Mold Remediation: How to Remove Mold

A major mold infestation can ruin your home — and your health! The first step in mold remediation is learning how to remove it.

Next Project
Time

Multiple Days

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Varies

Introduction

Almost every home gets mold. We'll show you how to identify and remove it.

Tools Required

  • Drywall saw
  • N-95 respirator
  • Paintbrush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Scrub brush
  • Shop vacuum
  • Utility knife
  • Window fan

Materials Required

  • 6 mil plastic garbage bags
  • Bleach
  • Heavy-duty cleaner
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Shellac- or oil-based primer

Mold is a major-league nuisance. It blackens the grout lines in your shower, discolors drywall, shows up as black spots on siding, darkens decks, and grows on and rots damp wood everywhere. Even worse, it can be bad for your health. Mold releases microscopic spores that cause allergic reactions, runny noses and sneezing, as well as irritating and even injurious odors. We’ll cover how to remove mold, how to get rid of black mold, how to kill mold on wood and what kills mold in a few steps.

Watch this video to learn which surfaces you’re better off ripping out and replacing rather than trying to clean:


Project step-by-step (10)

Step 1

Mold Removal Safety Precautions

If you have to remove mold concentrations or perform any black mold removal covering more than a few square feet, we recommend you take these precautions:

  • Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
  • Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
  • Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
  • Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mm plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
  • To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
  • Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
  • Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.

Step 2

Remove Moldy Carpet

  • Cut stained or musty carpet and pads into 6×8-ft. sections with a utility knife.
  • Using a pump sprayer, mist the surfaces with water to control the spread of spores, and roll up the sections. Double-wrap them in 6-mm plastic and tape them with duct tape for disposal.
  • Pro tip: Wear protective clothing and run an exhaust fan in the window.

Remove moldy carpet diagramFamily Handyman