Control the Mold
"It rained so hard last night that now my basement is flooded!" Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it happens to many people and it can happen to you. Flooded homes and homes with rooms that are constantly humid are good candidates for the growth of mold.
Molds are fungi that release spores into the air. It is these airborne particles that many people are allergic to. Even worse is what's commonly known as "black mold" or "toxic mold". Toxic mold releases hazardous byproducts called mycotoxins. It grows on materials that are moist and contain cellulose, like wood or drywall.
Where Mold Grows
If they land on moist spots, they will continue to grow. Some conditions that enable mold to grow are:
-Bathrooms with insufficient ventilation
-Areas where there are leaks
-Clothes dryers and exhaust fans that vent under or back into the house
-Any area that has been flooded
How to Clean Mold
Make sure the room is well-ventilated. Simple water and detergent will help clean a small area. Let it dry, and then apply a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach diluted in a gallon of water to kill whatever spores remain. Do not use ammonia. If mixed with bleach, it will create a toxic gas. If all else fails, you may need to consult with a professional company that deals with mold removal.
Discourage Mold Growth
You can discourage the growth of mold by:
-Using a dehumidifier in damp rooms
-Avoid using carpet in damp rooms
-Make sure all bathrooms and laundry rooms are properly ventilated
-Insulate pipes and install storm windows to prevent condensation
It's also a good idea, if you're buying a home, to include a mold inspection before you close. Mold testing generally can cost between $300-$500.
As they say, early prevention is key. If you have problems with mold, taking care of them as soon as possible can save you money and headaches in the long-run, especially if you're someone who is allergic.
- Last edited March 11 2008
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