Mold is a common problem in some homes. It is a fungus that grows anywhere that has prolonged moisture. Mold is typically observed in tropical countries because of warm weather. However, it can still manifest in colder places that are consistently damp and poorly ventilated. If untreated for a long time, mold can cause serious havoc to one’s health as well as extreme allergic reactions. Mold is typically found in bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry area. It can also grow around windows and heating and air conditioning systems. Here are five things that you should know before treating mold-infested areas around the house.
- Identifying Mold
Spotting a moldy area is not a challenging task. Mold starts with mildew which looks like tiny, black spots that spread out and grows into larger colonies. You will often see mildew in the grout lines in the shower and damp walls. You might even notice dark spots on the outside wall of your house, especially where water seeps through. It is important to differentiate mildew that will transform into a full-blown mold from a pile of dirt. To test the area, spray household bleach a few times on the blackened spot and wait for a few minutes. If you see specks of black spots come up, then you know that it is indeed mildew. If after using bleach, the area remains dark then it’s most probably dirt that needs a stronger brush to come off.
- Proper Cleaning Solutions
There are several inexpensive and accessible cleaning solutions that you can use to remove mold. This includes bleach, vinegar, borax, ammonia, and baking soda. A satisfactory homemade cleaning solution can be made up of a few drops of bleach, soap, and water. However, for maximum results, a combination of vinegar, baking soda, water, and ammonia is a better choice. Just make sure that you wear respirators and gloves when using bleach, borax, and ammonia as they give off harsh fumes.
- Precautions to Observe While Removing Mold
When treating mold issues, it is always recommended to take precautions to avoid getting sick. Wear old but thick clothes and shoes that you are willing to throw away after a general cleaning. If necessary, wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, goggles, and gloves to avoid inhaling dangerous fungus. Open a window to ventilate the room while you are cleaning. However, turn off the air conditioner and cover ducts and heater to contain spores. Throw away the rugs that you used to wipe off moldy surfaces and make sure that you dry clean the remaining damp areas.
- Mold Prevention
There are ways to prevent mold infestation if you can commit to cleaning regularly. Simple prevention methods like wiping the kitchen counter and sink after washing the dishes can help reduce the risk of mold infestation. The same thing can be achieved if you can spend a few second wiping the wet walls on your bathroom after a shower. You can also conduct a monthly maintenance inspection to check for any leaks on the roof, wall, and plumbing.
- Hiring a Professional
If mold infestations persist despite consistent efforts of prevention and remediation, it might be the best time to hire a professional who has the knowledge and experience in treating moldy areas permanently. A professional mold specialist will conduct a proper inspection of your entire house to make sure that there are no areas left untreated.