Mold always is found in the air, but it appears in high concentrations when ample oxygen, water, nutrients and the right temperature are available. Generally, mold grows best at room temperature; however, some molds grow at warmer and colder temperatures. As mold multiplies it produces spores, which are difficult to destroy. Although only a few species of mold are harmful to humans, it is best to remove mold as soon as you see it, since it's known to cause health complications.
Wear the proper mold-removal attire, including rubber gloves, goggles, face mask, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and rubber boots. It is important to dress properly when cleaning mold to avoid breathing it in and getting it on your skin or in your eyes. Individuals with pre-existing lung conditions could experience infections or severe allergic reactions when exposed to mold. For larger mold problems, wear a respirator so that you don't breathe in the high concentrations of mold. Seek professional help to remove excessive amounts of mold or mold that are difficult to remove, such as in a crawlspace.
Determine where the mold problem is coming from. Common sources of mold stem from ceiling, pipe and roof leaks. Mold also appears from open windows that allow water inside, as well as basement floods and bathrooms that lack proper ventilation. Once you find the source, seal off the area so that mold spores are unable to relocate to another room.
Remove the visible mold. Identify mold by slimy or fuzzy-appearing spots comprised of various colors. Mold also has a musty odor. Remove the mold growth with either a bucket of soap and water, a solution of one cup household bleach in one gallon of water or commercial mold removal products and a rag. Use a scrubber to remove mold from rough surfaces. Rinse the cleaned area with water. Ventilate the area with a fan and open windows so that it dries. It may take upwards of 48 hours to dry completely.
Prevent new mold growth by maintaining low humidity levels in your home. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier, especially in your basement. Keep your home well-ventilated with fans and open windows. Fix leaky plumbing immediately. Remove any objects that have gotten wet, such as rugs in a flooded basement, and either let them air out followed by a thorough cleaning or remove them from your home permanently. Porous items, such as drywall and ceiling tiles, especially must be thrown out since the mold will never be removed completely from them. Avoid installing carpeting in places that experience a lot of moisture.
Monitor the location of your mold removal after cleaning to ensure that growth does not recur.