How to Stop Mold Growth November 20, 2018 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: Mold, Mold Prevention, Mold Remediation
Where there is moisture, there is mold. And where there is mold, health problems are bound to follow, especially for people who are sensitive to it.
If you don’t want to suffer from throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, coughing, or skin irritation, then make sure to eliminate their growth at home.
How to Stop Mold Growth in House
- Control moisture. Keep the humidity level under 60 percent.
- Dry up wet materials quickly. It only takes mold two days to grow.
- Clean, disinfect, and dry surfaces prone to mold growth. A vapor steam cleaner may help.
- Repair leaks. Replace dilapidated old pipes. Fix leaks on the roof, walls, and foundation of the house. Unclog HVAC units drain regularly.
- Dry items thoroughly before storing them.
- Improve air flow at home. Start with opening closet doors more frequently and moving furniture far from walls to providing better ventilation to confined spaces. The more windows you can open, the better.
- Monitor your basement’s ventilation. Set up a foundation drain, put in a dehumidifier, insulate walls, set up a thermal plane, and let the entire room dry.
How to Stop Mold Growth on Walls
- Prepare the affected walls with the usual white, black or bluish patches of mold on the walls. If it has spread to adjacent areas, such as the carpet or other items, remove these from the walls and salvage whatever you can.
- Scrub as hard as you can. Use a mixture of one part bleach and three parts water and combine it with some hard scrubbing using a heavy-duty sponge or scrub brush. Let the solution soak in for a few minutes. In even worse cases, you may need to use this bleach mixture with a formulated mold remover. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and respirator mask for protection and turn on the ventilation fan.
- Dry the walls completely.
Walls are a very common area for mold to grow, especially in damp environments such as basements, washrooms and laundry rooms.
While dealing with mold on your walls can be as simple as cleaning with mold killing cleaning products, there are a number of situations that can prove to be much more complex.
If mold is growing on porous dry wall, a simple wipe down won’t be enough to tackle the job. The cellulose found in drywall is one of the most common materials that mold grows on in a home, and therefore can pose a serious issue.
If water damage restorations are taking place in a damp environment, leaving unpainted drywall exposed to moisture, mold growth is a very likely outcome.
When this occurs, your best bet is to cut out any affected areas and dispose and replace immediately.
Since mold tends to be much more sneaky than simply growing for all to see, another common occurrence is mold growing behind your walls.
Small cavities out of sight can capture humidity and moist air, which are ideal areas for mold to grow. In these cases, mold testing and invasive inspection must be done by a professional to assess the damage.
Keep in mind, mold can also grow behind wallpaper, as the glue adhering the paper to the wall can often capture moisture, and in turn produce mold.
Mold is commonly found growing in areas of high humidity and moisture. If you suspect that this may be a problem, a commercial dehumidifier would be a good investment.
How to Stop Mold Growth in Bathroom
- Remove and replace sealant or caulking affected by mold.
- Use effective mold-killing chemicals to clean your bathroom, such as vinegar, bleach or hydrogen peroxide to help you, but make sure not to mix any of these products to avoid a toxic outcome.
- Keep your bathroom doors and windows open while cleaning. This should help dry up the bathroom and take away the mold’s favorite environment.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in Bathroom
- Invest in an effective fan for every bathroom at home. Vents can suck out the moisture in your bathroom and send it outside. Depending on the size of your bathroom, find a fan with the right cubic feet per minute (cfm).
- Use the fan properly. Turn the vent on during a bath or shower and leave it on for 30 minutes more after leaving the bathroom. Find a fan with a timer for your convenience.
- Use your squeegee. Make it a habit to dry up the shower walls or tub with a squeegee.
- Repair leaks. Once you notice leaks, fix them right away. Delaying repairs will only encourage mold to grow and take hold.
- Dry out everything in the bathroom. After using your sponges, loofahs, and product bottles, remove them from the shower and let them dry.
- Wash towels, rugs, and mat regularly.
How to Stop Mold Growth in Basement
- Look for mold way beyond the visible surfaces because they tend to spread farther than the exposed parts.
- Remove bags, boxes, and other items in the area and put them in garbage bags, especially those that have come in contact with mold.
- Remove carpets and other flooring materials that you suspect to be affected with mold. Salvageable items can be cleaned with a solution or restored with steam cleaning.
- Prepare a spray bottle with borax, vinegar, and water or bleach and spray the solution on the walls, windows, pipes, and other fixtures. Leave it for one to two hours.
- Outside, dispose of contaminated materials right away, except for clothes and carpet that can be washed and a few metal, plastic or moisture-resistant materials that you think you can clean up and save.
- Re-spray the surfaces in the basement after two hours. Overdoing it is better than giving mold spores more chances to grow again. Scrub the surfaces as hard as you can and use brushes on hard to reach spots.
- Rinse the scrubbed surfaces well, over and over again.
- Spray the surfaces with borax one last time before leaving them to dry.
- Once the basement is dry, fix and redecorate it with new flooring and insulation and return the items that you removed from it.
Basements are notorious for moisture, and therefore are a breeding ground for harmful mold.
While a little mold here and there may not strike you as a serious issue, you should be aware that mold can cause serious health problems when being breathed in.
