Green Living

Mold in My Home

Mold in My HomeMold is a moisture problem and it can happen anywhere in your home. You have to clean up the mold and solve the moisture problem. If you don’t do this it will come back. Since mold is strictly related to moisture, making sure all the water damaged areas are cleaned and dried within 24 hours of water damage is the key to prevent mold from growing. Don’t paint or use caulk to cover over mold.

Mold in My Home

Be sure to wipe away excess water from your sink as well as to open windows in a bathroom after showering. If you don’t have windows in your bathroom, make sure the bathroom fan is working properly in order to help the moisture to go away. If the mold growth is over 10 square feet, call a professional as they will be able to use highly-effective cleaning agents and will have the proper protection against spore inhalation.

Even thou there are several ready made products to combat mold, you still can treat this issue by adopting a green policy in your home that utilizes more environmentally friendly products such as undiluted white or apple cider vinegar; borax and warm water; or a paste of baking soda, water, and vinegar.

Another great alternative to bleach (one of the main ingredients used to kill mold and mold spores) is Hydrogen Peroxide. Find a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and add undiluted to a spray bottle. Spray the moldy surface with the hydrogen peroxide, let wait for at least 10 minutes, and then scrub off. Hydrogen peroxide is also effective at removing stains caused by mold infestations and it can safely be used on clothes, floors, fixtures, walls, and even appliances.

Depending on how advanced the mold is and the size of its damage, you might have to throw away the absorbent or porous materials where the mold has taken hold. This includes areas such as drywall or ceiling tiles, as the mold can fill the tiny cracks and pores of these materials, making difficult to remove the mold completely. If this is the case, cleaning will be a temporary solution to inhibit mold growth and unless you remove the surface from your home completely, mold will keep coming back.

Because mold contains spores, which are air-borne particles, it’s very important to wear proper protection when cleaning moldy surfaces. It is recommended that you use an N-95 respirator which is available at your local hardware store. Protective clothing should also include goggles, and gloves. Make sure you clean and disinfect every moldy area completely before painting or caulking. Wipe away excess moisture and at least 72 hours before painting of caulking. Furthermore, don’t ever paint over or caulk a moldy surface.

What Can I Do To Prevent Mold in My Home

When you have a water leak or spill in the home act quickly. Make sure the area is dried within 24 hours of when the spill happens.

  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from your homes foundation so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
  • If an appliance such as an air conditioning has a drip pan, make sure it is kept clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low, if possible, between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter. You can find this small and inexpensive instrument at your local hardware store.
  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, etc. to the outside.
  • Reduce the humidity: use air conditioners or de-humidifiers when needed.
  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dish washing, etc.
  • Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when possible. Use fans as needed.
  • Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation to avoid condensation.

Additional Information Sources to Combat Mold In My Home

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home

Signs of Mold in Your Home

The Weather Channel: Health Effects of Mold

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