Combating Mold in the Home
SANTA ROSA – Upon finding mold in their homes, people often take it upon themselves to get rid of the problem. However, when it comes to removing mold, there are right and wrong ways of going about it. Not only are some methods ineffective, in some cases, they can create a bigger problem than there originally was. That’s why it’s important to know the proper ways to deal with mold, as well as common mistakes to avoid.
The most common way homeowners try to remove mold is by wiping it down with bleach. However, while bleach is an effective cleaner and sanitizer, it’s also a toxic chemical, with a byproduct that can be more harmful than the mold itself. That’s why it’s crucial to exercise proper procedure when using bleach. Most importantly, make sure to dilute it to a 10 percent bleach/90 percent water solution, which will provide ample cleaning power without any hazardous side effects. For maximum effectiveness, spray the solution on the targeted area and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before wiping it off.
Despite bleach’s cleaning strength, it doesn’t always offer a permanent fix for mold problems. One common example is with mold growth on porous surfaces like drywall, where the fungal roots often reach further beneath the surface. Think of it like pulling weeds in your garden: even if you get rid of the visible weed, if you haven’t removed it at the root, it’s going to grow back. The same goes for wiping mold off a porous surface. In this case, you’ll likely need to call a mold removal specialist who can cut into the drywall and remove the mold at its source.
Since mold thrives in humid conditions, some homeowners attempt to dry out a mold problem by putting a fan on the affected area. This may seem like a good strategy, but it can actually cause the mold to spread further throughout your home. Since mold is a spore, when you blow air on it, you’re blowing those spores all over the place, which can create a much worse problem. A better way to combat humidity is to use a dehumidifier, which will dry the area without causing further spore dissemination.
Finally, a good measure to keep mold contained is to cover the affected area with plastic. Using a garbage bag or plastic wrap, cut out a square that matches the size of the area and seal the edges with duct tape. This will keep the mold from spreading until you can bring in a specialist to deal with the issue.