mold remediation technicians on staff trained in mold removal.  Give us a call at 910-814-2502.