Houses can be a breeding ground for mold. Exposed to it, your family could develop mold allergies or the much more serious condition known as mold toxicity without even realizing it. You can’t always see mold with the naked eye, but it’s almost certainly bound to be there. Here are some researched and practical tips for eliminating any traces of harmful mold within your house.
Identifying The Problem
There are a thousand possible places in your home where mold can be found. Mold loves to sprout in dark, moist and damp places, so this means possible places for mold include inside your shower, inside your kitchen cupboards, under the sink, on areas where you’ve got a running water leak. Mold can also take root in clothes and fridges – if you clothes constantly smell musty or your food keeps going off and growing mold, you might have a problem.
What Makes Mold Grow?
Mold thrives on darkness, moisture and, in the case of some molds, sugar. If you’ve got a mold infestation in your fridge, you’ll see that fruit, bread, cheese and other foods spoil too quickly.
In the shower, you’ll often notice a greenish-gray type of growth taking root somewhere where the most moisture collects; cupboards and clothes that collect a musty smell indicate that you have mold taking root in your cupboard.
The same, as gross as most people might find it, is true for shoes and socks – yes, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. Mold will also take root in places like old cloths and sponges – mold spores can spread on cloth – so be careful of using an old and musty cloth to wipe or clean anything.
How Does Mold Spread
Mold spreads itself by spreading spores – more often than not unseen to the human eye. (Though seen with some magnification and usually under specialized lighting, you can see a mushroom “throw” their spores into the air – it’s pretty cool to look at, too.)
These spores are, as you might have guessed, generally spread by growing on whatever they land, and then that culture will throw its spores again – and before you know it, everything’s covered in mold. It’s also aggravated by wind, which can help spread these spores from one area to the next.
More Moldy Places
Think you might have a mold problem? Take note of any allergy flare-ups you experience, note any musty or damp smells and take note of any areas where you think mold might thrive after reading this. It includes moist, dark and damp areas like compost heaps, the inside of your cupboards or fridge, it can be found in your shower and sometimes in clothes that have been stored in a moldy environment where spores have been allowed to take root – this can usually be identified by the musty smell associated with it.
But there are even more places where mold could be hiding: Inside plastic bottles and containers, in-between the seal of your fridge; even books can potentially harbor mold; know that musty smell that most people associate with old books? Yup, that’s a type of mold too and the reason behind a lot of allergy flare-ups that book lovers just can’t seem to find a reason for.
Step One: Kill The Source
The best way to eliminate mold is to get rid of the source first: If there’s a leak causing the area to be constantly damp, you’ll have to fix the leak first or be faced with the same problem in a couple days to a few weeks.
Silica packets, like those you find when purchasing electronics and other things, are great for throwing into cupboards to draw out any extra moisture – and if you’ve ever worked with wood or owned an acoustic guitar, you’ll understand just how much moisture can affect things.
Step Two: Effective Mold Killers
Getting rid of mold properly involves a thorough cleaning with known mold-killers. And we mean properly! This means going until something is clean, not until something just looks clean.
Substances well-known for killing mold-growth include ammonia (thus, bleach), lemon juice, salt, alcohol and vinegar – most cleaning agents contain some of these ingredients, and you can always just make something yourself by throwing together some vinegar into a bucket of water and getting right to it.