5 Steps for DIY Home Mold Removal

Written by Nicholas Partington of Home Angels
Updated September 23, 2015
mold in a home
Call a mold remediation specialist to remove areas of mold larger than 10 square feet. (Photo by David Valdez)

Mold in the home causes health problems and structural damage.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

There are over 100,000 different species of mold, and mold remediation contractors follow a simple process to remove mold safely.

Since setting up containment is a very complex process, follow these steps to remove areas of visible mold less than 10 continuous square feet. This information will save a willing and meticulous homeowner thousands, and it’s the same process we use in hundreds of homes a year.

Materials and Equipment Needed for Mold Removal

• Dehumidifier

• HEPA air scrubber that processes at least 500 cubic feet per minute

• Poly Plastic sheeting (6 mil)

• Duct tape

• Trash bags (6 mil)

• Wire brush

• Wet/dry vacuum with a HEPA air filter

• Dawn dish detergent

• Small bucket

• Box cutter

• Small crowbar

• N95 respirator

• Latex gloves

• Eye protection

• Rag towels

1. Stop the Source of Moisture

Mold can’t start or continue to grow without the presence of water, so the first step is to eliminate the water or moisture source. Leaks can be elusive and hard to pinpoint so try to test different areas using water to determine the source, or call your local leak detection company to help you track down the problem. Then take the appropriate steps to repair the leak.

2. Set up Mold Remediation Equipment

There are two main pieces of equipment that you will need, which can be rented from a local tool rental company: a dehumidifier and an air scrubber. The dehumidifier will bring down the humidity levels in the area you are working in and the wet building material that has not yet started to grow mold. The air scrubber filters out any mold spores as the affected building material is removed. Place both pieces of equipment within 5 feet of the affected area, making sure that the air blowing out of the machines isn't directly facing the visible mold growth. Let these machines run for 24/7 for the next three days. 

dehumidifier in basement
Your dehumidifier should remove 70 pints of moisture per day. (Photo by Frank Espich)

3. Begin Mold Removal

Put on your latex gloves, respirator and safety glasses before diving in. Measure the length and width of the visible mold, and cut a piece of poly sheeting two feet longer and wider on each side. Cut four small pieces of your duct tape and tack up the plastic going two feet beyond the affected area on each side. Then tape the entire perimeter of the plastic, sealing the mold underneath the plastic. Take your box cutter and cut along the perimeter of the tape. Have your trash bags ready, because once you cut out the section you’ll want to immediately place it into the plastic bag and seal it shut with duct tape. Remove and discard the bag from inside the home. 

4. Deep Clean the Area

Use your HEPA vacuum to vacuum the area where the material was removed and the floor around the area. If there is wood framing, then you will have to take your wire brush and mix up your dish soap with some water. Wet the wire brush with the soapy solution and use heavy abrasion on all the wood studs behind the removed area.

Remove, bag and discard any insulation or furring strips in the wall.

Use your soapy solution and wire brush to clean any metal framing.

Vacuum all the same areas again, and then take your rag towels and get them damp with your soapy solution. Wipe down the remaining building materials and floors again, but this time wipe everything five feet beyond the removed area in each direction. If there are any areas that you don’t feel that you could get adequately cleaned, then you can paint on a strong primer to encapsulate any remaining spores.

5. Schedule a Mold Test

Schedule a company to come and take a post-remediation swab sample of the previously affected area. This will ensure the area was properly remediated. For larger areas of mold, or if you just don’t want to remove it yourself, hire a highly rated mold remediation company.  

This article originally appeared on the Home Angels blog.

About this Experts Contributor: Nicholas Partington represents Home Angels, located in Delray Beach, Florida. They provide leak detection, plumbing, mold removal, smoke restoration and flood cleanup services 24/7. You can connect with this contributor on Google Plus or Twitter.

As of September 23, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.