How to Spot and Treat Mold in Your Santa Cruz Home

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at 1:01am.

The first sign of mold you notice may be a musty smell in your Santa Cruz home. After looking around, you spot what looks like mold — don’t panic! You can remove unhealthy mold from your house without paying an arm and a leg.

Check to be Sure it's Really Mold

Mold can look many different ways, which depends on the type. Some are grayish-white or black and can look like a dirty smudge. If you're in doubt that a spot is mold, you can do a test with chlorine bleach. Simply put a drop on the spot. If the color immediately fades away, you have mold.

Mold needs moisture to grow. If you find mold, you know that you also have a water problem in your Santa Cruz home. So first, you’ll need to find the source of the leak and repair it. After that, you can begin getting rid of the mold.

How to Kill Mold

A lot of people think mold clean up has to be expensive. The truth is that most mold problems can be eliminated with chlorine bleach. Bleach is a strong chemical, so for safety you’ll need to wear gloves, an air filter and goggles while you clean.

Remember, when cleaning with bleach you need to work in a well-ventilated area, and never mix bleach with anything that contains ammonia.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends using bleach to kill mold on hard, non-porous surfaces. Killing mold with bleach is a simple process:
• Thoroughly soak the area in full strength bleach.
• Let it soak for fifteen minutes.
• Scrub the area with a mixture of one-part chlorine bleach, three-parts water and one teaspoon of dishwashing soap.

Finishing the Clean-up

Once everything has been washed, you’ll need to do another inspection of your home. Look for moldy papers, clothes or anything porous that could be a good home for mold. These things will need to be bagged and thrown away.

Allow two to three days for the surfaces to dry. Then, continue to inspect the areas for mold re-growth, and pay attention for any moldy odors.

Congrats, you have eliminated the mold problem in your Santa Cruz home and saved a lot of money by doing it yourself.

If you’d like additional maintenance tips or are looking to buy a new house, let me help you find one you'll love (and is free of mold). Call me today at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional real estate information, please visit my home page at


Chlorine bleach



About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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