Children, pregnant women, elderly people and those with existing respiratory diseases are vulnerable to molds which can produce symptoms of allergy, colds and other respiratory problems. The first step in managing mold in one’s home is to identify where they may be thriving and this should be followed by careful removal to avoid health problems.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows from spores and float in the air. Mold in homes is common because it grows in any moist surface including organic materials like paper, dirt, wood and soap scum. Its growth is encouraged in areas where humidity levels are above 70 percent and condensation occurs.
Health dangers of mold
Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions like skin irritation, cold-like symptoms and respiratory problems like nasal and sinus congestion, sore throat and coughing which can trigger asthma attacks. Some mold spores are very small and can easily be inhaled deeply into the lungs, making it unsafe to live in houses with high mold levels. Children, elderly people, pregnant women and people who have low resistance are vulnerable to the adverse effects of mold in the house. It is therefore important to clean mold and remove them from your homes.
Looking for mold
The first step to getting rid of mold is finding and identifying it. It usually emits a musty odour to the room. It can be found in areas that are damp, and these can vary from closets and carpets to walls and ceilings. Mildew is a type of mold that appear as tiny, usually black spots but often grows into larger colonies. To test for mildew, use a few drops of household bleach on the black spots and see if they lighten up after one to two minutes. If positive, you have mildew.
- First put on gloves, eye goggles, old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
- Use an appropriate mask or respirator that can filter out mold spores.
- Ensure proper ventilation.
- Remove carpets that are musty and stained. Mold growing on porous surfaces cannot be wiped out so just remove them.
- Dampen moldy surfaces before removal to reduce the amount of airborne mold spores.
- Remove mold from hard surfaces such as plastic, glass, and counter tops by scrubbing with a
non-ammonia soap or detergent. - Mold growing on wooden surfaces cannot be completely removed by scrubbing. These need to be sanded carefully. - After mold cleanup, disinfect the area using bleach and water solution or any other disinfectant. Allow the surface to remain wet for about 15 minutes to disinfect.