Whether it's from high humidity, flooding, or a plumbing leak, dealing with mold damage is no fun. Mold is a type of fungus with spores that are always present in the air, even in the cleanest of homes. When conditions are right, however, these spores can attach to household surfaces and form musty smelling white, brown, blue, green, black, red, or orange colonies. If mold damage repair does not begin within 48 hours, mold can spread very quickly throughout your home.
When repairing mold damage, safety should be a top priority. Mold can cause many health problems, especially for those with allergies, asthma, or weakened immune systems. Wear gloves, goggles, and a cotton face mask when repairing mold damage. Make sure the area is properly ventilated when cleaning with bleach or other harsh chemicals.
The easiest surfaces to repair after a mold infestation are wood, metal, plastic, glass, and ceramic. Most types of mold can be removed by scrubbing these surfaces with a solution made from one gallon water (3.78 liters) per one cup (240 milliliters) of chlorine bleach and rinsing thoroughly. Applying a solution that contains a borate-based laundry or dishwasher detergent to the surface will help keep the mold from growing back, as long as the solution is left on the surface.
Clothing, curtains, bed linens, and other fabric items can be washed with detergent and hot water to kill mold. For painted items, keep in mind that you can't simply paint over top of the mold. The mold will continue to grow under the paint and will cause the paint to peel.
As a general rule, it's very hard to repair mold damage to items that absorb water but are not washable. This includes beds, sofas, chairs, and other types of upholstered furniture. You can try to dry out the item in a separate area of your home, then vacuum it well to see if it has any noticeable odor. However, keep in mind that the mold may still return.
While it's often possible to repair mold damage on your own, it's a good idea to know when you'd be better off enlisting the help of a professional. If you're trying to clean mold from items that are very valuable, such as antique rugs or paintings, you may not want to risk further damaging the items by attempting the restoration yourself. When the mold is in hidden places or if sewage contamination is a concern, a professional cleaning service is a wise investment for safety reasons alone.