Removing mold from your house can be vital to your family's health. Breathing mold spores is not healthy, especially molds that are considered toxic by the Center for Disease Control. Prevention methods include removing mold and impeding it from growing.
Cleaning Different Types of Mold
It is important to understand there are everyday common household molds and other types of dangerous molds that produce toxic spores. Mold is very common in homes and in most cases non-toxic, but black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, is very dangerous. Black mold usually grows on fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper or anywhere where there has been water damage such as a flood. Black mold can grow inside your walls and you may not even be aware of it until someone in the household gets sick. Since it may be difficult to distinguish normal mold from dangerous mold, it is best to treat all molds as if they are dangerous and remove them immediately using the same safety precautions as you would for a dangerous strain.
Safety Precautions When Cleaning Mold
Mold releases spores into the air that can make you sick if you inhale them. In addition, mold-cleaning products that contain bleach may emit fumes that can also make you feel sick. Following are precautions when removing mold from your house.
- Call a professional if you think it is black mold
- Open all windows and doors to create adequate ventilation
- Wear a facemask and gloves
- Use an old washcloth-throw it away when you are finished
- Wear old clothes, especially if you are using a cleaner with bleach
How Can I Remove Mold From My House?
After you have taken all safety precautions to clean mold, use one of the following methods to remove it.
Ordinary household bleach is great for killing mold on hard, colorfast surfaces. Mix half water and half bleach in a spray bottle. Spray the moldy area carefully. Let it set for approximately one minute. Scrub the mold with a scrub brush or a toothbrush and washcloth. Be careful not to splatter the bleach on any surrounding carpet, wallpaper, draperies, towels, or clothing. Surfaces that respond well to bleach are:
- Kitchen tiles
- Bathroom tiles
Baking soda may be able to curtail the growth or remove the mold and mildew from carpet, clothing, furniture, and draperies. Sprinkle dry baking soda on the carpet, let it sit overnight and then vacuum it up or shake it off the next day.
Antibacterial Soap and Water
Mix some antibacterial soap with some water in a bucket. Use a sponge and a scrub brush to thoroughly remove the mold. A hose end sprayer filled with antibacterial soap works well on large outdoor surfaces such as patios and patio furniture.
Mold grows where there is moisture. If you live in a humid or damp climate you may find it a constant battle to keep the mold from growing in your bathrooms (check for mold on the ceiling), kitchen, windowsills, draperies, clothing, walls, or just about any surface that mold can adhere to. Keeping your home dry and changing the humidity level in your home is the best method of removing mold from your home. In addition, cleaning the mold on a daily or weekly basis will keep it under control.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to control mold in your house is to control moisture. Tips to controlling moisture in your home include:
- Use an air-conditioner during the humid months
- Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathrooms
- Open windows in the kitchen and bathroom
- Do not use carpet in the bathroom
- Fix leaks in pipes, ceilings, or walls, promptly
- Waterproof basements, ceilings, windows, and doors
- Use a dehumidifier in basements or damp rooms
Solving Mold Problems
Solving the mold problems in your home may take time, but it is definitely worth the effort. Prevent mold growing by keeping the moisture and humidity in your home to a minimum. If someone in your household is exhibiting the symptoms of mold exposure, take the person to the doctor immediately.