If your children often play in the basement and you have a mold problem, serious health issues can occur.
Your best bet is to stop mold growth in its tracks, and take measures to prevent future growth.
Identify any problem areas in your basement. These areas are commonly laundry rooms, bathrooms, and windows. Since basements are typically cold and damp to begin with, these may not be the only areas to look out for.
Be sure to repair and replace any areas with water damage immediately, and mold can grow in these areas, and then spread to areas surrounding the damage.
Proper ventilation of your basement is also key to preventing mold growth. Ensure your bathrooms and laundry rooms are equipped with fans, as well as ensuring that any appliance that produces moisture are properly vented to the outside, and not to your attic.
If getting air movement in the basement is a problem, think about buying an air mover to help keep proper ventilation in the basement.
Keeping windows open on dry days is an extra way to keep your basement properly ventilated.
Purchasing a basement dehumidifier is one of the most effective ways to stop mold from growing in your basement.
You’d be surprised by how much moisture is in your air every time you empty your dehumidifier! Residential units are perfect for a basement in a home.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in Crawl Space
- Check for leaks in the crawl space ceiling and walls, especially the plumbing components and HVAC ducts.
- Downspouts and gutters should spray water away from the foundation of the house to prevent water from flowing into the crawl space.
- Provide proper ventilation in the space, with the rule of thumb being 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of crawl space area.
- Insulate the space floor and foundation walls with plastic sheeting.
- Check the insulation biannually or annually for any water problem.
- Dryer vents should release air outside and not into your crawl space to prevent humidity readings in the area from increasing way beyond the desired 30 to 50% level.
How to Stop Mold Growth in Closets
- Open the windows closest to the affected closet before laying a tarp or protective layer on your closet floor.
- Wear a face mask for protection, especially in the confined closet space.
- Spray water into the affected areas of the closet to stop spores from going airborne.
- Prepare a bucket full of warm water with mild dish-washing soap.
- Scrub the closet mold down with a stiff brush dipped in the cleaning solution.
- Rinse the detergent solution with another round of water spraying.
- Dry up all the closet surfaces while leaving the windows and doors open for a more thorough drying.
How to Stop Mold Growth on Wood
- Wear an air mask.
- Vacuum the affected area to remove loose spores.
- Use warm water and soap on stained or painted wood or bleach on raw wood. You may also use vinegar to soften the mold up for an hour before wiping it clean or diluted bleach in worse cases.
- Sand the recently cleaned area to get rid of any residual mold. You can refinish it afterwards to prevent mold from coming back.
How to Prevent Mold Growth on Wood
- Control moisture content in wood. If they already got wet, then they should undergo kiln drying to keep the wood dry and mold-resistant.
- Use chemical treatments to effectively kill and prevent mold spores from growing.
How to Prevent Mold Growth After Flood
- Stop water or moisture from coming in.
- Discard contaminated materials that you can no longer save, such as carpeting, dry wall, furniture, food or medicines.
- Dry and sanitize the items that you managed to salvage.
- Clean all surfaces with disinfectants.
- Dry out the entire house or building for one to two days using dehumidifiers and fans to remove moisture.
How to Stop Black Mold Growth
- Get rid of the source of moisture to prevent persistent condensation.
- Seal off other parts of the house from the affected area.
- Wear a mask rated for protection against black mold spores and cover up to avoid contact with said spores.
- Spray molds in the dry area with water to keep spores from going airborne.
- Disinfect affected areas and adjacent ones with black mold remover or bleach if the latter doesn’t stain the surface.
- Put all cleaning equipment and materials in a heavy duty garbage bag and seal it properly before removing it from the house to keep mold spores from contaminating other areas.
How to Stop Mold from Coming Back
- Stop steam from going off in the house. Dry wash outside if possible. Don’t leave kettles boiling and cover saucepans as much as possible. Make sure to open a window while showering or cooking or turn a fan on to keep everything dry.
- Keep your home heated even when you’re outside to stop condensation from forming on your walls. Leave your heater at 15 degrees Celsius.
- Ventilate properly. Open a bedroom window for around 15 minutes daily or leave doors open as much as possible. Allow for better circulation by leaving a space between the walls and furniture.
- Keep everything dry. There are moisture traps you can use before moisture forms on your glass windows. It also helps to insulate your home properly and installing extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Clean the fabrics and shower curtains regularly.
- After removing mold, paint your home with anti-mold and anti-condensation paint.
Mold is an incredibly serious problem to have in any space, and needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Keep in mind, mold can grow anywhere, on my surface, including clothing, carpets, food, the insides of walls, pipes, in the ceiling, and the list goes on and on.
Making sure to tackle any spills or moisture build up immediately is also crucial. Letting moisture sit is a surefire way to invite mold growth.
Even something as simple as a wet towel on the floor can cause issues.
One of the most effective ways to stop mold growth in its tracks is to invest in a commercial dehumidifier. There are many different types and sizes of dehumidifiers, so it’s important to find one that is suitable for your space.
Overall, dealing with mold is a very important task, as it can do structural damage as well as cause health issues for anyone breathing it in.
It is crucial that any space occupied by people of any age or state of health must be completely dry and free of mold.