Mold In Your Home?

It’s difficult to find someone who hasn’t at some point in their life encountered some problem related to mold.  Whether allergies or asthma, or the loss of clothing or items in storage to the stinky, splotchy stuff, mold can be found everywhere that it can find the food and moisture to support its growth.  Unfortunately, the average home and the non-plastic contents within it, such as wood, drywall, cardboard, paper, and textiles (including clothing and carpeting), are all on mold’s menu.  As previously stated, moisture is also a requirement.  This moisture can include full soakings such as occur with flooding or simply the high humidity often found in a basement or closet.

Do-it-yourself mold removal can be accomplished when the issue is on a small scale and when the factors causing the mold can be addressed.  Cleaners such as ammonia, white distilled vinegar, borax, and tea tree oil (a natural antifungal) can be used.  NEVER MIX ANY OF THESE CHEMICALS TOGETHER AS THEY MAY PRODUCE TOXIC FUMES. Further efforts such as improving ventilation and decreasing humidity with the use of fans, dehumidifiers, and even air conditioners may resolve the problem.  However, it is important to note that even when surface mold is removed, the mold colony very likely already set “roots” within porous materials such as wood, drywall, and carpet padding, from which it will grow back.  Additionally, mold reproduces via spores in the air, so despite surface cleaning, mold can relatively quickly re-establish itself in the home when the right conditions present themselves again.

Mold can leave permanent stains that may not be removable from clothing despite washing.  Efforts to protect belongings even when mold is not yet detected are very important because again, mold is always able to colonize if conditions are right.  When using the basement, or a not-much-used closet for storage, avoid using cardboard boxes and opt for airtight plastic containers.  If you must use cardboard boxes, keep them off the floor and away from cellar walls, which may draw dampness from the ground outside.  Garment bags are a great way to protect winter coats while they are stored over the summer, when humidity is typically high.

When mold is growing within walls, woodwork, under flooring, or within carpeting, it is best to contact a professional mold remediation company.  They have the chemicals, tools, and know-how to eliminate mold and they can also advise homeowners on what may be needed to prevent mold’s return.

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