Mold is a problem that many people experience and if not taken care of, it can become a real problem, especially for allergy sufferers. Mold loves any place where there is moisture such as the bathroom, basement, around the refrigerator, and so on. To eliminate the problem, the mold has to be removed and then treated so it does not grow back. The key however is finding the cause of the mold and then eliminating the root cause.
Keep in mind that mold can be found in a spotless home as well as a brand new home. Since mold is a fungus with spores found in the air, once the condition is right, the spores will attach themselves to the surface. Soon, an entire colony of fungus will form, called moki or mildew. Once that happens, you begin to see those nasty spots that we all associate with mold,
Mold is often seen as black but it can also form as the color red, orange, brown, green, and white. Have you ever walked down into someone basement and been greeted by a musty smell? If so, then you have been in a room where mold is thriving. The bad thing is that mold can be found in a number of places to include the floors, walls, attic, ductwork, crawlspaces, houseplants, gutters, tile, window frames, and so on.
Although the newer homes being built are airtight, even the smallest space can have a problem with poor ventilation and moisture. When this happens, the breeding ground for mold is created. Just keep in mind that for mold to grow, three factors come into play. Once these three things are at their prime then mold grows. The first is temperature, the second food, and the third moisture.
When it comes to temperature, the exact level is dependant on the type of fungus. For instance, one mold may like things cold and grow around a refrigerator or in the basement while another type of fungus may prefer warmer areas. Additionally, mold feeds on organic matter, which is found in fabric, leather, drywall, carpet, paint, and insulation. Once the mold colony is formed, it then receives its nutrients from dust and dirt.
To get rid of mold, your best course of action is attacking it in the first 24 hours. This will ensure the colony does not spread. However, if the area is larger than three feet in diameter, you should contact a specialist that can clean the mold problem up. Otherwise, you can do things on your own to help. For example, if the mold is located on hard surfaces such as glass or tile, you can use a good mold cleaner to stop the problem. If the mold has attacked drywall, then you should remove the infected area and replace it with new drywall.
The most important tip is that you should never use ammonia or chlorine to kill mold since the fumes are highly toxic. Prevention is the real key, which can be done by reducing the amount of moisture in your home. You also need to be aware of the types of things mold likes and the areas where it typically grows. For instance, if you have converted an unfinished basement to a family room or a bathroom are the favorite breeding grounds for mold. Try to keep your home�s humidity level between 30% and 60%. If you do not have a built-in humidifier, you can purchase a portable unit.
Make sure your home also has good ventilation. As an example, your bathroom fans should vent to the outside of the home, same as range hoods. When these fans vent to the attic, you are simply moving the moisture from one location to another and not getting rid of it. Be sure your home�s roof turbines are working properly since they help to lower humidity levels. Finally, to help increase air circulation, you can install a ceiling fan or keep a portable fan blowing.
Other things that you can do include:
- Seal masonry foundations and flash chimneys
- Increase the amount of insulation in your attic and walls
- Check your plumbing to ensure there are no leaks
- Keep fresh caulk around windows, doors, chimneys, roofing, bathtubs, and so on
- Keep your air conditioning unit clean and well maintained
- Keep humidifiers and dehumidifiers free from standing water
- Make sure water hoses around the washing machine and dishwasher are dry
- If possible, do not use shower curtains
- Be sure no damp laundry is left lying around