Useful Tips And Tricks
How to Eradicate Mold from Your Home
Mold can be a major allergy trigger for many people. Mold can lurk, hidden, in your home, causing allergy symptoms year-round. It tends to get worse in the spring and summer, when warm, moist conditions are conducive to mold growth.
What Causes a Mold Allergy?
Mold releases spores, not seeds, into the air in order to spread. The spores land and “take root,” spreading the mold. The airborne spores act like pollen in allergic individuals, resulting in similar symptoms to hay fever: wheezing, sneezing, watering eyes, coughing, and other respiratory symptoms. Even asthma attacks can be triggered by mold.
The spores can get into your home through open windows (trees and plants can harbor mold), and through your heating and cooling system. Mold is especially prevalent in basements, where it tends to be dark and damp. It can grow on all sorts of surfaces, from walls to bricks to insulation.
How Do I Get Rid of It?
Wear gloves, and make sure your work area is well ventilated. Here are some tips for eradicating mold from your home.
* Run a dehumidifier. If possible, run it continually and route a hose from the dehumidifier to a drain, so the pan doesn’t fill up and sit. This can just add to the humidity and mold can grow in the pan itself. Running a hose from the base of the pan to a drain keeps you from having to empty it, too. It’s a good idea to have one in the basement and one on the main floor.
* Vent your clothes dryer outside. If it’s vented inside, it creates a warm, moist environment within the ducts and the plastic cup it vents into – the perfect set-up for mold.
* Scrub moldy surfaces such as plastic, glass, metal and Formica with liquid soap. When it’s rinsed, go over the area with a bleach solution (approx. 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water) to prevent the mold from returning. Don’t dry the area; let the bleach solution dry naturally. The longer it’s on the surface, the better job it does.
* Porous surfaces like wood, carpet, and sheetrock should be removed and replaced. But if they are not subject to discoloration or if discoloration won’t be an issue (such as with wall studs), then you can clean these areas with bleach solution and allow to dry.
* Run fans in your home periodically to keep circulation going.
* Run your air conditioner during the hot, humid summer months. Cool, dry air creates a poor environment for mold.