Mold and mildew are no doubt unwanted house guests. Although they are more prevalent in hot and humid areas, the fungus is popping up in homes anywhere you go. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause, and it must be quickly removed.
According to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than outdoors. Mold affects our indoor air quality, and is most present in moist areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Mold can also go unnoticed for months or years.
Mold and mold spores in the air can cause serious respiratory health effects when inhaled, including worsening asthma, and coughing, wheezing and upper respiratory symptoms in healthy individuals. Allergic reactions to mold are common. Mild exposure can also irritate eyes and skin.
Mold Versus Mildew
Mold is a fungus and is commonly found in household dust. It can be especially hazardous in large quantities which can lead to significant health issues. Mildew is a type of fungus that usually grows on flat surfaces. It often appears on organic materials.
Where Mold and Mildew Grow
The gunk can be found under sinks, around tubs, bathroom and kitchen faucets; It also appears by HVAC systems, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators. Leaks in ceilings, walls and plumbing can cause mold to grow. It can also pop up in our HVAC system. If your home has mold, you must clean it up and fix the water problem as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Mold and Mildew
Keep humidity levels down. Be sure to ventilate any areas prone to moisture. Turn on vent fans while in the kitchen, bathroom or basement. Attic fans can also help manage moisture and ventilate homes.
Open the windows to bring the fresh air in. Doing so will increase ventilation and lower indoor carbon dioxide levels.
Use green cleaning products to clean your home and the mold. Choose those that are water-based, non-toxic and non-aerosol.
Mold can’t grow or survive without moisture. Clean and dry any wet surfaces in your home right away. Fix any plumbing leaks or water issues to keep moisture away.
HEPA filters help get rid of mold spore concentrations in carpets and on the floor. A HEPA vacuum cleaner can be used to clean air vents and musty areas in the home.
If you have a really bad mold problem, ultraviolet light can do the trick. Lamps placed in areas of the home where mold and mildew are lurking can greatly reduce contamination levels.
Cleaning Mold & Mildew
Bleach, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide remove small amounts of mold. Tea tree oil is a more natural and effective way to do the job. Use a rag and spray bottle to help clean it up. If you find mold hiding in your home inside walls, underneath wallpaper or carpeting, on top of ceiling tiles or inside ductwork, consider calling in an experienced professional to remove it.
Other Tips & Techniques
The EPA has a list of ways to clean up and fix your mold problem. Fix plumbing leaks and water problems immediately and dry the area. Use water and detergent to scrub mold off hard surfaces, then dry off. Ceiling tiles and carpet may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Clean up the mold and dry any surfaces before you paint them. Take precautions when cleaning moldy areas and don’t expose yourself or others to the fungus.
If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, the mold, mildew and algae surrounding your home could be a contributing factor. The professionals at Peak Power Wash can take care of the clean up. The company has been offering pressure washing services to parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania since 1998. Call us at 443-686-WASH or request a free estimate online.