A small amount of mold in a bathroom or basement may not be a big deal but left untreated, it can grow quickly and lead to rotting surfaces and unhealthy indoor pollutants. College Park mold removal experts recommend that you bleach the area to kill the mold spores.
Alternatively, you can use a baking soda solution. Just add a quarter tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water and scrub the affected area using a scouring pad or sponge.
Identify the Source of the Moisture
In a warm, humid climate, air can hold more moisture than in a cold climate. When this excess moisture reaches cooler surfaces, such as windows and glass, it turns to liquid water and creates condensation. This is often a sign of excessive humidity in homes. It can also be seen as dark spots on the ceiling or walls, or buckling or peeling paint. Excessive humidity encourages biological pollutants like mold and mildew to grow, which can cause a number of problems including structural damage and health issues.
Symptoms of high humidity include clammy skin and wet sheets, a musty smell in the air, wood rot, warped floors, crumbling drywall and rust on tools, jewelry and electronics. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to reduce humidity levels in the home. Many of these methods require little more than a change in habits or an inexpensive purchase, and they can help keep your home and family healthy.
Remove the Source of the Moisture
Getting rid of mold in your home requires you to kill the fungi and clean up the affected areas. However, you should also make sure that the underlying issue is taken care of to prevent mold from returning.
The presence of mold on interior walls usually indicates that there is a larger problem, such as a leak or a water infiltration issue, behind the wall. For example, if there is mold on the bathroom wall, it may indicate that you have a plumbing issue, such as a leaky pipe or drainage problems.
Mold growth can be prevented by ensuring that all surfaces are properly ventilated and cleaned regularly. For example, you should run the fan and open the window after a shower to reduce humidity levels. You can also use a dehumidifier in particularly damp spaces, such as the basement. You can also try using household cleaners such as 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to kill mold. Alternatively, you can try adding eucalyptus or lavender oil to your cleaning solutions to kill mold spores.
Clean the Area
The good news is that most mold spores can be killed with common household cleaners, such as white vinegar. In fact, some of these cleaners double as fungicides to prevent new growth.
Start by scrubbing the area with a sponge soaked in a solution of one part bleach to three parts water. Always wear a mask and protective gloves to avoid breathing in the bleach fumes. Make sure to open a window and run a fan to vent out the room as you work.
Molds often grow in dark and damp areas such as basements, attics, ductwork and bathrooms. If left unchecked, they can rot wood surfaces and release indoor pollutants that are harmful to human health.
To prevent re-growth, repair the moisture problem and dry the affected area thoroughly. After scrubbing, cover exposed wood surfaces with an oil-based primer such as Kilz. Then, repaint with a mildewcide-containing paint to keep the area safe from future growth.
Dry the Area
Immediately after cleaning, it’s important to dry the area. Otherwise, the mold will return. This can be done by putting fans in the room and running a dehumidifier. It’s also important to use plastic sheeting and tape to block off areas from other parts of the house. Mold can spread quickly.
For non-porous surfaces, you can wipe them down with a damp sponge and detergent. A stiff scrub brush may be needed for durable surfaces like countertops, cabinets or vanities. If the surface is absorbent, you can spray or rub it with a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water.
Bleach can kill the mold spores on hard non-porous surfaces but it won’t penetrate porous materials such as drywall. It’s a good idea to use vinegar instead since it’s more effective and less toxic. It’s also a good idea to wear NIOSH-approved breathing protection and disposable gloves. Be sure to double-bag and dispose of all moldy debris in large contractor clean-up bags.