11 Tips For Removing Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are common household problems that can plague your home all year round. They can appear out of nowhere, affect your food, walls, and sheets, create an unpleasant atmosphere, and even pose health risks and problems like allergies, lung issues, fungus toxicity and poisoning. Before you can tackle these menaces, you have to know what you’re getting into.

Difference Between Mold and Mildew

Mold is a black or green fungus that appears fuzzy or slimy in large patches across stale food and unclean areas. Although uncommon in houses, it can form toxic infestations.

Mildew, on the other hand, is a surface fungus that appears as white and grey patches across moist surfaces.  Mold and mildew have stark appearances and can be easily spotted with their sharp colors and shapes, but some small brown patches or growths can be mistaken for dirt. 

Home Test for Fungus

To test this, dip a swab in diluted bleach (1:16 parts of bleach and water respectively) and dab it on the affected area. If it’s a fungus the spot would quickly turn paler and then return to its original look. While the test is useful for identifying the problem, it won’t help with a solution or prevention.

Treating the Fungus at Home

The trick to treating mold and mildew is to know about the places most likely to be infested. You can then treat them with the proper chemicals and natural products, and prevent such growths from occurring in the first place with proper prevention techniques.

Here is a list of 11 tips that can help treat mold and mildew:

#1 Evaluate Your Indoor Plumbing

Before getting to the infestations, you need to know where to find them. Check near the water lines, waste pipes, or plumbing connections, where the fungus is most likely to be found.

Your water should keep running while you check the plumbing and their surroundings so that pinpointing any leaks and damp spots become easier. A trick to finding mold in your home is to know that water travels in any many and all ways, even seeping through drywall. This means the mold can also grow in a leak source. Once you find the leak, get it fixed by the proper professionals. However, you can create temporary fixes with taping or metal glue.

#2 Check for Outdoor Damp Spots

Leaky walls and ceilings get infected on the outside as well. Mark all such damp spots after finding the exterior fungal growths. Estimate the rough expanse of the infestation on the outside and then search for the nearby leak on the inside.

Many commonly infected areas include decks, vents, windows, roof, and rotten wood. Ground sloping is another favorite place for fungal growth since water empties down the slopes to form damp spots.

The wetter the house gets, the more moisture is absorbed into the foundation, making it consistently damp and moist. To prevent this, install proper flashing while fixing the leaks.

#3 Keep an Eye Out for Bad Insulation

In some cases, mold and mildew can exist on your ceilings even when there are no leaks. In such case, the possible cause could be a bad insulation around any ducts near the patches.  Ducts containing cold air cause moisture to condense and deposit on the outside of the pipes, which result in dampness. This happens when the ducts are not properly insulated. Moisture can appear at non-insulated duct joints in the winters as well, where warm arm escapes.

#4 Take the Problem Seriously

Mold and mildew are warning signs of moisture issues in the house that absolutely should not be overlooked. They are highly likely to cause costly damage to your furniture, interiors and exterior walls, and invite many health problems. Simply cleaning the growth, or painting over it would not solve the issue. Instead, the source of the problem should be worked at.

Homeowners can reduce or prevent allergic reactions to mold in the home by regularly through vacuum fanatics which is considered as a great vacuuming product for home. The vacuum cleaner is considered best in this case because it remove 99.97% or more of the micro particles in a room of which mold spores form part.

#5 Wear the Right Gear

After identifying the problem, start the treatment procedure by first adorning the right equipment. Make sure to wear gloves, goggles and gas masks, so as to prevent any side effects of the antimicrobial products you’ll be using.

#6 Use Proper Antimicrobial Products

After fixing the leak sources and wiping away the excess moisture and infestation, start treating the problem with antimicrobial sprays, chemicals, and products that are easily available to prevent any mold or mildew from coming back. These may include bleach and warm water, borax solution, ammonia sprays and solutions, and hydrogen peroxide.

