Operate Your Air Conditioner To Save Energy
Leave your air conditioner set to no higher than 84 degrees so it recycles off and on whenever the home reaches that temperature because the indoor humidity relative to temperatures greater than 84 degrees will be greater than 55-60%, which is unsafe for indoor conditions and can lead to growth of spores and bacteria.3
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
Different Types Of Mold
Molds come in many different forms in fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are probably tens of thousands of types of molds, if not more. Molds play an important role in breaking down leaves, plants and trees. While many molds are harmless, harmful types in enclosed places can lead to respiratory distress, manifesting itself in symptoms that include stuffy noses and wheezing. The effects will be more intense for those who are allergic to that mold or have asthma. Molds responsible for breaking down natural materials, like wood and leaves, can damage the structure of your home. Everyone has an aversion to that.
Lets take a look at a few different types of mold that you might commonly encounter in various areas of your home.
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Keep Your Property Free Of Mold
Preventing mold growth can also prevent property damage and health problems. In many cases, mold prevention may need to be a layered project, involving more than one of these steps. Take the steps necessary to protect your home from mold, and rest assured that youre avoiding some of the serious complications mold can bring.
For vacation rentals, this can be even more concerning, as you may be potentially risking the health of guests as well.
Dont see the form to download our Vacation Rental Inspection Checklist? Click here.
Yuka Kato is an Industry Analyst at Fixr.com, the online provider of cost guides, comparisons, and term cheatsheets for hundreds of remodeling, installation and repair projects.
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How To Prevent Mold And Mildew On Windows
Mold on windows is often the result of condensation. It starts by growing at the bottom of the windows, where the glass meets the window frame, but it can also grow around window frames.
The main problem with mildew growing on windows is that people sometimes do not even notice they have it. Since mold is often darker, it is a lot easier to spot it than mildew. Even though mold typically doesnt feed on windows themselves, it can easily destroy wooden frames of your windows.
Since mildew is more often seen on windows than mold, it is very important to get the discoloration tested out to determine what you are dealing with. Together with a mold or mildew test, mold experts will inform you about the best way to treat the problem you are dealing with in order to prevent its further growth.
Both mildew and mold on windows are the result of condensation thus, to prevent mold, it is very important to stop the condensation itself from happening.
First things first, in both mildew and mold prevention processes, it is important to regularly ventilate your rooms. If the weather permits, keep your windows open to let fresh air dry the window frames. Pay special attention to kitchen and bathroom windows as steam can be one of the mildew and mold triggers.
The influence of dust on mildew and mold growth is often overlooked. It is essential to regularly clean your homes interior, especially window frames, to prevent mold and mildew from finding additional food sources of their growth.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Mold
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
Unoccupied Homes Are An Invitation For Mold To Grow Especially Since Covid
The pandemic has forced many of our clients and non-clients to leave their vacation home unoccupied for an unusual longer time than we normally experience.
Florida is home to rainy and humid weather, a perfect condition to grow mold when the humidity functionality of your air condition is not working properly. As well leaking spots inside your property are the number two leading issues.
Moisture is needed for mold to grow and it is aggressive in its survival capabilities, it will eat through wood, cardboard, tiles and many more materials. That’s why at Homelax we recommend you to cool down your place properly even if you are not planning to visit.
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Wash Your Pet’s Bedding
How Dangerous Is Black Mold In Your House
Many kindsand colorsof mold exist. Stachybotrys, a black mold, has a reputation for being particularly toxic, but it doesnt matter what type of mold youre dealing withall molds found within the house bring with them the possibility of health risks and should be removed immediately.
The most likely places to find mold in the bathroom are in the tile grout, around drains, and on the walls or wallpaper. Keep reading to learn how to treat affected areas and prevent mold from growing in your bathroom in the future.
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How To Prevent Mold From Growing On Walls
The most common causes of mold growing on walls include:
Moreover, we can also thank:
We explained humidity above, so it is time to devote a word or two to other two most common mold causes.
