Black mold is a dangerous strain of mold that is commonly found in damp areas of homes. It can be toxic to humans in cases of prolonged exposure. As soon as black mold is discovered, steps should be taken to locate the moisture problem and fix it. If the mold is found in an area that is abnormally humid, purchasing a dehumidifier will prevent further growth.
If black mold is found in a home, each room should be cleaned thoroughly, then sealed off to prevent it from spreading during the cleaning process. Cleaning the mold will disturb it and the mold may become airborne. Once the mold has become airborne, the risk of it spreading to other areas increases substantially. Contain the mold by using plastic sheeting to cover doorways and other open areas.
Once the black mold has been contained, it is time to remove it from the affected area. One option is to use bleach and water. A bleach mixture will kill the mold and remove it from the surface. However, bleach does not kill the root of the spores that are located beneath the surface layers of the mold. If the root spores are not destroyed, it is likely that the black mold will eventually reappear.
Glutaraldehyde can be used to effectively treat black mold. It is normally used as a tanning agent for leather, but it contains fungicidal properties that can kill black mold spores. However, users should be wary due to its toxic nature. The vapors can be irritating, and gloves should be worn when applying it to the affected area.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the easiest methods to kill black mold. Make sure it is concentrated at 3% or more. Pour the peroxide into a spray bottle and simply spray the mold away. Let the mold sit for at least 10 minutes, then wipe the area with a sponge. Hydrogen peroxide contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that are effective for treating black mold. Best of all, it is widely available in most homes. The only downside to using hydrogen peroxide on mold is its bleaching effect. Do not use it on clothing or other sensitive surfaces.
There are other, more natural ways to kill mold. Plain white vinegar can be used on black mold. Vinegar will not remove the stain from the surface, but it should be effective at killing the mold spores and preventing further growth. Simply apply it to the area and scrub it off. Other natural remedies include grapefruit extract and tea tree oil.
There are many commercial black mold removers available, but most are mixtures of cheaper products already available. The majority of black mold removal products contain bleach, which is ineffective for treating the root spores.