All these treatments can be applied on floors, ceilings, walls, bathrooms, clothes, leathers and books. Rooms with moist walls and damp basements and attics are better to be fogged. Once the moisture has been dried up, wipe and spray the area with an antimicrobial treatment. All these products are available at local home stores and hardware shops. If you are afraid of using them, you can consult with professional cleaning services like Mama Ducks Cleaning Service Fargo to do the job for you.

#7 Treat Your Bathrooms

Besides drywall, mold and mildew can infest your ceramic/ glass tubs, showers, and tiles. Use antimicrobial sprays to prevent any growths, and grout sealant to keep any water from seeping or leaking. If the infestation is large and causes tiles to chip off, it is better to refurbish your bathroom with new walls that have cement backdrops to prevent moisture seepage. Make sure to spray and seal the wall properly for effective prevention.

#8 Build with Antimicrobial Materials

For areas where moisture and leaks are recurring problems, use materials like pressure-treated wood and high-quality insulation that will prevent future leak and water problems. Ensure you have proper water barriers installed, such as paperless drywall, so mold and mildew cannot grow on such surfaces.

As a habit, always purchase wall paints with antimicrobial treatment already added in, whether you’re moving into a new home or refurbishing your old one. Use mildew and mold-resistant wall primers, and apply proper coats of appropriate paints, after which you can treat the walls with sprays, seals, and insulation.

#9 Give Natural Remedies a Try

For simultaneous treatment and prevention, there are many household remedies for mold and mildew. These also include natural products that can be easily found in your home for quick and easy solutions. Not only do they clear any fungus hot spots, they also act as natural barriers against microbial growth.

Some of them are:

  • check
    Tea tree oil can be sprayed on almost all surface. No wiping is needed, as it doesn’t stain. It may, however, be ineffective in case of people sensitive to smells, since it has a pungent aroma that sticks for days.
  • check
    Grapefruit seed extract is an excellent tea tree oil substitute since it also acts as an easy spray without having a strong smell.
  • check
    Distilled vinegar can kill up to 82% of a microbial infestation and prevent further growth. Its acidic smell can be improved with the addition of essential oils.
  • check
    Baking soda can be sprinkled as powder on damp spots or applied as a paste on affected leaks and areas. The soda must be wiped and scrubbed off after 15 minutes to avoid any residue.

#10 Prioritize Insulation and Prevention

Speaking of insulation, the number one cause of rotting growth is improper water barriers that allow water condemnations and damp spots, which mold and mildew feed on.

  • check
    Always clean any excess water after cooking, cleaning, or using the bathroom
  • check
    Do not store any extra absorbent materials that can be fungus hot spots
  • check
    Discard any old or moldy material as soon as possible
  • check
    Focus on spots that are greatly exposed to moisture, and make sure to treat the walls, ceilings, pipes, plumbing, and ducts with proper insulation
  • check
    Maintaining proper humidity with a dehumidifier can also help prevent recurrences

#11 Get Help As and When You Need It

  • check
    It is always better to get professional help, in case the infestation seems larger than 10 square feet. You can always call a professional carpet cleaning service to help get rid of any mold stains and add a treatment to prevent future problems.
  • check
    One must also get checked by a medical professional if any rashes, coughs or other distressing symptoms occur after a short or long-term exposure to these fungi
  • check
    Hire quality teams that can properly insulate and install pipework, walls, ducts etc. Get your house routinely checked by plumbers and exterminators alike
  • check
    For reconstruction, make sure to inform your installers of plumbing and mold problems so that they can accordingly install the right materials in an effective manner. This would prevent you from any fungal recurrences, future repair, or treatment costs

Now that you've removed the mold, you need to make sure it never comes back. The trouble is that it loves certain types of damp environment and thrives in areas of high humidity. You need to make sure then that moisture levels in your home remain within an acceptable range.

If you feel your humidity levels are too high, the simple solution is to use a home dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers remove excess water from the atmosphere in your home and helps keep the moisture in your environment at a comfortable level. The fact is that if your home is too dry, you expose yourself to another set of problems.

Just follow these simple steps to remove mold from your home and prevent it from ever returning.