Condensation forms when water vapor in the air meets cold surface and cools to become liquid. With enough moisture and an organic food source, you can see mold developing on your walls. The same goes for water leaks leaking pipes near or inside the wall can lead to excess moisture, which in turn will cause mold to grow.
How To Get Rid Of Mildew And Mold Without Making Matters Worse
Step one in how to get rid of mildew and mold is to fix the moisture problem thats setting the stage for its growth. This is key. You can scrub, dispose of and replace moldy materials, but until you fix the problem, mold will keep returning. The fix can be as simple as sealing up leaky air-conditioning ducts or as daunting as reshingling a leaky roof or regrading your yard so water runs away from, rather than toward, your foundation. Sewer backups and floods also set up ideal environments for mold and mildew growth.
Once the moisture problems are fixed, get rid of the moldy materials carefully. Rough handling of damaged materials will not only stir up spores and spread them even farther around your house but also launch zillions of spores into the air, where youll inhale them. One square foot of moldy drywall can harbor more than 300 million mold spores slam dunk that onto the basement floor and youre just opening another Pandoras box. Even dormant spores inhabiting dried-out materials are irritating to inhale, and if they find moist environs again, they can zip back to life and establish new colonies.
Follow these procedures when removing damaged materials :
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Use Green Cleaning Products
Cleaning products with an overwhelming odor are ironically the biggest sources of volatile organic compounds in the home. This is especially true of artificial pine and lemon products. When using these cleaners to rid areas of mold and other pollutants, you are essentially trading one contaminant for another. When dealing with mold , try to stick with cleaners that are water-based, non-toxic and non-aerosol.
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The molds need warmth, water and a food source to thrive. A closed house is warm, the summer months are humid and the house itself is the food source.
My advice to any lender, real-estate agent or caretaker is to turn the air-conditioner to at least 78 degrees or place a dehumidifier in the home. This, of course, requires the electricity to be turned on and that is an extra cost added to the declining value of the home.
If you deprive mold of any of its lifes necessities, it will go dormant. Dehumidification by means of the use of an air conditioner is the easiest way to reduce mold growth.
Once the home is sold, be careful in choosing a mold-treatment company.
My experience has shown that in 95 percent of the cases, mold-infected items need to be removed from the home, not simply sprayed or treated.
The notion of cleaning mold with bleach is untrue and untested. The water content of the bleach only helps feed the mold spores.
Molds have roots that go beyond what you see on the surface.
Bleach and other spray-on applications simply do not solve the problem.
Drywall, wallpaper, ceiling tiles and paneling are easy to remove. Wood studs, floor decking and floor joists can be sanded once the wood has had time to dry.
The wood is then sealed with polyurethane or another permanent sealant.
For more information on molds, go to www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html.
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What Causes A Musty
Thereâs nothing worse than musty odors, and as icky as they smell, itâs not good for you to breathe in either. There are several things that can cause a musty-smelling home, ranging to include something as mild as stale air in an older home thatâs been closed for a while, to more serious issues, like mold in the walls. Mold or mildew in the walls is the most serious cause of musty smells in houses. If no cleaning methods work to remove the smell, this might be why.
#1. Locate the Source of the Smell
Does the entire house smell musty or only certain rooms? If the smell is only in several rooms or interconnected hallways, it might have something to do with the structure of the house, for instance there might be a leak or black damp in the walls. If the smell is isolated to one room, it might be easier to treat the smell and cause. If the house is older and has been closed for a long time, musty smells should go away after you let fresh in and deep clean the place.
A wet towel trapped behind a piece of furniture can leach out musty smells, polluting a whole room. Check for areas of moisture behind toilets and beneath sinks, even a small leak can create a nasty musty smell.
