Mold Cleaning at Home – Important, Effective, and Safe

Mold Cleaning at Home – Important, Effective, and Safe

Of all the particles that pollute the air at home, the most attention is paid to mold. Although the topic of air quality gains more popularity in the winter months, that’s when we spend a lot of time at home. Snug and warm, we enjoy the warm home and cold winter scenes outside, without realizing that the temperature amplitude creates good conditions for mold development at home.

Mold is a type of fungus that reproduces through spores that easily spread through the air, seeking good living conditions, including moisture, warm weather, and a food source – decomposing organic matter such as dust, wood, paint, dead cells, upholstered furniture, and carpets. In most cases, the presence of mold is not a major threat to our health, but it can cause coughing, allergies, and asthma in people with weakened immune systems.

There are over 100,000 species of mold, some of which are harmful, others are more harmless, and some noble mold species are used in medicine and the food industry. Think of penicillin, favorite moldy cheeses, as well as sausages. Here it is good to mention that there is a difference between cultivated mold, grown in a controlled environment for this purpose, and uncultivated mold colonies that spoil food.

Where does mold thrive at home?

As mentioned, mold prefers a warm and humid environment. It often appears in the bathroom if it is not well-ventilated and colors the grout and ceiling. It appears in case of leaks, floods, and poor insulation between walls and windows. It is often found near appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. It is observed in poorly ventilated and humid areas such as basements and attics. Wet carpets and carpets that are not well-dried also predispose to mold development.

Is bleach an effective remedy against mold?

Some of the most commonly discussed methods for dealing with mold at home include cleaning mold with baking soda or bleach. Before rolling up your sleeves, it is important to consider the following. Bleach has a strong corrosive effect. It is suitable for use only on non-porous surfaces. Always check the expiration date before use, as bleach loses its effectiveness over time and can worsen the mold problem.

In addition to losing its effectiveness over time, bleach, as we mentioned, is not suitable for porous surfaces, meaning it kills mold on the surface rather than deep within. This can create the wrong impression that you have gotten rid of the mold. NEVER use bleach in combination with ammonia – toxic gases are released! When using bleach for cleaning, always wear gloves, cover your eyes, and ventilate the treated area.

In which cases can we handle mold cleaning at home?

If the affected area is small and on a non-porous surface, you can rest assured that you can handle it yourself. Before applying a cleaning agent or other cleaning solution, moisten the moldy areas to impact more spores. Clean with a cleaning agent or soap. Disinfect with a mixture of bleach and water, apply to the affected area with a sponge or spray, let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash it with clean water and dry it.

You can also use fungicide-type products. If you are looking for alternatives to bleach, you can treat the affected surface with vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, baking soda, or tea tree oil. In any case, it is important to thoroughly dry the cleaned surface to prevent mold from returning. If dealing with moldy carpet or soft furniture, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to save them, and it’s best to discard them.

What steps can we take to control the spread of mold?

Mold does not thrive well in a dry and clean environment, so you can easily limit the spread of spores by timely removing traces of floods, condensation, and dust. Make sure to maintain moderate humidity levels at home, especially during the winter when indoor air is drier than usual. Dry the bathroom, bathtub, and curtains every time after use.

One piece of advice – after cleaning wet surfaces, apply an alcohol-based disinfectant. Regularly clean bathroom mats, curtains, and places behind the refrigerator and stove. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. It is recommended to use professional cleaning for upholstered furniture and carpets. If you have pets, monitor their food and water bowls.

Cleaning mold at home is suitable in some cases. In others, for example, when the area is larger, mold has developed resistance to common cleaning agents, or the moldy surface is porous, we recommend consulting professionals for a professional assessment.

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