Mold is a very common fungus that can induce various health problems for those who get exposed to it. It can develop in so many places in your house including dark corners and walls behind furniture that are not even visible to you.
As time goes by, more and more mold will accumulate in your house. Most of the time, people notice respiratory problems and runny nose without knowing what causes them. This fungus lives on moisture and can grow on pretty much any insulator in your house.
If you want your family to live a healthy life, then you should definitely eliminate mold from your house. We are going to show you exactly how to do it with our step-by-step guide. All you need to do is to follow our instructions and your home will be finally mold-free.
We are also going to give you some additional tips and information on what mold actually is, how it gets inside and how to make sure it is gone. Now let’s get into it by starting with the first step!
Step 1: Identify Mold Type
When you are looking for mold in your house, you are most likely going to find the one called Alternaria. If you see dark brown or green patches appear in different spots of your house, then it’s probably this type of mold. Improper cleaning and broken water pipes are the two main reasons why Alternaria starts to grow.
Another type of mold you can find is Acremonium. If you suddenly find some powdery substance in your home around moist areas, then it is going to be this type of fungus. What makes it harder to identify is that it can be hard to distinguish it from the texture behind it.
Acremonium can be grey, white, orange, pink. It grows very slowly in window seals, sinks, air conditioners and similar moisty places. Penicillium, on the other hand, has a cyan color and velvet-like texture. This one can be found near water leakages with beds, carpets around them and on walls.
There is also Aureobasidium that slowly turns darker with time. When it appears, it is brown, pink or grey. It mostly prefers carpentry and windows made of wood. Serpula lacrymans is the only type of mold that is strictly yellow. It loves to feed on wooden surfaces until they rot away.
The pink or white Fusarium is quite smooth at the beginning but becomes wooly over time. You can find it in the coldest spots of your house, typically on carpets. When your air conditioner, carpet or wallpaper starts to collect condensed water, then the Trichoderma can form.
You will notice a white, wooly texture with green spots on it that slowly grows. There is a very toxic type of mold called the Chaetomium you need to be aware of. In case there is some serious water damage in your house, this wooly and musty fungus is going to invade your house.
It is going to appear on any woodwork, wallpaper or drywall in your home. When there is a combination of condensation and water damage, then Ulocladium will appear. It is either black, brown or grey and looks like cotton. You can typically expect this one in the basement or bathroom.
And finally, there is the Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly mentioned as black mold. This rather sticky mold is usually black, yet it can be dark green as well. If an area in your house has been wet for a long period of time, then you can definitely expect this one there. Other types can develop around it as well.
Step 2: Protection and Preparation
Increase the air ventilation through the room where you want to remove the mold in any way you can manage. During the process of removing mold, it is going to irritate your nose, eyes and your whole respiratory system. It is best to do it when the sun shines outside and the air is dry.
Because of the abovementioned dangers, you will need to put on a mask, a pair of rubber gloves and safety glasses. It is recommended to protect your skin as well.
Create a 1 to 30 solution using bleach and water respectively. This is ideal for killing mold on any surface. Hydrogen peroxide with a 3% concentration is also good and it doesn’t even need to be diluted.
In case you are looking for a natural solution, use undiluted white vinegar. Another natural option is baking soda which will effectively remove odors. Are you looking for a really strong solution? Then buy a bottle of clear ammonia and use a half-water half-ammonia mix.
You shouldn’t mix either of the abovementioned detergents together.
Step 3: Remove Large Contaminated Surfaces
If you can afford to get rid of the absorbent items you find mold on, then don’t hesitate to do so. It is very easy for mold spores to get deeper into the material and spread further even after cleaning. Remove every large contaminated surface that you can.
Either throw it to the trash or try to remove the mold if it is something you don’t want to get rid of. As we already mentioned, mold is rather invasive so if you are not able to completely remove it, then it is best to throw the item away.
You might need to replace furniture, carpets, drywall or anything made of wood that has mold on it in your house. Removing the contaminated surface is also a way to find out what caused the problem.
Step 4: Cleanup and Repair
Prepare a bucket of warm water, add some of your everyday dish soap to it and grab a sponge. Apply this mix to the contaminated surface by slowly and thoroughly scrubbing it. This way, you can stir up the mold a bit. Make sure to frequently rinse the brush in order to keep it clean.
Then comes the cleaning solution that you prepared earlier. The best way to do this is by using a spray bottle. The mix should cover the whole moldy area you are dealing with. Spray it all over the mold and leave it like that for 15 minutes to half an hour.
