How to Remove Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew can be tricky wherever you happen to live. Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes they’re black, sometimes they’re white. Although you can buy products to combat mold, there are common household products likely to be in your home already that will do just as good of a job, if not better.
Know that mold is essentially caused by moisture. Mold is a moisture problem. If you clean up your mold but don’t solve your moisture problem, you’re just inviting mold to come back at a later date. Clean and dry water-logged or water-damaged areas within 24 hours to prevent mold from growing
Call a professional if the mold growth is over 10 square feet. If you’re dealing with some serious mold — over 10 square feet worth — it’s best to call a professional for removal and cleanup
Consider throwing away absorbent or porous materials. Absorbent or porous materials, such as drywall or ceiling tiles, may need to be discarded if the mold damage is severe enough. Because mold can fill the tiny cracks and pores of these materials, it may be difficult to remove the mold completely. Cleaning, in this instance, will only temporarily inhibit mold growth; unless you remove the surface from your home completely, mold will keep coming back.
Don’t paint over or caulk a moldy surface. This is a band-aid treatment, and an ineffective one at that. Surfaces such as walls or tiles that have been painted or caulked over won’t take paint or caulk very well; paint or caulk will simply peel off because it doesn’t have a clean surface to adhere to.
How To Get Rid of Mold
Mold helps convert grapes to wine, milk curd to the blue cheese that goes well with wine, and has even contributed to life-saving medical breakthroughs like penicillin. For all the good some mold can do, however, just as many species can cause serious damage. Mold doesn’t discriminate based on the time of year, cleanliness of a house, or, for the most part, geographical location; it’s rare to find a home without any trace of mold. Mold spores—microscopic reproductive “seeds”—can travel inside on people and pets or through windows and doors. They live particularly well in damp or humid areas such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms, and spread easily throughout the rest of a building.
Mold isn’t a subject to ignore—these organisms present not only health concerns, but also serious risks to vulnerable building materials. Mold can trap moisture and ruin all things wood, and some varieties can even eat through organic materials like paints and finishes. Since old houses tend to harbor the environments that help mold thrive, the more you know about this common household invader, the more able you’ll be to keep it at bay.
Molds are microscopic fungi that grow year-round and thrive in any damp, warm, or humid environment. Mildew, which is marked by its strong odor, is technically a species of mold. Mold you can see, usually as black, brown, or green spots, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg—such visible areas are spore-producing colonies that release millions of airborne particles throughout your house. Some species even have “tentacles” that reach behind the scenes, stretching a dozen feet or more. From basements to bathrooms, kitchens to crawlspaces, it’s impossible to avoid mold completely.
Like any living organism, mold needs the proper environment and nutrients to survive. The most effective way to stem its spread is to eliminate (or limit) the conditions that foster its growth and create an inhospitable environment by removing water infiltration and getting rid of excess moisture in your home
Moisture creates a prime environment for mold and also destroys wood, finishes, and other building materials by enabling rot. Excess mold growth can add organisms capable of eating wood and other building materials to the mix, and together they can threaten your home’s structural stability. That’s why it’s important to work to reduce excess moisture and eliminate water infiltration into your home.
Best Mold Prevention Products for Your Home
Preventing mold growth in your home is more of a holistic endeavor and not something that can be achieved by simply cleaning an outbreak with paper towels and soap. Although you may seemingly wipe away the area to prevent initial mold growth, spores can still thrive and begin ravaging your home. Instead of using up all your soap
As their name suggests, air purifiers clean the air, removing contaminants and mold spores by passing them through a HEPA filter. Air purifiers work well to prevent mold growth by keeping airborne spores from finding a suitable environment in your home. They are best placed in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as near the corners, doors, and furniture of other rooms. Available in portable and whole-home sizes, air purifiers kill spores and halt mold growth.
A dehumidifier reduces humidity levels within a nearby area and removes unforeseen moisture build-up in your home. Mold requires a dark, warm, and humid habitat to grow and reproduce, and a dehumidifier prevents this habitat by removing moisture. Dehumidifiers run quietly and without interrupting your daily activities and are available in different sizes to accommodate each room of your home.
