How to Remove Mold After Water Damage

Mold growth on a wall near a window.
  • 72-144 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-200
What You'll Need
Ventilator mask
Rubber gloves
Chlorine bleach
Disinfectant (Liquid and Spray)
Denatured Alcohol
Soft brush
Vacuum cleaner

After the clean-up is complete from water damage in your home, you will most likely have some mold issues to deal with. It can take some time for the mold to become visible. You must remove the mold as soon as possible to stop its growth. With a few supplies and a little work, you can remove the mold without the help of a professional, so long as you treat it immediately.

Step 1 - Extract All Moisture

Mold grows in damp areas. You must remove all moisture to stop the growth. Keep air flowing by running fans and opening windows. Turn on a dehumidifier to extract the moisture faster. Be sure to check the holding tank, because it will fill with water and need to be emptied. This water will also contain mold spores. You will not want to leave it sitting for long. After you have a handle on the moisture, you can start cleaning the mold.

Step 2 - Clean the Big Surfaces

The walls and floors will need to be cleaned first. Pull up the carpet and take it outside in the sun. The sun kills mold. Leave it out until you have finished cleaning inside. Next, mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach with a bucket of warm water. Put on your ventilator mask and rubber gloves. Wipe down the walls with a rag and let them dry. Mop the floor with this same solution. After the walls and floors have dried, go over them again with warm water and liquid disinfectant. Follow the disinfectant label instructions for the amount, as it varies by product. You may have to repeat this every 2 to 3 days until the mold has disappeared. You'll then work on the wood surfaces.

Step 3 - Clean Wood Furniture

To remove mold spores from wood surfaces, such as desks, tables, and bookcases, use a rag and denatured alcohol. Pour a little of the denatured alcohol on the rag and rub down the wood surfaces. The denatured alcohol should not harm your finish, but you should check to be sure by testing in an inconspicuous area before wiping the whole surface. Allow the alcohol to dry completely then spray with disinfectant. After all of your wood surfaces are cleaned, you can treat your porous surfaces.

Step 3 - Clean Porous Surfaces

Porous surfaces, such as upholstered or fabric items, will collect mold spores. Take any washable fabric items and wash them in the hottest possible temperature which the fabric will allow. Take upholstered items outside. Working on the fabric will cause the mold spores to go into the air. Brush the fabric with a soft brush. Leave the items in the sun all day to kill mold. Spray them with disinfectant and return your items back inside the house. Use your vacuum to extract the dead mold spores from the upholstery. The mold should be eliminated now. If you notice that it is not all gone, you will need to repeat this process.