How do I get rid of black mold?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ September 15, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

My home doesn't have a foundation - it has a concrete floor. The outside of my home has siding. I am starting to get a lot of black mold inside my home on almost all my walls from the bottom of the wall up to about two feet high. What materials do I need to eliminate this problem?

-Alek

Jeffrey Anderson

Alek, I don't mean to create a sense of alarm, but it sounds like the problem at your home could be fairly serious. Mold needs two components to flourish: moisture and oxygen. Obviously there will always be oxygen in your home so the question is where might the moisture be coming from?

The fact that you have mold on all the outside walls makes it sound as though there could be an exterior grading issue. A home constructed on a concrete slab should have all four inches of the concrete exposed around the entire perimeter of the structure. This serves two purposes: it helps prevent insects from getting inside the house or up into the wood framing and also does the same for any exterior moisture such as rain or snow. Most homes have exterior walls that are constructed of wood and even though they may be covered by vinyl siding or brick veneer, if water can find its way up to that bottom plate behind the exterior cladding, mold and mildew can result.

I suggest taking a look at the exterior grading where it meets your home and doing some adjustments anywhere you don't have four inches of concrete showing. Keep in mind that there may only be a few locations where the water is actually reaching the framing, as once it's in it can gradually wick around the entire perimeter.

If all of the grading seems to be okay, the next place I would look is around the roof eaves. A problem with the gutters or shingles could also be allowing water into your exterior walls. And just like with the grading, it often only takes a few places to affect the entire perimeter of the home. It's possible for water to enter at the roof and gradually work its way down to the bottom plate where it may sit until mold begins to grow.

It's also possible that you could have some sort of interior plumbing leak or water coming up from below the concrete slab, but to have that much mold, I would think some moisture would be visible in places other than just the outside walls.

Once the source of moisture is found and corrected, I would get a mold remediation contractor involved to determine the extent of the damage. At the very least it sounds like some of the interior wall material such as sheetrock may need to be trashed as well as any insulation in the walls up to a certain height. While the mold might seem to just be a cosmetic issue, it could also pose a health problem to those living in your home - especially to children or older family members who may already have respiratory issues. Getting a mold remediation contractor involved will help ensure that all contaminated material is replaced.

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