Also known as sodium tetraborate, borax is an odorless mineral that is used as a natural pesticide and a household cleaner, as well as being a prominent mold killer. Relatively cheap to purchase and found at almost any supermarket, borax provides the compounds to protect areas from mold growth, as well as killing existing mold. Borax can be found in laundry detergents, stain removers, and other cleaning products, and can also be purchased by itself. Combining borax with other soaps during mopping and cleaning adds a protective layer against mold growth in your home.
Baking soda is a staple in most homes, but do you know of its mold prevention properties? Baking soda provides the means to both kill and prevent mold growth in your home without being harmful to kids or pets. Baking soda also acts as a deodorizer, eliminating foul odors within a nearby area. As a rule, you should keep an open box of baking soda in your fridge and consider mixing a tablespoon of baking soda in a spray bottle with water to act as a quick mold killer.
Mold Removal Do’s and Don’ts
You’ve made a horrifying discovery – mold in your home! You’re searching online to figure out what to do now. Well, don’t panic, we have compiled a list of Mold Removal Do’s and Don’ts to help educate you and point you in the right direction for help. It is important to know that mold found in your home can be hazardous to your health and potentially cause severe structural damage
take a look at what you should and shouldn’t do:
Do open up the windows and doors to let in the fresh air and improve indoor air quality. A cross draft will help drop humidity levels and promote circulation. Plus, since mold thrives in dark and warm environments, it will shrivel and die from sun exposure.
Don’t DIY mold removal! You could contaminate more areas in your home by releasing airborne mold spores. If cleanup is not thorough or mishandled you could be putting your health and that of your family or pets at great risk.
Do run a dehumidifier to help reduce humidity levels. Ideally Relative Humidity (RH) should be between 30% – 50% but not over 60%. Utah averages 55% RH annually, with the highest humidity from November to February.
Don’t use bleach. It seems like a logical solution and will kill live mold on non-porous surfaces, but not the airborne spores. Surfaces with porous materials, like wood or drywall need further remediation to completely neutralize mold.
Do keep pets, kids and yourself away from the affected area. Prolonged exposure to mold may lead to the development of, or aggravate symptoms of asthma in some kids. Pets are also vulnerable to respiratory and pulmonary difficulties from mold exposure.
Don’t run a fan over affected surfaces. It will stir up mold spores and blow them to other areas of your home, increasing contamination. However, a built-in bathroom fan is recommended to keep moisture down and prevent mildew/mold from forming.
Do take a break from housework, around the mold that is. Avoid vacuuming or disturbing the area in any way. Leave the hard work to the pros. With specialized knowledge and equipment, Utah Flood Cleanup will locate and remediate mold, spores and contain the water source for you.
Don’t think that a coat of paint or caulk can fix the problem. Dangerous mold particles will remain. Because the mold is still living, paint or varnish will not adhere properly and begin to peel, exposing the mold again.
Do educate yourself about mold prevention to avoid another mold infestation in the future. We recommend applying these tips: keep the bathroom dry, use exhaust fans, fix any leaks as soon as possible and keep the basement free from clutter.
Don’t sleep in a room where you’ve found mold. Even moderate exposure to toxic mold spores will pose health risks for those with respiratory problems and those with a weak immune system. Health complications from prolonged exposure can also affect otherwise healthy individuals.
Do turn on the air conditioner in hot summer months. Keep your AC at 77 degrees to keep mold from flourishing and your home comfortable. Running exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen will also help keep both the temperature and humidity levels down.
Natural Mold Killers That Work (& Why You Should Use Them)
Knowing about natural mold killers and how to use them is good to keep your home safe.
The toxins produced by mold are dangerous. The good news is that you can get rid of mold naturally, and make sure it never comes back (mold spores are always there, but you can keep them from flourishing).
Mold is made from fungus. These comprise of small organisms that vary in color and grow via tiny airborne spores. All of us are exposed to mold every single day.
The problem comes when the mold spores start to reproduce. This is when they go from harmless to dangerous. Mold growth releases spores into the air and then you inhale them. This is when health problems arise.
Mold cannot grow without moisture. So the solution is to reduce the moisture in high risk mold growth areas. You can always clean up the mold with these natural mold killers, for example, but if you don’t nip the problem at the bud, the mold issues will persist.
mold killers consist of mostly 100% natural mold killers, plus 2 more generally safe mold killing solutions that are way better than chemical store bought mold killing death concoctions as long as you handle with care (ammonia and bleach; 2 that should never be mixed together but in their own right do pretty good with mold on hard surfaces).