Every homeowner encounters mold at some point. Outside the home, it is a vital player in the decomposition process; however, inside the home, it can wreck havoc. This article discusses how to remove unwanted household molds and unsightly stains from your home before it becomes a bigger issue.
What Are Household Molds?
Mold is a type of fungi that is not inherently detrimental to humans; it’s been used to create life-saving antibiotics, delicious cheeses, and soy foods. However, in the wrong environment, it can be devastating. Spores enter your home by any means possible: through an open window, door, or even your pant legs. Once it has infiltrated your home, it will grow in moist environments.
Some of the most common molds you will encounter are Alternaria, typically found in flooded areas and near vegetation; Aspergillus, common yellow mold; Cladosporium, the most common of all molds; Oomycete, water mold, and Stachybotrys, the dreaded black mold.
Left untreated, household molds can have terrible effects on your family. While most molds are not considered toxic, they can cause allergic reactions. Common symptoms of mold-induced reactions include coughing, wheezing, skin and eye irritation, and general respiratory illness. These symptoms can become very serious for anyone with a compromised immune system, especially children. In fact, the CDC highlights a study linking early exposure to household molds and the development of asthma.
Top 5 Tips on Removing Mold
Tip 1: Determine the Source
Before treating the stain, search for the source. For interior wall molds, the common perpetrators are often leaky roofs, windows, or plumbing. Ventilation, especially in bathrooms, can also cause growth. Once the visual sources of humidity are remedied, you can treat the stain. If the growth continues, you may have a leak within the walls. When in doubt, consider hiring a professional to perform a mold inspection.
Outdoor molds are a little trickier. Moisture is rampant outdoors, making growth much easier. Search for leaky gutters and sprinkler systems that apply excessive moisture to the structure. Also, ensure that your landscaping isn’t too close to the house. Plants can attract molds.
It’s impossible to completely remove molds from your exterior structure; however, you can prevent unnecessary outbreaks. Treat all exterior walls with mold-resistant sealants or paint. All wood surfaces should receive a water-repellent coating, such as a stain and sealant combination.
Tip 2: How to Get Rid of Mold on Wood and Exterior Walls
Pressure washing with an appropriate cleaner can be a quick solution for light mildew growth. To remove molds from exterior wood, apply a bleach solution by hand. Mix 1 cup of bleach and ¼ cup of trisodium phosphate with a gallon of water. For extensive growth, you can increase the bleach solution to a 1:1 ratio and forego the trisodium phosphate. Spray the solution onto the affected area and scrub with a hard brush. Once you’ve scrubbed the stain away, rinse with warm water. For vinyl siding, try a mixing 1-quart bleach with 5 gallons cleaner.
Use caution whenever using bleach solutions with a pressure washer. Bleach solutions can have serious negative effects on your pressure washer, and increase fading and discoloration on the materials you’re treating. For a non-bleach solution, try Wet and Forget.
Tip 3: How to Remove Mold from Drywall
Removing stains from drywall can either be simple or impossible. In an unfinished basement, drywall is often left bare and unpainted. In the event of a flood, it is impossible to salvage the drywall. To efficiently remove the mold, you must cut away the affected section and replace with new drywall. However, painted drywall can easily be cleaned with a cleaner, such as Lysol.
Tip 4: How to Remove Mold from Hard Surfaces
Molds can make even the most stunning showers grungy and uninviting. The moisture caught in bathrooms can naturally attract molds, creating infestations in your grout and around your tub. If you begin to notice molds around the edge of your tub, the surrounding caulk may be made of silicon.
Remove the silicon caulk and clean the affected area with a bleach solution and let it dry. Reseal the joints with a non-silicon based caulk. To remove molds growing in tile and grout, spray with a bleach solution cleaner and scrub with a hard brush. Mold Armor Stain Remover is a highly-rated product that can make this removal much easier. To protect against future outbreaks, seal your grout to make it more water-resistant.
Tip 5: How to Remove Household Molds from Textiles
The damage from a basement flood is often devastating. While the moisture breaks down your furniture, walls, and carpet, mold begins to grow. Unfortunately, removing mold stains from carpets can be a difficult task. When a carpet becomes wet, the fiber layer and the pad is susceptible to molds. If you’re able, pull up all of the affected carpet and pad. Let both layers air out for at least 48 hours.
Use any method you can to kill excess moisture, such as running fans or dehumidifiers. You should also treat your carpet with a mold-killing carpet cleaner, such as a Lysol-water mix. If you can, stay away from bleach. While it is efficient, it will most likely ruin your carpet’s dye.
Consider hiring a restoration professional to clean the carpet for you. Although you may be able to remove the stain, the moisture may have ruined the integrity of your carpet’s backing, making it impossible to salvage.
From spoiled leftovers to household infestations, mold can ruin anyone’s day. When removing household molds, it’s important to first assess the source and prevent any future infestations. Removing molds from wood, vinyl, or hard surfaces can be simple with the assistance of a good cleaner or a bleach solution. Carpet and drywall can be very difficult to permanently remove molds, but the stains can be removed with Mold Armor Stain Remover or Lysol.
Do you know how to kill mold on wood or other surfaces? Please feel free to share your tricks.