Mold is caused by lingering moisture in dark places. Places like these tend to lack ventilation or have leaks (such as toilets, pipes or sinks). Damp materials like fabric, paper, wood, grout, drywall, and wallpaper are all incubators for mold. Especially if there are cracks or crevices for them to climb into. Once you smell it or think that it is forming, you probably have it. It might be something you see, but not always. You will want to check areas that are hidden, damp and dark because sunlight is the best anti-mold tool. Check under sinks, around shower doors, exhaust fans, bath fixtures or basements and crawl spaces. And that doesn’t only mean the bathroom. Your kitchen, laundry room, garage; all of these places are susceptible. And while it might start in the garage, you can rest assured it will find its way to the kitchen.
Anti-Mold Tool: Preventing Mold
Once you have mold, it can be extremely hard to remove. Even after removing what you can see, there will still be traces left behind. It is something that requires a professional and equipment. The best way to ensure you don’t have mold problems is to prevent mold from forming in the first place. In some cases, this can be as simple as using a fan. Circulating air after a shower can be a simple fix. You also want to keep the humidity levels in the rooms below fifty percent. Mold needs moisture to form and grow. Cutting off that supply is essential.
Use a shower curtain that is mildew-resistant. While that alone is helpful, you also want to make sure that it is cleaned frequently and replaced when needed. Bottles of shampoo, soap, loofahs, and toys all provide hiding places for mold. They are also a great breeding ground for bacteria. If you can find a better place for them, in a place with circulation; you can keep that risk at bay. Keep your bathroom clean. Wash the rugs frequently, wipe down with bleach once in a while and make sure that there aren’t any cracks or crevices for mold to hide in. If you find any, cover or seal it.
Anti-Mold Tool: Removing Mold
If mold is already a problem in your home, you may be able to contain it yourself. You want to start by replacing any caulking that is already growing mold. Be sure to strip a little buffer of space around the affected area, so that any growth you don’t see will also be removed. Use bleach, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to kill mold when you clean. You do not want to mix the products; they will cause a toxic reaction. But any of them individually is a good anti-mold tool.
Keep windows and doors open. Not only do you want to make sure that there is ventilation while you are cleaning, but creating a good flow of fresh air will help get rid of mold. If you do not have windows in the room, turn on a fan. If there is no ceiling fan, a floor fan will work just as well; even a cheap one. You just need to get the air moving around for a while. Make sure that you keep it moving for as long as possible. After a shower or bath, it is a good idea to ventilate for thirty minutes to an hour. You can read more about it here.
Anti-Mold Tool: Call A Professional
Killing and removing mold is no small task. If the problem area is more than ten square feet, you will need a professional. Even if it isn’t, just removing the mold isn’t necessarily the fix. Mold is known to come back time and time again. You will need a professional if it gets through the walls and insulation. Tearing out walls or trying to remove severe mold can cause it to release spores. Not only can this make your mold problem worse, but it can also be a health hazard. This can be especially dangerous the more people there are in the house.
A professional can not only remove it and be sure it is gone, but they can tell you why it was there in the first place and offer to advise of preventatives. It is worth the investment to make sure that you don’t have to deal with this problem again. If not because of the time and money it will cost you, because of the health risk. You can start your search here. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, but ultimately the best path is to have someone come in and look at your problem. They can give you advice over the phone, but it won’t be accurate until they can see the problem and get an idea of what you’re dealing with. Mold is always a bigger problem than it looks like.