From clothing to upholstery, homes are filled with fabrics of all kinds. While fabrics can give a home a feeling of warmth and comfort, they can also be the most frustrating items to deal with when mold is a problem in the home. Below, we will share some tips that will help you deal with the mold remediation process of your fabrics and upholstery.
Evaluating Your Mold Problem
Before you can deal with mold remediation, you’ll need to assess the problem and determine the best plan of action. It can be easy to panic at the first sight of mold. However, pausing to evaluate can potentially save you time, money, and headaches down the road. Ask yourself these questions about your home’s mold issue.
- How much mold are you dealing with? Assessing the home is important, as you will need to determine how much space the mold has overtaken. This will also help you determine what will need to be done to remove it.
- Where did it come from? Find the source of the moisture and take care of eliminating the cause before tackling the mold remediation.
- Is it spreading? Air ducts and vent systems can carry the mold throughout the home. Remove mold from those systems to prevent this spreading.
Mold Remediation Basics
After you’ve found and removed the source of the moisture, as well as the possibility of spreading, you can begin the process of mold remediation. While fabrics have special mold removal instructions, there are some basic strategies that can be followed. If your home has been infested with mold due to anything from flooding to a burst pipe, use the following guidelines.
- Remove all materials that have been in contact with the mold from the house. Dispose of items that cannot be cleaned.
- Dry the area to combat the moisture. Depending on the size of the affected area, this can be as simple as opening windows and letting sunlight dry the area, or using dehumidifiers to remove the moisture.
- Wear the proper clothing and protection. Cover the skin with clothing and gloves. A mask, or respirator for larger jobs, will help prevent the mold from affecting the lungs.
Cleaning Your Home Fabrics
When moisture attaches to fabric, it will often cause mildew to form. After removing all items from the home and getting rid of those items that cannot be salvaged, you can begin the mold remediation process for textiles.
- Remove as much mold as possible by shaking out the fabrics, then spread them out and hang them up to dry completely.
- For smaller items like towels, clothing, and curtains, launder the items as soon as possible. Laundromats often have industrial-sized machines that can handle oversized items such as bed comforters and slipcovers.
- For bleach-safe items, start by spot treating with the bleach. Let the item soak for thirty minutes, then wash the entire load with one cup of bleach.
- For items that are not bleach-safe, use a heavy duty detergent, along with an EPA approved disinfectant.
- Heat is an important part of mold remediation, as it will kill the germs on your items. Dry your items on a high heat setting. For items that cannot go in the dryer, hang them up and let them dry completely.
- For items too large to be laundered, such as upholstered furniture, start by drying out the piece with a dehydrator. Then, use an all purpose cleaner, or take the piece to a professional cleaner.
While there are often items that can be salvaged and cleaned after experiencing water damage, mold remediation is sometimes a more complicated process. For items that you can’t clean on your own, hiring a professional mold remediation company is always the best option.