You will get worked up by the slight appearance of black mold in your home. You may be a cleaning perfectionist, but black mold can still grow in places you didn’t anticipate. As long as there is moisture, black molds will build-up. However, the good news is that you can easily eradicate these unsightly developments from your house.
Black mold is not only ugly, but it can also cause harmful effects to your health and notably worse to those with underlying conditions such as asthma or other severe allergies. Instead of rushing to the stores for harsh chemicals, use the old bottle of white vinegar stored in your kitchen shelves. White vinegar is a mild acid that is well-known to eradicate approximately 82% of mold species and prevent future appearances. Below is a step-by-step process of how you can eliminate black mould using vinegar.
How to Use Vinegar to Kill Mold and Mildew
Follow these simple steps to remove black mold with the use of white vinegar, once and for all.
- Wear leak-proof gloves – White vinegar is a natural organic component; extreme exposure to it can cause damage to your skin. Prevent the irritation by wearing non-porous gloves.
- Fill up a sprayer with pure vinegar – Do not dilute it with water as this would not give the desired results. If you have a large area to clean, then you better get more bottles of white vinegar.
- Spray the vinegar on the infected area. Make sure you cover the whole spot with vinegar. In case you don’t have a sprayer, use a piece of cloth soaked in white vinegar and wipe the area with the black mold.
Tip: If you are killing black mold on the bathroom tiles, do not use vinegar on unsealed tiles since it will cause abrasion on the surface.
- Let the vinegar rest on the affected area for a while. It will take some time for vinegar to break through the membrane of the black mold and enable easy removal, therefore give it approximately an hour before going to the next step.
- After the one hour, use a brush and warm water to scrub away the black mold. Cleaning with a brush will break the mold’s membrane easily. Use an appropriate size and type of brush for the job. One you can easily hold and can reach hidden corners and curves effortlessly.
- Clean the surface. Once you have managed to break through the mold and remove it, rinse the surface using clean water and allow it to dry. If there are still stubborn mold stains lingering, repeat the process until it is completely gone. White vinegar may have an unpleasant smell but disappears after a short time.
If vinegar kills only 82% of the mold species, then there are still a remaining 18% of persistent strains of mold. You can mix white vinegar with elements like borax, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda or salt. Try this if white vinegar alone did not cut through the mold successfully even after repeating the cleaning process several times.
However, bear in mind that each component should be separately used when mixing with vinegar, not all of them at a go. Never mix vinegar with bleach because it produces a toxic gas. If one does not work, don’t give up yet; try the others following the above steps until you successfully manage to eradicate the black mold. But if the mold does not break or the area infected is extensive, contact experts for help.
Spray vinegar or mop the floor regularly on the clean mold free surface and leave it there to prevent future breakouts. Ventilate your home and fix any leaks to prevent mold from forming again.
Can I Stay In My Home With Black Mold?
Statistics show that 10%-50% of residential and commercial buildings have wet conditions, which means that an estimate of 50% of all buildings is ripe for mold breeding.
Staying in a mold-infested home is not a wise idea. Mold can cause severe damage to your health and property. Even most remediation companies would recommend you to seek alternative temporary housing if multiple rooms and hallways have been infected. The worst place for mold to breed in is in the bedrooms. Because of the time spent in them sleeping, you are at a high risk of exposing yourself to mold, which is dangerous. If you are living with young kids, seniors, or those with severe health conditions, then it should be more reason to leave the house. It is up to you to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Even if you decide to hire experts for the remediation process, staying in that house while work is in progress is not a good idea. There will be noise and disruptions, especially if the process is complex due to a complicated infestation.
How do you know if it’s Black Mold?
First of all, you need to distinguish between mould and mildew. Mold grows above the surface and in circles. Mildew, on the other hand, doesn’t rise above the ground. It grows in a pattern, like an oil spill or dark stain. Even though they both change colours as they grow, they often exhibit a greenish-black colour. Mildew is also easier to remove and is less harmful. Most types of mould can cause health complications, but black mould is a special type that may even release toxic elements.
Black mould, also known as Stachybotrys, has a distinct smell of a stale, earthy scent of dirt and rotten leaves. It likes more humid areas than the rest and feeds on drywall, cotton, and cardboards, to name a few. Wet or flooded conditions are also ideal for black mould growth.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Mold And Black Mold?
As mentioned in the previous section, black mold is more harmful than other common molds. It also has a distinct smell of a stale, earthy scent of dirt and rotten leaves. Besides the smell, the only other way to distinguish it from the rest is that it’s black. Scientifically there’s no mold species known as “black mold”, but studies show that Stachybotrys is the most toxic mold and is what most people refer to as black mold.
It exhibits a greenish-black color but can be white or pink depending on where it grows. Another way to identify the difference between common mold and black mold is the effects on your health. This is the most accurate way. Common mold is less harmful. But if you start experiencing heightened allergies, wood rotting, or other materials in your house discoloring, then you most likely have black mold.
Black mold is the most toxic species of molds. It has adverse effects on your health and to your home. Even though there are simple home remedies, like vinegar, to try removing molds in your home without hiring anyone, this is not an issue you should deal with on your own. Finding the source of moisture is the key to eradicating the problem once and for all. Leave it to the experts, especially if you cannot pinpoint the source of the problem.