If you have ever seen a house or apartment that has had water damage, then you know that mold can be a real problem. And even though mold is usually harmless, it can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
Mold spores can enter through cracks in the wall, floor, ceiling, or other surfaces. Once inside, they multiply rapidly and create toxic substances that can cause respiratory issues, skin irritation, and allergic reactions.
But how do you clean mold off the walls? Is it easy to get rid of? Keep reading to find out more about how to remove mold.
Why Does Mold Grow Indoors?
Mold can look very unsightly and you might think that it is growing indoors because your house is unclean. This is not necessarily the case. The mold that grows floors, grout and walls is different from the mold that grows on out-of-date food.
Mold will normally grow in places that are moist or damp. This could include bathrooms or shower rooms without correct ventilation, window sills and window areas, and basements. It can also grow after there has been water damage to the property if the walls weren’t dried out correctly.
If you notice the problem soon enough then it would be classified as mildew rather than mold. They are essentially the same thing, but minor mold problems are called mildew. The sooner you try to tackle your mold or mildew problem the easier it will be.
It is important to get rid of any mold build-up as soon as possible as some varieties of mold can be highly toxic. Mold can also cause respiratory issues like asthma and it can be dangerous for people with weak immune systems.
Is Cleaning Mold Dangerous?
The majority of mold growing in a house with damp issues will be black mold. Whilst black mold itself is not toxic, it may produce mycotoxins which can be harmful when breathed in.
If the area is damp and cold rather than damp and warm, like a basement, then you are likely to see white mold. Blue and green mold can occur in warm damp corners, such as a bathroom where the steam builds up but has no means to escape.
When you clean mold, you have to disturb it by scrubbing it. This means that it is broken into smaller particles and can easily be inhaled. You could end up feeling unwell if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
Try to ventilate the area that you are cleaning by opening a window. You should also wear a mask if possible, to reduce the number of mold particles that you are breathing in as you clean.
How Can You Prevent Mold Growing Indoors?
The best way to prevent mold from growing inside your house is to control the moisture levels.
If you have an area of your house with damp issues, such as a basement, then you might need to get it inspected by a professional so that they can recommend the best damp-proofing solution. As a temporary fix, you can use electric heat and/or a dehumidifier in that area to reduce the dampness.
Make sure that there is correct ventilation in areas where moisture builds, such as bathrooms and shower rooms. This could mean showering with the window open or installing an extractor fan.
You can also use a squeegee to remove excess moisture from the tiles inside the shower or around the bath to prevent a build-up of moisture.
How Do You Clean Mold Off Walls?
Cleaning mold off walls is not very difficult. Follow these simple steps to get nice clean walls in no time.
Step One – Safety
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are protecting yourself from the mold. Wear rubber gloves, a face mask to cover your nose and mouth, and clear goggles if you have any.
This will ensure that you don’t ingest any mold particles or get them in your mouth. You should make sure that you are wearing old clothes, as you could get a cleaning solution on them.
If the section of the wall that you are cleaning is high up then you might need to use a ladder. You should have someone with you to hold the ladder while you climb and clean, as the scrubbing action could make the ladder unsteady.
Step Two – Preparation
Before you start cleaning the walls you need to prepare the area. If the walls have mold on them then it might have spread to items of furniture or personal items nearby.
Get rid of anything that is not salvageable and set the rest aside ready to clean afterwards. Move any objects that will get in your way whilst you are trying to clean the wall.
Step Three – Cleaning Solution
Once the area is prepared, you will need to make up a cleaning solution. There are lots of different products you can use. Bleach is considered to be the most effective cleaning product for killing mold. If you are going to use bleach, dilute one part bleach with three parts water into a bucket.
There are products designed and marketed specifically to kill and remove mold. These products might contain bleach or other chemicals which do not have the same discoloration properties as bleach. It comes to personal preference, but make sure you always read the instructions carefully.
Step Four – Scrub!
The best way to get rid of mold is to scrub. You will need a scrubbing brush or a heavy-duty sponge, or even both. Dip your cleaning tool into the cleaning solution and scrub the wall vigorously. It might take several attempts.
If the mold build-up is particularly bad then you might need to leave some of the cleaning solutions to soak into the wall for several minutes before you begin scrubbing as this will break down some of the molds.
Cleaning mold off walls is quite simple but it does take a bit of physical effort. This is why it is much easier to get rid of the mold if you spot it early on.