Mold is not only unattractive but can also become a serious health risk to individuals within the home, particularly young children and the elderly. Mold spores can be very small and can be easily inhaled. Symptoms of mold are respiratory difficulties, asthma attacks, congestion of the sinuses and nasal passages, coughing, irritation of the skin, and sore throat.
Mold can grow in a variety of places in the home. It feeds off moisture and so is more likely to be found in areas of the house such as the kitchen and bathroom. It is also more likely in houses which are located in areas of high humidity and frequent flooding. If an area of the house floods, it is necessary to dry the room thoroughly so that mold and mildew do not have the chance to grow. Signs of moisture include the peeling of paint and wall staining. The only way to successfully prevent its growth is to keep all areas of your home free from moisture.
The removal of mold is necessary for the health of those in the house. It doesn’t matter whether the mold is alive or dead. Either way, people can have an adverse reaction to its presence. Before attempting to remove mold in your home, it is essential to take the needed precautions to ensure that you will not be exposed to the mold spores. You should use a respirator or a mask that will prevent the inhalation of spores, rubber gloves, easily washable clothing, as well as protection for your eyes. In order to avoid the spread of the mold, you should also try to separate the area from the other areas of the house with heavy plastic or some other barrier.
Before removing the spores, it helps to moisten the fabrics or materials so that the mold is unable to become airborne. After dampening the mold, it can safely and easily be removed from a variety of surfaces with the use of detergents or soaps which are ammonia-free. These include hard surfaces such as glass, metal, the tops of counters, and hard plastic. Be sure not to combine bleach and ammonia as the fumes which are created by the mixture are poisonous. Unfortunately, it is not possible to thoroughly remove the entire mold issue from drywall, carpet, paper, and other porous materials. The only way to remove the mold from these types of surfaces is to throw out the contaminated materials. It is also unlikely for the mold to be completely removed from wood materials simply by scrubbing. It is often necessary for the area to be sanded to remove the mold.
After the mold has been scrubbed off or sanded off of the contaminated wood, the area should be disinfected using a mixture of bleach and water. Typically, a one to five ratio of bleach to water is the best solution for mold problems although other disinfectants may work as well. The amount of bleach should be adjusted depending on the extent of the contamination of the surface. If there is a high concentration of mold in a particular location, it may be necessary to increase the amount of bleach in the solution. High concentrations are also recommended for areas of concrete, wood, or other porous materials which are not easy to clean. When the solution has been placed on the contaminated surface, the bleach or other detergent must remain on the area for at least 15 minutes in order for the area to be completely disinfected. After the area has been thoroughly cleaned, the windows should be opened and fans should be used to sufficiently ventilate the area.
After the bleach solution has been allowed to sit for 15 minutes or longer, the area should be washed with water and then quickly dried so as to prevent the growth of bacteria and regrowth of the mold. Dehumidifers, fans, and natural ventilation can help to accelerate this process.