Mold can be so stubborn that despite your efforts to make your home mold-free, they still find a way to thrive even in a visually clean environment. But once you see mold, don’t despair! There are ways to effectively banish stubborn mold and make your home permanently mold-free.
Prevent Mold by Regular Clean-Ups
One of the best ways to get rid of mold is to do regular clean-ups. Mold spores (seeds) are often found in dirt and dust and stay inactive until the environmental condition is right. Since mold can hang around undetected, lurking and waiting for the right conditions for survival, frequent cleaning may help eliminate spores lying around your house.
Make sure to clean areas where mold is likely to grow, like areas with excess moisture and limited airflow (i.e. your bathroom or under the sink). When cleaning surfaces, you may use kitchen/home staples such as the following:
- Soap and water
- Disinfecting wipes
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
How to Identify Mold
Mold can be tricky to identify, but there are practical ways to detect mold presence in your home.
- Start looking in places excellent for mold growth. You can start your search in moisture-rich areas in your home with limited airflow. If you see grayish or black spots (mildew) in your bathroom floor, grout or shower curtain, chances are, they’re mold.
- Do a bleach test. If you observe black spots and you’re unsure whether they’re mold or just dirt, dab a few drops of bleach on the suspected mold. If the spots lighten, you have mold. But if they don’t it’s possibly just dirt.
- Musty odors may also indicate inconspicuous mold overgrowth in your home. Check towel hampers, carpets, curtains, leather upholstery and places (or things) that can harbor extra moisture.
- Hire a professional. If you suspect mold or mildew in your home but are unsure where to find them, you may need professional help. While it’s cheaper to do a DIY mold search, hiring a professional is worth it if you want a more thorough mold search.
Mold Remediation Process
Mold removal is easy once you’ve identified the source. However, you need to treat mold the right way to make sure they won’t be coming back anytime soon. For successful mold remediation, consider the following:
Right Cleaning Products
Use the right cleaning products guaranteed to kill mold and mildew on any surface. They include the following:
- Chlorine (bleach). Household bleach on moldy surfaces does the trick. However, make sure to dilute bleach according to the manufacturer’s instructions as the fumes can be too strong and the solution too harsh for your skin. Also, it’s good to note that bleach only tends to kill surface mold and may not tackle the mold at the source.
- Experts recommend using vinegar instead of bleach when tackling mold problems. Simply apply undiluted vinegar on the moldy area, let stand for about an hour so the mold can absorb it completely. If you need to scrub, use a baking soda + water solution (2 cups water + 1 teaspoon baking soda).
- Hydrogen peroxide. To use, apply hydrogen peroxide on the affected surfaces. Leave for a while then scrub the mold away.
- Borax. Mix one cup of borax with one gallon of hot water and apply the solution to the moldy area. Rub the area to remove the mold, rinse then dry thoroughly.
Whether you’re using bleach or vinegar to clean moldy surfaces, make sure to wear adequate protection during cleaning. Make sure to:
- Use gloves
- Wear a mask to prevent you from inhaling mold spores
- Use proper cleaning materials (i.e. brush)
Dry the Surface
After cleaning up the mold, make sure to dry the surface completely using an air mover or by using a regular fan as an exhaust fan. To prevent mold from returning, always keep the area clean and dry.
Mistakes to Avoid
Removing mold is one thing, but keeping your home mold-free is another. If you want to prevent mold from coming back, make sure to avoid these common mistakes:
- Improper cleaning – leaving some of the mold behind (they will just grow back)
- Using mold cleaners that are too strong or diluting the solution too much
- Not leaving the cleaning solutions on the surface for a good amount of time
- Failure to deal with the source of moisture
- Removing the mold but not keeping it dry
Mold removal is tricky and in some cases, it’s best to leave mold cleaning to the professionals. If mold damage is extensive and there are obvious signs of rot and decay, it may be best to contact a professional mold remediation company to fix the damage. First, because extensive mold damage is more difficult to repair, and second because it can be dangerous for your health to clean extensive mold overgrowth.
Mold infestation is a common occurrence in homes across the country. While at times it can’t be helped, mold growth can be prevented with these simple steps above. However, when there’s extensive mold growth or damage, it’s best to leave mold remediation to the professionals.
About The Author: Megan Jones is an author who works at aerindustries.com and b-air.com. She mostly writes about camping, interior and exterior maintenance, healthy living, and related topics. Having a huge experience in renovating and remodeling, Megan has gained some valuable knowledge, which she is now actively promoting.
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
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