Do you ever notice at a home that you have trouble breathing? Have you ever wondered what that strange smell is? Do you feel cold? Mold could be behind it all, so it may be time to see if your house has become a nest for this dangerous pest.
Mold can potentiate health problems and destroy anything it grows on. Mold fungus spores are generally found in airborne suspension, and when they adhere to wet surfaces and begin to grow, they can gradually consume their surface as they feed on it. The key is to get the cleanup done before this happens.
Mold produces allergens that can cause reactions in some people, including symptoms like hay fever. Even mold treated by a chemical or biocide can cause allergic reactions, so in addition to killing mold, it also needs to be removed, the United States Environmental Protection Agency reports.
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus, which is usually in the air and humid and dark areas, and at home, they are both an aesthetic and a health problem.
Many types of mold that grow on walls and other places in the home can be toxic. The problem is further aggravated if we also use products to remove mold from the walls that are also toxic. In this case, we are trying to solve a problem by adding a new one.
There are many types of molds. They are common and are found everywhere, including food, such as some types of cheese.
It may also be useful in the medical field, as is the case with penicillin, discovered by Alexander Fleming, which is a derivative of one of the varieties of fungus we call mold.
Where is mold most common?
A leaky roof or pipe, flood damage, or too high interior humidity without adequate ventilation can lead to mold problems.
Flooding and water damage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24 hours-
Any place that remains damp and unventilated is a potential area for mold growth. Any area where water circulates in a structure is vulnerable to mold.
This includes areas where major pipeline arteries are located, drain spaces, walls that go from bathroom to bathroom, and between floors, improperly sealed tubs, and faulty construction can cause water to seep into cracks and create significant problems over time.
Regions, where the climate tends to be humid, can be mold hot spots, although arid areas are not immune to this problem. Buildings that are tightly sealed may lack adequate ventilation, which can lead to moisture buildup, EPA reports.
Mold is another fungal coating that can form on wet surfaces.
Mold is dark in color, usually black or green, and penetrates the surface of what is growing.
You can follow the cleaning steps detailed below to remove mold.
Mold prone areas:
Basements or cellars
Under kitchen and bathroom sinks
Under or behind refrigerators
Behind walls that house pipes
Around air conditioning units
Mold often goes unnoticed behind the wallpaper.
An in-depth mold inspection can find mold growing behind wallpaper and baseboards.
Exterior walls are not a good location for wallpaper due to massive temperature changes between interior and exterior. Additionally, the glue can act as a nutrient to feed mold.
Tips for removing mold from the house
Before trying any product to eliminate mold in the house, it is essential to know and adopt some decisive tips to control its growth. These are measures that help to avoid excess humidity inside the home, which reduces the environments that these microorganisms need to develop. Take a look at some cleaning tips and how to prevent the mold from forming.
Opening doors and windows at least once a day is a simple measure to reduce the presence of mold, mites, and other particles that accumulate inside the home. The air that circulates thanks to this habit allows damp areas to dry naturally.
This, incidentally, alters the environment in which fungi and microorganisms grow. This explains why a little ventilation can help neutralize any unpleasant odors that are often trapped inside.
Mold is often under layers of dirt, so regular cleaning will help reduce dust buildup, also reducing the chances of mold developing.
Don’t cover mold
One of the big mistakes when trying to disguise the presence of mold in the home is covering the stains with furniture, fabrics, and other similar elements. This action prevents air from circulating over the affected area, which allows mold to be retained in an environment that favors its growth.
It is best to try to keep the area clear of any coverage to prevent it from worsening. In this way, as we have already said, we will improve its ventilation.
Avoid hanging clothes inside the house
This may surprise you. Even if you consider it harmless”, hanging clothes in the interior spaces of the house can have negative consequences for respiratory health.
Moisture favors the growth of fungi and mites, especially when there are walls that already have visible mold spots. Besides, the lack of air prevents the clothes from drying well, deriving unpleasant odors that are sometimes difficult to eliminate.
Use a dehumidifier
According to Dr. Cameron Jones, the humidity in the rooms in your home should not exceed 60% concentration. If that’s the case for you, it may be time to buy a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth.
Drying carpets and rugs
If any carpet or rugs have gotten wet, you should dry them in the first 24 or 48 hours. Beyond that time, you can be sure that mold is going to form inside, around, and below.
Natural products to eliminate mold in the house
Many naturally-derived ingredients have properties that help disinfect and clean surfaces to remove mold from the house more easily. They are 100% eco-friendly products that leave the environment with fresh air while neutralizing bad odors and moisture stains.
The acidic composition of white vinegar has intoxicating effects on controlling mold that grows in the home. Its application removes dark spots and eliminates fungi and bacteria that are concentrated in the affected area.
- Spray the product on moldy walls, bathrooms, or tiles, and leave it on for 15 minutes.
- After this time, remove the residue with plenty of water and a brush.
Baking soda is a versatile product that is used in many ways at home. It is antifungal, deodorant, and antibacterial, being ideal for various cleaning tasks.
It stands out for its ability to stop mold growth. Its application facilitates the elimination of dark spots and strong odors.
- Dampen a generous amount of baking soda and rub it into the desired area with a brush.
- Let it sit for 20 minutes and rinse.
Sea salt has a select quality that makes it stand out as a mold solution. This mineral disinfects surfaces, but also absorbs moisture indoors.
It is generally used directly in the problem area. However, some use it alternatively as a preventive.
- Rub plenty of sea salt on the affected surfaces, using a sponge or brush.
- Let it act for 20 minutes and rinse.
- Optionally, pour plenty of salt into small containers.
- Place them in strategic places like corners or inside cabinets.
Tea tree oil
It is the most effective of all methods. I have successfully used it on a moldy roof after repairing leaks; I also used it for the bathroom mat with impressive success and in the fridge after the holidays. The issue is that it is somewhat expensive, and it has a rather strong odor that disappears over the hours. But it pays a lot.
To use the tea tree to clean mold, we can do the following dissolution:
- 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil
- 2 cups of water
Mix and place the liquid in a spray bottle or sprayer. Shaking is necessary before each use. It is used by spraying this mixture on the affected area and should not be rinsed.
Grapefruit seed extract
The advantage of using grapefruit seed extract instead of tea tree oil to remove mold from walls or any other surface is that the former has no odor.
This mold removal product is quite useful. We will prepare it in the following proportion:
- 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract
- 2 cups of water
We mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. As with the tea tree, we will shake it to mix before each use. We spray the affected areas, and that’s it. It also does not rinse and lasts a long time.
Boric acid to combat mold
You may also know it as borax. Indeed, it is about those deodorant powders that are placed on feet and shoes, relying on their antifungal power.
The appropriate proportion to exert its effect on the joints of your bath is one glass of borax for every liter of water. You apply, let it act, and rinse thoroughly with water. Of course, do it with a well-ventilated bathroom and do not leave it within reach of children or pets, since its intake is toxic.
Note: When cleaning the mold, we recommend wearing rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask to avoid breathing mold. Take special care with the use of whiteners or biocides (chemicals indicated to kill mold) because they can cause severe reactions in some people.