Mold has a bad reputation, which is mostly well deserved. While there are types of mold that are useful to humans, like penicillin, mold is an unwanted invader in our homes, capable of ruining belongings and causing allergic reactions that include watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, skin rashes, and even asthma attacks. In particular, the dreaded black mold has been known to cause respiratory problems, including pneumonia, in people with chronic illnesses. That’s why it’s so important to know how to get rid of mold safely.
While it’s best to keep places like your shower, tile grout, and dishwasher spick and span, small spots of mold here or there—no matter how unsightly—shouldn’t cause dire health issues. But it is crucial to keep mold from spreading further. Give it an inch and it could take 10 square feet. That’s the amount of mold you can try to eliminate yourself before you need to call in a professional. Likewise, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should hire a pro if the mold damage was caused by contaminated water like sewage. Otherwise, chances are you can do the job yourself—especially with these handy tips. But when in doubt, call a professional.
Of course, a good defense does nothing but help the offense, and because mold needs moisture to grow, unless you cut down or even banish damp from your home, mold will keep coming back. Here are some of the best methods to dry out your house:
- Install vents or exhaust fans in spots that produce moisture, like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. Keep bathroom windows open when showering or bathing if possible.
- Don’t use typically damp spaces, like the attic or basement, to store belongings.
- Run dehumidifiers in especially dank areas, including the basement. Overall humidity levels should stay below 50%.
- Repair any plumbing leaks.
- Reseal grout around your bathroom’s tile annually.
- Clean air conditioning drip pans and ensure the drain lines are flowing.
- Keep your home’s gutters and downspouts clean of debris, and make sure water is draining away from the foundation.
- Act fast in the case of a water leak or spill. If wet areas are dried within two days, mold will usually not have time to grow.
While cleaning moldy surfaces, it’s crucial to protect yourself against airborne spores. The EPA suggests wearing an N-95 respirator mask, as well as gloves that reach the middle of the forearm. If you’re using a particularly strong cleaning solution, or bleach, the EPA recommends gloves that are made of “natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane or PVC.” Never touch mold without gloves and always wear protective goggles without ventilation holes to keep the spores out of your eyes.
Read more:: How To Get Rid of Mold in the House