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How to Clean Mold - Cleaning Mold

Tips on how to remove, kill or clean mold growth from your home.                   

Before you clean mold from any material, you must first ask a couple of questions:

  • What is the source of moisture that caused the mold growth?
  • Have I addressed the source of moisture?
  • Can I clean the mold or should I discard the item?
  • Will cleaning the mold damage the item?
  • Is professional remediation necessary to clean the moldy materials or remove the mold?

Assuming you have answered the above questions and determined to clean the mold yourself, the following are a few guidelines.  

What cleaning chemical should I use to clean mold covered materials?

  • Several solutions are possible, including bleach / water, borate based detergent or a quaternary compound.  Your goal for cleaning is to physically remove the mold growth.  If you simply spray the mold growth with a cleaning solution, it may kill the mold, but the dead spores will still remain.  Therefore, if you are attempting to clean mold from a surface, the cleaning chemical primarily assists by helping release the mold from the material.

After I clean the mold damaged material, how can I prevent it from coming back?

  • Mold requires several key conditions before growth can occur.  Unfortunately these conditions are often very similar to those we find comfortable.  Most of these conditions we cannot change, such as temperature and a source of suitable food.  However, we can eliminate the moisture mold requires for growth.  Any mold cleanup project requires both a proper assessment  mold inspection and remediation of the original source of moisture causing the growth. 

Are mold preventative coatings worthwhile?

  • Mold preventative coatings are useful in certain circumstances, such as environments where dampness cannot be avoided.  Building lumber in new construction or materials surrounding a pool are good examples.  However, the majority of mold growth occurs because of a failure to properly manage moisture rather.  Depending upon a preventative coating to resist mold is risky, eventually the coating will fail, leading to mold growth.   

Additional resources with information on how to clean mold damaged materials.

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