How to Control Mold

Eric Babin, President, Babin Custom Builders

Mold does not pose a serious health threat to humans. However, some types of mold are capable of causing dermatitis and other allergic reactions. At the same time, growth of mold in our houses can be disturbing and smelly. This is the reason why people who live in semi-tropical areas, like Florida, should consider consulting with experienced builders. For example, Walton County custom builders are capable of giving you mold prevention tips that can help you control and prevent mold in your home.

The first step involves identification of a mold problem. Identification can be done by looking for frequent concentration of spores which seem to appear as white organic threads or clusters of little black specs and produce a musty smell. The best places to look are along surfaces where moist air has the capability of condensing on cold exterior walls. Laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens are good areas to look for mold. Make sure you do not carpet these areas.

Mold spores require moisture for their growth. A good control method involves controlling your house’s humidity to anything between 40% and 60%. Perfect environments for propagation of molds are dampness, seeping basements or leaking roofs. Since mold spores are airborne, some moisture ts can cause them to grow once they have settled on dry wall, organic insulation, carpet, ceiling tile, wallpaper or wood. Make sure you repair cracks, plumbing and ceilings. Do not forget to stop any water leaks.

Air circulation can be improved along exterior walls by making sure large objects like wardrobes are a few inches away from the wall. Clean and dry your carpets promptly when they get wet. Air circulation in your home can be improved by installation of exhaust fans in attics, laundries, kitchens and bathrooms. Insulation limits condensation potential as cold outside air meets warm inside air.

Avoid exacerbating a mold situation by stirring up spores. If you cannot afford to have the mold removed professionally, you should seal off any area that is affected from the rest of your home. Avoid inhaling spores by wearing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approved particle mask. In the event you have badly damaged furniture, do not hesitate to discard it.

In some cases, mold might affect your towels and sheets. When this is the case, you can salvage them by cleaning them using bleach and detergent that is borate-based. Note that you should never mix the bleach solution with ammonia for extra cleaning. This mixture releases chlorine gas which is poisonous. Any affected material that is not readily washable but permeable such as a mattress should be discarded. Avoid spreading spores by bagging it up before you throw it away.

Using a detergent such as laundry soap, scrub all affected areas to prevent any new growth. Make a solution of warm water and bleach in the ratio of 8:1. Use this mixture to go over all the surfaces doing it three times and waiting for 20 minutes between each application. Finish by applying any borate-based detergent available and letting it sit. If you find this to be a lot of work, you can always consult one of the many professional Walton County custom builders.

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