Mold growth in households is pretty common. Especially in countries with high humidity. If you just found molds in your house, you may ask yourself whether it is safe to live with them or not. Don’t worry, as a DIY expert I can definitely help you with that question.
Living in a mold-infested house will not make you immediately sick. But it definitely has the potential to do so. It is strongly recommended to identify and get rid of the mold from your house as soon as you can.
In this article, I will talk about what exactly a mold is and what causes it. Please give this article a thorough read if you wish to know how to get rid of mold and keep your house clean.
What Is Mold And What Causes It In The First Place?
To put it simply, molds are basically a part of the fungi family. Although some fungi like penicillin, yeast are extremely beneficial for human health, house molds are not.
Normally fungi grow in dark and damp environments. House molds have the ability to spread tiny spores through the air. The tiny spores can enter the human body and cause severe health issues such as skin rash, headache, sneezing, sore throat, etc.
So what causes them to grow? As said before, fungi need a dark and dampen place which is deprived of sunlight to grow. So any damp place that does not get proper sunlight will be responsible for mold growth.
Leaky pipes, wet carpets, damp windows, sinks, showers, bathtubs are some of the places where molds can grow. Normally these places are always wet and don’t get enough sunlight, an ideal environment for mold growth.
How Do You Know You Have Mold In Your House?
Having black spots or white fluffy stuff growing on walls is an obvious sign of mold infestation. But sometimes, mold can grow behind your walls or in hidden places. If that’s the case, you would not know whether your house has a mold problem or not even if you wanted to.
Don’t worry, you can easily detect mold presence if you have some common signs. A few of those signs are:
1. Damp Smell:
Get rid of any type of room air fresheners and take a deep breath. If you find any type of musty, earthy smell coming from the house, then it is obvious that you have a mold infestation.
2. Frequent Cough And Sneeze:
Mold spores have the ability to spread by air and reach your respiratory system. The spores can infect your lungs and respiratory tracts causing you to frequently sneeze and cough even though you don’t have a cold.
If you always find yourself or other members of your house sneezing or coughing frequently, then the chances of mold growing in your house are very high.
3. Skin And Eye Irritation:
Molds can be responsible for skin rash and eye irritation. Black molds or Stachybotrys can spread their spores in the air and cause skin and eye irritation.
Having a skin rash and a bloodshot eye along with other mold-related symptoms is a direct sign that your house has mold problems.
5 Ways To Get Rid Of House Mold:
Molds not only negatively impact your health but also look extremely disgusting. Luckily, with a bit of patience and time, you can easily get rid of house molds.
There are actually multiple effective ways of getting rid of these disgusting fungi. Some of the ways are:
1. Use Hydrogen Peroxide:
Peroxides are extremely effective on mold. They can easily eliminate any trace of the fungi and prevent them from ever growing again. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide can be used on almost any surface.
At first, mix one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide with one part of water. Properly mix the solution and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on molds and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
After that, take a hard brush and scrub off any mold from the surface. Thoroughly wipe the surface later.
2. Use Vinegar:
Undiluted vinegar is a great cleaning agent. It can get rid of mold as well as other dust and grimes. Just like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar is also safe to be used on any surface.
Additionally, vinegar can also help to get rid of the mold smell. For the best results, try to use white undiluted vinegar or cleaning vinegar against mold.
Take a spray bottle and pour a sufficient amount of white vinegar inside. Do not dilute the vinegar with water. Next, spray the vinegar on the mold. Leave it on the mold for a few hours.
Finally, wash the mold with warm water and wipe the area down with a rag.
3. Use Baking Soda:
If you do not have vinegar or hydrogen peroxide in your house, don’t worry. Baking soda is also very effective at killing almost all types of house mold. It is also safe for your children and pets.
Mix ¼ of a tablespoon of baking soda with water and pour into a bowl or a spray bottle. Apply the solution to the mold and leave it there for a minute or two. Then, scrub off the mold with a brush.
After scrubbing, apply pressure and thoroughly rinse the moldy area with a clean cloth and warm water. Make sure no residue of mold and baking soda is left on the surface.
Spray the moldy area with baking soda again if necessary.
4. Use Bleach:
Bleach is a very strong and corrosive cleaning agent. It can almost instantly destroy any kind of mold buildup.
But keep in mind, bleach can only clean mold growing on non-porous surfaces. That means you can’t use bleach to clean mold buildup on carpets, woods, drywall, etc.
Before using bleach, make sure to allow for proper ventilation. Bleach can produce toxic gases that are harmful to the human body. Also, make sure not to use bleach on granite surfaces.
Mix one cup of bleach with 3 liters of water. You can use either a spray bottle or a bucket for mixing the solution. Apply the bleach-water solution to the mold and rinse it off with a sponge.
Do not under any circumstances leave bleach solution to sit on shiny surfaces like porcelain or ceramic tiles.
5. Use Borax:
Borax is a natural cleaning agent. It does not let off any kind of toxic fumes or gases.
In order to clean mold with borax, add one cup of borax with 2-3 liters of mildly warm water. Mix the solution properly so that the borax gets completely dissolved with water. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Spray the solution on the moldy area. Use a rag or a brush to get rid of any mold formation. You don’t have to wipe the area afterward. The residual borax left on the surface will prevent any future mold growth.
These are some non-chemical solutions for getting rid of mold from your house.
Should You Stay In The House During Mold Removal?
It actually depends on the extent of mold infestation that you are dealing with. If you have an extreme infestation, it would be best no to stay in the house during mold removal.
Additionally, if you have any children or a family member with a weak immune system, you should definitely leave the premises.
Maintain utmost caution while removing mold from your house. Always wear a certified face mask and rubber gloves during the removal process.
Hidden mold infestation can sometimes get really extreme. Simple cleaning tricks may not be enough to completely kill them. Contact professional mold cleaners if that is the case.
Never forget to thoroughly check the house for signs of mold infestation before moving in.