Once you gave it some time to take effect, you can go back and scrub the whole thing off with your sponge. At this point, you are working the detergent into the mold and removing it at the same time. You might need to apply more cleaner to the surface depending on the result.
You should end up with a clean surface that is ready to dry. Use a clean towel to soak it all up, then turn the fan on. The fan should point straight at the area you treated. It is important not to leave it wet.
Step 5: Eliminate Causes
Cleaning up mold and replacing moldy items is great, but you will ultimately need to find the source of moisture and do something about it. If there is a broken pipe, you should call a professional right away to fix it. The same applies to plumbing leaks and other similar problems.
It is often times hard to keep bathrooms completely free of mold. A great way to prevent it is to increase the flow of fresh air in that area. This also prevents mold from appearing in any other cold or moldy room. Another highly effective method is just to clean those rooms more often.
The reason why mold appears in basements or other rooms that are not used as frequently is often because people rarely clean them.
Is Cleaning Mold Dangerous?
It really depends on how sensitive you are to mold. If you are not, then you are not going to experience any health effects right away. For those who are, however, mold is going to cause them to sneeze a lot, scrape their eyes and runny nose. These are the simple allergic reactions.
It is going to be the most complicated for those who have asthma because of the stronger symptoms. Long exposure to a lot of mold can even cause shortness of breath and fever. Either way, it is definitely not healthy to be around mold.
For those who are healthy, it takes some time until this fungus causes some problems. If mold starts to accumulate and you don’t do anything about it for a long time, you will eventually start to wheeze and cough. Mold can be particularly dangerous to young children.
If they are genetically susceptible to develop asthma or respiratory allergies, then mold is only going to facilitate these health problems. Therefore, keeping mold out of your house is rather important. Scientists even suspect that there is a link between mold exposure and lethargy and memory loss, although this is not proven yet.
How Mold Gets into Your Home?
Mold doesn’t only grow indoors but outdoors as well. It can get in the house in many different ways. If you keep the door or windows open or turn the air conditioner on, then it can potentially enter the rooms. There are also vents in most houses where it can enter at any time.
When you walk outside, you can collect mold with your clothes or shoes. It can also stick to the fur of your pets. This type of fungus needs moist in order to grow. The spores simply fall down to a random place in your house. Then, if there is enough moist, the mold will start to grow.
If you have a broken pipe or some leakage in the roof, then you better fix that quickly. Those are great spots for fungi to grow near them. Mold can often find plenty of nutrients for its own growth in the building materials of your house.
Cardboards, books, wood furniture and pretty much anything made of wood provides an ideal place for their growth. There are additional materials that are only going to spread the mold further in your house.
If you have paintings, a big carpet, upholstery or your house is simply really dusty, then it is going to spread very easily. Pretty much everything that can be considered as an insulator is a good spot for mold.
How do You Know the Mold is Gone?
When you are done cleaning up the mold, you will still need to check back a few times later. You might not see it at the moment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is gone. The next couple of days will determine whether the cleaning was successful or not.
Revisit the spots that you cleaned a couple of days later. If you don’t see any persisting water damage, then the mold is most likely gone. If you can smell the odor or experience the same allergic reactions as before, then it is still there. The same applies to other health problems caused by the fungi.
The air should be totally free of that smell. If it’s still visible, then you are still far from being done. In case mold is nowhere to be found based on the abovementioned criteria, it is still a good idea to run further tests.
There are environmental companies that are eager to run tests and find out precisely whether the mold still persists in your house. Getting rid of this fungus is all about moisture management. It is time to do things right and decrease the amount of moisture accumulated in your house over time.
As a result, the residents of the house are going to experience dramatic improvements in their health.
As a homeowner, you need to know how to get rid of mold because it can enter your home and spread in so many ways. In this article, we have provided you with some useful tips on how to kill mold effectively. By investing some time and effort, you can make sure that your house is free of these harmful allergens.
In case there is a huge amount of mold in your house that you find hard to handle, you can always contact the professionals. They know exactly what to do and how to get rid of it all as fast as possible. Not only that they work with mold every day but they also have the tools that are the most effective about this type of fungi.
Finding mold in your house at the early stages is a key thing. Then, if you follow the steps given above, it is going to be easy as pie to make your house mold-free. By doing this, you are going to make your house a much healthier place for those who live in it.