Mold removal is vital to your health. If you have a sneaky suspicion you have mold and mildew in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry or anywhere else.. don’t use bleach. More on that in a minute. Mold is a serious nuisance. It turns your lovely pure white grout lines black, discolors drywall and shows up as black spots on siding. And it is bad for your health because the microscopic spores it releases cause mold allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny noses, chest breathing problems, as well as constant musty odors.
Source: The Family Handyman
Almost every home gets mold infestations. Knowing how to kill mold is important. Now, about bleach – bleach can actually contribute to your mold problem. Chlorine bleach rapidly looses its effectiveness because chlorine evaporates (yes, whether its stored in a plastic bottle at home or in a store).
Chlorine bleach can kill surface mold. But mold can grow deep roots within porous surfaces such as wood and drywall – and bleach can’t help you there. The chlorine remains on the surface and water in bleach can feed mold growth. Lastly, it’s toxic to humans and pets.
Mix these ingredients in a spray bottle:
Mix in a spray bottle:
Don’t mix ammonia or any detergent containing ammonia with bleach. The combination forms a poisonous gas!
When remedies just aren’t up to fighting your mold problem you could be jeopardizing your health. The larger version of this infographic (at the end of the post) shows how dangerous mold can be.
The guest post from Ivan Ward at Mold Busters is about going beyond cleaning black mold and getting professional help.
When you find what you think is black mold is your home, your first thought is probably to grab a bottle of bleach and start scrubbing. However, know that in many cases this is neither a permanent nor safe solution.
To effectively remove mold from your home, first recognize when the problem is too big for you to handle on your own. According to Health Canada’s guidelines, it is possible to clean mold on your own, but only if it’s less than 1 square metre—any larger and it’s time to pick up the phone and call a remediation professional.
First, if you are tackling mold on your own, do it carefully.
Of course everyone loves the word free and paying as little as possible to resolve the many problems that come with owning property. DIY techniques do work in some cases, but generally not when it comes to black mold.
Here’s how to tell whether a mold problem is beyond your control:
If you can see a patch of mold and it amounts to more than 1 square metre, or if you can see multiple patches of smaller amounts of mold, don’t try and remove it yourself. Again, this is not the case in which you should try to flex your DIY muscles—not when your home and your health are at risk.
Don’t forget that mold is a health hazard. If you are experiencing the negative health effects of mold, it’s time to reconsider your own removal methods and opt for one that’s more effective and long-term. Symptoms of exposure include (but are not limited to) the following:
There is a wide range of symptoms associated with mold exposure—some more serious than others. One’s reaction depends on the extent of exposure and his or her degree of sensitivity.
Infants, the elderly and people with an already weakened immune system are more susceptible to mold’s adverse health effects.
If you have asthma but sense that it’s becoming worse, don’t overlook mold as the culprit, as it can trigger and/or worsen asthma symptoms.
If you or anyone residing under the same roof or working in the same office experience symptoms of exposure, consult a doctor and prioritize effective mold removal.
If you notice the black spots you thought were mold—the ones you thought you took care— are back, it’s time to get professional help. Often times when people try to tackle mold themselves, it grows back. This could be for one or a number of different reasons, including:
Often mold will grow where there is a leaky pipe, cracked foundation or accumulated water. It’s crucial then to get to the root of and fix the problem—eliminating the moisture—so that it doesn’t grow back.
Sometimes this requires the help of a professional (i.e. a thermal imaging expert) to pinpoint where water is entering and accumulating inside your home.
Mold can develop as soon as 24 to 48 hours following moisture intrusion. So, if you sprayed, scrubbed and dampened the affected area but failed to dry it immediately after, chances of the mold growing back are good.
If you get a whiff of musty odors in moisture-rich areas of your home—say, the basement—but there are no visual signs, consider an indoor air quality test.
An air test is not free, but not bothering with one could prevent you from achieving a healthy home.
Because mold thrives in places you can’t see without an infrared camera or without tearing down walls, it could continue to grow rapidly even after you’ve cleaned what you can see.
The good news is an air test will reveal whether or not there are toxic mold spores polluting the air you breathe. Only once you know there are, can you move forward with effective black mold remediation.
When you’re dealing with mold, unless it’s a very small amount, don’t risk improper and ineffective removal; have someone experienced and trained take care of it.
This way, you gain peace of mind knowing even mold growing behind walls, underneath floorboards and inside carpets is safely removed.
Black Mold: Your Bathrooms Nemesis – An infographic by www.glasstilestore.com
The simplest way to make sure mold never returns is to make sure your rooms get enough natural light, that you air your closets and pantry and declutter on a regular basis and investigate any suspected water damage.
Attic and basement mold can live and breed in your attic or basement for these reasons:
While most people understand excess water leads to basement mold, what is less obvious is that mold can easily form from water and high levels of humidity.
If you live in an area that experiences relative humidity of 60% and above, you are living in an area perfect for mold growth.
Inexpensive relative humidity readers are available at your local hardware store or here.
This is the amount of moisture in the air a specific temperature. When the air reaches 100% relative humidity at a given temperature, the air is saturated and moisture forms.
Relative humidity can be raised by increasing the amount of moisture in the air or by lowering the temperature since colder air can hold less moisture before it becomes saturated than hotter air.
If relative humidity starts to approach 60%, mold growth can occur. Given that a basement is underground, relative humidity levels can quickly rise in a basement relative to other parts of the home above ground.
The three ways to get rid of moisture is through source control by fixing cracks in your foundation, by replacing moist interior air with dry exterior air and by using dehumidifiers.
No financial compensation was received for publishing this article.