How to Remove Black Mold Under Sink
Some homeownership concerns are specific to a particular region or households, like flash floods, interest rate hikes, or the neighborhood going by the wayside. But all homeowners, no matter where or how they live, fear one thing: black mold.
Mold is a silent but deadly menace. It sprouts up quickly and without warning. It spreads invisibly and rapidly, and it can have disastrous health consequences. Not to mention, it has adverse effects on your property value and wallet if the spread gets out of control.
One of the major areas that black mold can crop up is under sinks. Learn the causes of this fungal infestation, how to spot it, and how to treat it so that it never comes back.
Causes of Black Mold Under Sink
The sink area of any kitchen or bathroom is ideal for mold growth for many reasons. But homeowners should know that it can grow just about anywhere. All mold needs to grow is air, water, and a suitable surface, such as cardboard, fabric, drywall, or tiles.
The area under the sink is ideal for mold to grow because it’s continually damp, enclosed, and often warm. This fungus loves dark, cramped spaces where it can spread undisturbed.
The spaces beneath sinks are usually paneled in wood, covering drywall, and papered over. All of those surfaces are breeding grounds for mold. Add a little moisture, and you have a household disaster.
Identifying Black Mold
How do you know that what you’re looking at is mold and not soggy wallpaper or tarnished wood? Could it just be harmless grime or a build-up of mildew?
It could, and that’s why you need to learn how to identify mold. Black mold isn’t a different type of fungi; it refers to an infestation so dense that the color turns from green to blue to deep, thick black.
To identify this kind of growth, first, use your eyes. If it looks like what you know mold to look like, proceed with caution.
The official test to determine if this is a fungal infestation and not just everyday grime is to swab the affected area with a bleach solution. If the spot lightens quickly or keeps returning after you clean, you’ve got mold.
Once you’ve reached this stage in the infestation, you’ll need to act fast.
Removing Black Mold From Under Sink
1. Gather Protective Gear
Don’t blunder into this project without protective gear. This kind of infestation is dangerous to your health even from far away. Scrubbing it off inches from your face is even worse.
You’ll want to gather:
- Rubber gloves
- Ventilated mask
- Bristle sponge
- Box fans
Make sure to wear the rubber gloves the entire time you clean, and keep the ventilated mask on even after you finish scrubbing.
2. Clear the Area
This substance thrives in moisture, so if you’ve got a crop of black mold sprouting up, you’ve definitely got a source of excess water.
We’ll talk more about locating and dealing with sources of moisture further on, but during the cleaning process, try and identify where the water was that caused this whole mess. There’s no use painstakingly scrubbing and disinfecting if the stuff is just going to come back.
After you’ve located the leak, remove all the contents from the affected room. Do this whether or not the mold has spread to them. They’ll just provide the spores with more opportunities for growth.
3. Scrub Off the Mold
You have to find the right combination of delicacy and aggressiveness for the cleaning portion. You want to scrub as hard as you can to eradicate every spore.
Be careful not to scrub in a sloppy way that flings spores and other clumps of mold here and there. Don’t give the infestation any more room to grow.
4. Disinfect Everything
Once you’ve scrubbed away the infestation, disinfect everything in the room. Nothing short of everything will do when it comes to mold. It spreads that quickly and that invisibly.
5. Air the Room Out
Aeration is an integral part of the cleaning process. Open windows, doors, and try to create a cross breeze. Bring in box fans and oscillating standing fans to increase airflow. Mold thrives in dank darkness, so make the affected room as light and open as you can.
Black Mold Prevention Tips
So you’ve gotten rid of it. How do you keep it from coming back?
The best thing you can do to prevent further mold infestations is to find out what caused one in the first place and remedy the situation, whether it’s a sink leak, lack of ventilation in the bathroom, etc.
Even if you haven’t suffered an infestation, it’s good to routinely check sealing in the walls, your pipes, and the foundation for cracks and leaks. You can purchase devices that detect leaks even through walls.
You can also get devices that read humidity levels and make sure all the rooms in your home are below 40%.
Is Black Mold Under Sink Dangerous?
Living in a space that has an infestation for a few weeks, even months, probably won’t kill you.
But that’s speaking in immediate terms. Mold can cause coughing, wheezing, irritated skin and eyes, and cause fluid buildup in the lungs. Prolonged exposure can even lead to conditions like pneumonia. Those are the conditions you have to worry about.
It is a health threat that you shouldn’t take lightly.
Keeping Your Home Mold Free
The best way to fight these kinds of infestations is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
All Dry USA provides leak detection services essential for maintaining a clean and healthy home. If you get an infestation that gets out of control, we also provide remediation services that are quick, powerful, and long-lasting. Call to schedule an inspection today.