Remove mold

remove mold In this post you will about mold, how to remove mold, why it is important to remove mold and steps to take to prevent mold.  Left untreated, mold can become a health hazard.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that requires ongoing dampness or moisture to grow.  Mold usually occurs only in those areas that are constantly damp or moist, or where there is poor ventilation.  The key to preventing mold is to keep the inside of your home dry.  Mold spores travel through the air and land in wet areas where they can go about reproducing.

Why should you be concerned about damp mold?

If walls become stained with mold and are left untreated over time the mold will be difficult to remove and eventually may cause wood rot and structural damage. If left untreated mold can also affect people’s health. Some years ago, I helped my daughter moved out of a home which was built in 1893 in the state of Victoria, Australia.  There was the smell of mold in cupboards, and I could see mold on the bathroom walls.  Obvious signs of mold were easy to deal with.  However, it was not until moving day that my daughter discovered, a large patch of mold had formed on the underside of her latex mattress.  The mold on the mattress was treated immediately.  Mold can cause respiratory problems, allergies and other serious health problems if left unchecked. 

What can you do to prevent mold growth?

The key to preventing mold is to maintain a dry, warm home with good ventilation as dry surfaces do not promote mold growth.  Undertake the following checks on a regular basis, particularly in winter or humid conditions during summer:
  • Look up at ceilings and if you see blackish specks or a discoloration in the ceiling this may indicate a leak in the roof. If you climb into the roof cavity you may be able to find the source of the leak and take the appropriate action to have it fixed.
  • If condensation or dampness forms on the inside of windows or glass doors used a towel or cloth to remove the damp.
  • Are there any signs of black mold forming in grouting around the shower and bath in bathrooms? This is caused by continuous damp air during showering or bathing.
  • Is there a smell inside kitchen cupboards when opened? Include other cupboards in the house and garage. If there is damp in the cupboards you will smell mold which indicates mold is growing.  Check curtains and blinds for mold as they can brush up against damp windows.

How to remove mold

The following non-toxic solutions are suggested as I have found they are effective in removing mold. Vinegar is reported to be effective in killing 82% of mold, so it is well worth trying first.

Option 1 – 5% White Vinegar

  • Take a small spray bottle and pour undiluted vinegar into the spray bottle
  • Spray on the affected area and leave. Do not rinse
There will be a strong vinegar smell initially, but this should dissipate after a few hours.

Option 2 – Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Mix 1-part water to 2 parts Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Spray on affected area and leave. Do not rinse.

Option 3 – Tea Tree Oil

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray on affected area and leave. Do not rinse.
There will be a strong smell of tea tree oil initially, but this should dissipate after a few hours. Leave windows and doors open to allow in fresh air. Remember:  the key to preventing mold is to keep a warm, dry well-ventilated home.

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