If a homeowner is totally obnoxious to what kind of problems mold in cause, it can take some effort to convince him that it indeed is a home safety hazard to eradicate.
A lot of people still view mold as just negligible cosmetic problems in a house. And therefore it’s not worth the effort to remove them when they are just going to come back again in a month or two.
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow almost anywhere as long as there is moisture. And it has no qualms intruding into your house without an invitation.
They can grow on drywall, behind the wall, in between the flooring tiles, and even on the carpet.
They are often identified with the black spots that appear on stuff we attribute to them.
While the average Joe might think that they are harmless as long as we don’t get in contact with them, that cannot be further from the truth.
Because their spores, which is the source of their problems, float and fly through the air entering our body or settle on our nostrils.
The main problem that mold can cause is allergic reactions.
As you might expect, tiny spores in the air all around a sufferer of asthma is not exactly a good environment to have.
It’s generally not a good environment for anyone suffering from respiratory conditions.
Other than that, it can trigger common symptoms like running nose, sore eyes, skin rash, sneezing. It can irritate the nose, skin, lungs, throat, and eyes.
In some occasions, mold has also been documented to produce mycotoxins. A toxic substance adverse to health.
Since mold, also known as mildew, needs moisture to grow and thrive, controlling the moisture at home is the best deterrence against it.
Remember that the gist is to remove water.
- This encumbers everything including:
- drying your towels properly
- keeping the bathroom floor dry
- stopping leaks on pipes
- remove water ponding
- wipe off areas of water condensation
- drying off damp areas
- placing moisture absorbers in the wardrobe
If you want to go a little hard core into moisture control, you can consider getting a dehumidifier.
These are machines, often standalone, that systematically suck out the moisture in the air. Manufacturing plants and storage companies use them to great effect to create the best conditions to do their work properly.
You can use it at home to control mold. They are also often portable with wheels attached to easy deployment.
If not, the air-conditioner should also do a good job of dehumidifying.
Another important factor for moisture control is to ensure a house or room has proper ventilation.
This does not just mean that windows should be opened and fans to be turned on often for circulation. It also means that there should be ventilation between fixtures and furniture too.
Wall fixtures for example that are fixed to the wall often collect water between the fixture and wall. These are sneaky places mold likes to hide. If you leave a gap of half an inch between them, it is often enough to eliminate this problem.
Whenever I discover a strong gust of wind blowing at the house, and it’s convenient, I would open as many windows and doors as possible to overhaul the air residing inside the house.
If you have ventilation fans installed at home, make sure to turn them on when cooking and using the bathroom. Just do a double check that the fan actually vents air outside. Not to somewhere else in the house.
Outside the house
While water problems inside the house is the focus here, don’t forget that a lot of water that gets into the house comes from outside.
Make sure that there are no cracks on window and door frames. Check that the sprinklers do not spray water onto the house, clear the debris collecting on the gutters and general roof drainage. etc.
Conduct an exterior inspection and do what’s necessary to prevent water from getting in contact with the house.
Getting rid of mold
Unless you find it too gross a task to undertake yourself, there is no need to call the exterminators to remove mold.
This is assuming we are not talking about fields of mold 10 square feet in size.
For nonporous surfaces, using detergent and water is often good enough to remove them. Tea tree oil is also a good substance that effectively kills mold.
Porous material should be replaced. As they are too hazardous to clean. You will only be releasing even more spores into the air.
For removing mold on fabric, washing with detergent and then drying them in the sun is often sufficient to eliminate them.
Remind yourself that it’s the spores that mold release into the air that causes the associated health problems.
This means that you should wear adequate protection when cleaning out mold infested areas.
Wear masks specifically designed to prevent mold inhalation. disposable cleaning gloves, and goggles for good measure.
This is not the time to go cheap. Your health is most important and compromising your safety is not worth saving a few dollars.