Mold is a type of fungus producing a superficial growth on different kinds of decaying or damp organic matter. Mold happens to be an indispensable part of the life cycle and thus it is there everywhere around us. However, in some cases they become dangerous to human health. This happens when the mold spores are present in very large quantities. Exposure to them in large quantities is known to cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.
Some kinds of molds produce mycotoxins. These mycotoxins pose serious health hazards to both animals and humans. A lot of studies suggest that when exposed to high levels of this toxin, one can get neurological problems and in worst case death. Prolonged exposure is especially harmful.
Since we know now how dangerous Mold can be to your health, you should take all precautions to keep your home and workplace mold free. There are different things that can be done to keep your surroundings mold free. Remember a stitch in time saves nine.
It is not difficult to clean a lot of mold types. However, there are some mold types like black mold which may not be so easy to clean. In case you are unable to clean up all the mold from a particular item, it is best to discard it, if at all possible; this would prevent the mold for spreading. You may also consider sealing off the moldy area, if possible, from the rest of your home as a preventative measure.
Here are some tips which would help you to prevent mold building up at your living place, and in case there is already a mold infestation, would guide you how to get rid of it.
Figure Out Why The Mold Is Growing -Mold typically needs moisture and dead organic matter to grow and increase their colonies. If there is some leakage problem then you should get it fixed at the very first sign of danger. You should fix all plumbing leaks and whatever other kinds of water problems there may be at your home or workplace. You should completely dry up all items.
Replace Moldy Items – You should get rid of all moldy items at your place, if at all possible. For example, if there is a mold infestation in your bathroom, you should remove and replace those tiles or wall paper that has turned moldy. If there is minor mold infestation and can be cleaned, then well and good; however, if it is not possible for the modly item to be cleaned properly, throwing it away would be in your best interest. You should place all the moldy items inside a trash bag, heavy duty preferably. Seal the trash bag and discard it.
Clean Areas That Have Mold On Them – You should scrub off the remaining moldy areas that are not so much infested with mold and can be cleaned completely. To clean the modly area, general practice is to use a solution containing 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. This solution can be only used on hard surfaces and these surfaces should be tolerant of bleach. So check out beforehand. You may think that if you increase the quantity of the bleach, you may get better results. But this is not so; this is no way going to work better and on the other hand may end up damaging some surfaces. Affected area should be rinsed nicely and afterwards dried completely. If the infested surface is not bleach resistant, then please skip this particular step. Clean the affected area scrupulously using a laundry detergent or gentle dish washing liquid and moderately warm water.
Clean Dry Area – Once the area has dried completely, you should be applying a borate based detergent to that particular area. A lot of laundry detergents have borate base. However, not all detergents would contain borate. So check the labels given on detergents and go for one which contains borate as one of the ingredients. Utilising a sponge, dab the detergent onto the affected surface. Don’t rinse it out. Let it dry as it is.
More Mold Cleaning Tips:
If the mold infestation was in a carpeted room, then you should vacuum that particular area thoroughly. Your vacuum should be set on a setting so that it can reach the carpet as closely as possible.
If anything that has got mold on it can be washed, you should wash it in a washing machine without any further delay. The setting used to wash the particular item should be set on the hottest wash and you should never make a mistake of washing any other normal laundry with it. Once it is washed, you shouldn’t use a dryer for drying it. It should be line dried instead, and in direct sun, if possible.
You shouldn’t rest assured even if you have cleaned the infested area completely. You should be checking that particular area regularly to ensure that mold has not started to reappear. If you do notice it reappearing it would be advisable to call a professional and have them clean the area once and for all.
There are also some precautions that you would need to take while cleaning up the mold. Mold count would be 10-1000 times higher when you clean the mold infested materials. You should take following steps to minimize any risk, whatsoever:
- If possible, you should use a respirator or mask while cleaning or handling the modly items. This would protect you from breathing in the spores.
- While cleaning, you should be ideally wearing a protective clothing, which can be discarded or cleaned easily.
- Don’t forget to use the rubber gloves
- You may want to clean a sort of test patch initially. If you happen to feel some kind of adverse health reaction, it would be wise to let a professional do the mold cleaning job for you.
- You should ask other members of your family or any bystanders to leave the area being cleaned.
- Don’t work for a long time at a stretch. Take breaks and relax in fresh air.
- Ensure there is good ventilation while and after the job is done. Use a fan if necessary to help with any ventilation issues.