How to Remove Mold, Naturally January 3, 2017 – Posted in: Blog
Mold is invasive, and it can creep into unlikely places. From sippy cups to condensation pipes, mold can grow wherever there’s moisture. Unfortunately, people can have serious reactions to mold. Some people are simply allergic, and others develop respiratory issues over time after being exposed too long to mold.
Mold can result from a variety of issues, including flooding, leaks, poor air circulation, too much humidity – I’m looking at you Florida, one of the moldiest states in the country – and condensation. Florida isn’t alone, though. South Carolina, Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma are some of the worst areas for mold growth in the country.
The Effects of Mold on the Body
It may not seem like mold could do much damage to a body, but its effects are far-reaching. Exposure to dampness and mold are responsible for an estimated 4.6 million cases of the 21.8 million asthma diagnoses in the United States.
You don’t have to suffer from full-on asthma to feel the effects of mold exposure. Symptoms start with coughing, shortness of breath, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and various respiratory illnesses. People who have been exposed to large amounts of mold will suffer the most, but others are at risk from smaller levels of exposure. People with allergies, immune disorders or lung disease will suffer more when their bodies encounter mold.
Check for Evidence of Mold in Your Home
Mold is invasive, so it’s best to find it as early as possible. It likes to hide in carpets, behind drywall or tile, above ceiling tiles, near condensing pipes, on walls and on floors, among other places.
If you are concerned mold may be invading your home, do a smell check first. Do places in your home smell moldy? Look in the most common areas for mold first. Check specifically in the basement for dark spots on the walls or baseboards. What looks at first glance like dirt or soot may be mold. If you find evidence of mold or are beginning to have unexplained health problems, buy a mold kit to be sure your home is mold-free.
How to Prevent Mold
While it may not be possible to completely mold-proof your home, you can take preventive measures to stop it from coming in. Here are few tips that will help keep it from becoming a problem.
- Be diligent around problem areas
- Dry wet spaces immediately
- Ensure proper ventilation
- Use mold-resistant products, like fiberglass drywall and mold-resistant paint
- Monitor humidity indoors
- Repair gutters
- Direct water away from your home
Techniques for Removing Mold
Mold that takes up more than 10 square feet should be removed by a professional, but smaller amounts can be handled by homeowners.
Part of the problem with mold is that traditional methods of removal are almost as toxic as the mold itself. Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to bleach and other chemicals for mold removal. Vinegar, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are all effective treatments for removing mold that resides on non porous surfaces. Try one of these and a little elbow grease the next time you see mold in your home, but remember to wear a mask to avoid inhalation. If you find mold growing on porous surfaces such as sheet rock it would be best to cut out the affected area.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.