Mold has been found to be a significant health problem inside many homes and as such, more people are having to take a crash course in mold removal than ever before. People exposed to mold can experience cold-like symptoms, lung problems, sinus congestion, coughing, sore throat, watery eyes and skin irritations. Mold can also trigger attacks in asthma sufferers. Prolonged exposure to mold can eventually lead to the development of a lifelong allergy. Mold is particularly insidious because it can grow on anything organic including things like soap scum, wood, dirt and paper.
Mold needs moisture to fuel its growth so areas of the home that suffer flooding, water leaks, condensation or high humidity levels are at especially high risk for mold. If your home has problem areas like this, you may want to consider cutting out a small section of the wall to check for mold growth inside the wall. In addition, mold is often found under cabinets, in carpet padding, under baseboards and under wallpaper. Closets, bathrooms and basements are areas of the home that are particularly susceptible to mold growth.
Once it’s located, mold should be removed as soon as possible. Because it’s so dangerous, it is important to wear the proper safety equipment during the removal process. A respirator or mask needs to be worn that is specifically designed to filter mold spores. Eye protection and rubber gloves should also be worn during mold removal. Your clothing should be immediately laundered after mold removal is finished.
Moldy objects should be dampened before removal to reduce the number of airborne mold spores that are released during the cleaning process. Hard surfaces without pores like glass, hard plastic, metal and counter tops can be cleaned of mold with a bleach solution. Use a solution that contains a ½ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Open windows for proper ventilation when using a bleach cleaning solution. Scrub the bleach solution in thoroughly with a stiff brush, then rinse well with clean water. Make sure to dry the clean area quickly and throughly to prevent the recurrence of mold growth. Porous surfaces, unfortunately, can never be completely cleaned of mold spores so things like paper, wood, drywall and carpet padding need to be cut out and removed if they have mold in them.
Mold spores are present in the air everywhere so it is impossible to completely rid any area of them. The only thing to do is to prevent these mold spores from finding a hospitable environment in which to grow. This means keeping your basements, bathrooms and other wet areas of the house as dry as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to use a dehumidifier. You must make sure to check the dehumidifier daily and empty it anytime it has water in it. If it is not emptied, the full container will give mold spores a chance to start growing again.
If areas of your house do suffer from flooding or water spills, it is as very important to dry them out as quickly as possible. After they are dry, clean them with the bleach solution or another mold killing agent. This will kill any mold spores that are present before they have a chance to grow again.