Mold is a fungus that spreads in the form of microscopic spores. Spores float through the air, then grow into patches of mold when they touch a dampened surface. Outside, mold is good for the decomposition of plant matter, but indoors, it can be dangerous. Spores in large quantities may cause irritation and bronchial infections. If left untreated, mold will cause irreversible damage to the home. It is important that you get rid of mold before it spreads, and to reduce the likelihood of it coming back.
As you may have noticed, there are several different kinds of mold. The mold in your kitchen drain may look orange, while the mold in your shower grout is black. Mildew is the most common type of mold, which turns from grey-white to black. The following article will teach you how to get rid of mildew.
If you are dealing with a patch of mold that is green, fuzzy, or slimy, call a professional for mold removal. Mold that covers 10 square feet or more should also be removed professionally. Anything that is severely damaged by mold, like crumbling drywall, cannot be fixed and should be removed as soon as possible.
Address the Cause
Address the causes of your mold problem first. Mold appears when there is excessive moisture, so do what you can to reduce the humidity in the affected room. Improve the room’s ventilation with a ceiling fan or open window. Always turn on the exhaust fan when taking a bath or shower. Fix leaky faucets and get a dehumidifier if your home is too humid. You can also run the range hood when boiling water or doing dishes.
Wear Protective Equipment
Be sure to wear a mask and a pair of rubber gloves when cleaning and handling mold. Ideally, you should wear an N-95 respirator. This will prevent you from inhaling mold spores, which can be dangerous. To keep spores out of your eyes, you may also want to put on a pair of goggles. Spores may cause itching and irritation. Open the windows and increase ventilation before you begin cleaning.
Clean the surface
To get rid of mold, you must spray the affected surface with a cleaning solution, let it sit, then scrub the mold away. The solution you choose depends on the surface you are cleaning. Here are some easy options:
- Chlorine bleach: the bleach you use to whiten your clothing can also be used to get rid of mold on nonporous surfaces, like bathroom tiles and sinks. Dilute one cup of bleach with a gallon of water, then apply it to the surface you are cleaning. Let the solution sit for about an hour, then scrub the area with a stiff brush. For mold on the outer structure of the home, use one part bleach with ten parts water, then rinse with a garden hose or pressure washer.
- Ammonia:mix one part clear ammonia with one part water, then spray the affected surface. Let it sit for a few hours, then wipe the surface clean with a rag. Rinse with water when finished. Note that you should never mix ammonia with bleach because it releases toxic fumes.
- White vinegar:white vinegar is a gentler solution that works well in kitchens and bathrooms. Spray or pour undiluted vinegar onto the moldy surface, let it sit for a few hours, then scrub. Repeat the process until the mold is gone, then rinse with water.
- Mold cleaner: cleaners that are specially formulated to remove mold and mildew can work well for porous surfaces. Check out your local hardware store and read the instructions carefully before use.
- Dish soap: dish soap is handy for removing mold on porous surfaces, like wood. Scrub the wood clean with soap and water and a soft sponge or rag. You may need to sand the wood if mold has penetrated through it.
Throw Everything Out
When you are done cleaning, throw everything out in a sealed plastic bag. This includes your gloves, rags, sponges, and brushes. Then, wash your clothes. Continue to ventilate the room you cleaned for a few hours after you finished cleaning. You’ll be glad you took care of your mold problem – your home will look a lot cleaner, and you’ll be able to breathe better.