#2. Open as Many Windows & Doors as Possible
#3. Turn on Ventilation Fans & Bring in Electric Fans
#4. Boil Lemon Peels
#5. Deep Clean & Remove Dust
#6. Deep Clean Carpets
#7. Bring in Air Purifiers
#8. Clean with Plain White Vinegar
#9. Call Signature Maids
Mistakes To Avoid While Mold Cleanup
When doing mold remediation on your own, make sure to avoid the following mistakes:
- Choosing the wrong mold cleaner. Again, bleach is not what kills mold. Cleaning mold with bleach is not going to help. The best way to clean mold is by using natural products like the ones mentioned above.
- Not addressing cross-contamination. Heres one important thing you should know. Once you start scrubbing off the mold from the surface, some of the spores will become airborne. This means that your entire home can be exposed to mold infestation. Thus, it is essential to containing the area. Dispose of all the cleaning materials and clothing you used to prevent cross-contamination.
- Not eliminating the moisture source. No matter how hard you clean the parts of your home infested by mold, it will just keep coming back until you address the moisture problems. After the cleanup, speak with a mold remediation professional to determine the causes of water problems or leaks in your house.
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Figure C: The Smart Way To Get Rid Of Moldy Building Materials
The key to removing moldy materials is containment and thoroughness. Seal off the area. Create a crude air lock door to contain spores and dust by covering the opening with a sheet of poly slit in the center, then cover that with another sheet or flap. Wear a respirator and work slowly and surely. Double-bag or wrap all materials, then wash all remaining hard surfaces with a 1/2 percent bleach solution and let dry.
What Is Mold And What Are The Causes
Mold is a fungus, and is caused by excess moisture in the air gathering on surfaces. Mildew is the most common type of mold found in homes and tends to grow in warm, damp places. So you’ll often end up getting rid of mold when you’re cleaning a bathroom or basement. Mildew will, over time, discolor and damage surfaces.
What’s causing your home’s mold and mildew? Here’s what to investigate:
- Leaking pipes that may need repairing
- Rising damp in basements or ground floors
- Rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames
- A new extension that’s still drying out
- Condensation on windows and in other areas
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How To Get Rid Of Mold From Fabrics
Whether cleaning shower curtains, cushions that might have got wet in a leaking conservatory or the remnants from a flooded home, fabrics can be successfully tackled.
Take the fabric into the garden and brush away as much surface mold as possible being outside will prevent further mold spread indoors. With washable items, put them on the hottest possible wash recommended by the care labels add a disinfectant to the wash. If this doesn’t work well enough, try soaking the items in an oxygen-based bleach product ).
For dry-clean only fabrics, brush away the mildew outside before taking the item to a professional dry cleaner.
Take Care Of Your Furniture
Each piece of furniture you have in the room should be specially treated during spring cleaning even if it involves simple vacuuming or deep cleaning.
When you are moving everything to take care of your carpets and floors, keep your furniture out for a little bit longer. Check behind your furniture for mold, and if it is mold-free, clean it with a damp cloth, warm water and mild detergent. You can find special products that you can use for different types of furniture . Before you put your furniture back, just make sure it is completely dry.
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How To Get Rid Of And Prevent Bathroom Mold
Learn how to remove and prevent mold from growing in your bathroom in the future.
Mold is infamous for producing spores that, when inhaled, can cause anything from rashes to headaches to respiratory problems. At-risk groups such as the very young or old and people with compromised immune systems, mold sensitivities and allergies, or asthma can have serious reactions to mold.
How To Clean Mold And Mildew
If you have a minor case of mold in the home and when you’ve found the source of the problem you can try the following to clean mold and mildew away.
If you can’t take the item outside for brushing, vacuuming up any mold spores with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner before you clean away the mold will minimize the spread of spores.
Leaving a small amount of cleaning product on the spot where the mold and mildew once was will also help prevent it from returning.
To clean mold from tiles, flooring and walls you can try sugar soap, using a microfibre cloth to brush it away, ensuring you clean and dry the area thoroughly afterwards.
A more stringent method is to use bleach. Start by making a solution of one part bleach to three parts water, or use a household bleach spray. Apply to the mold, scrub with a stiff brush, rinse and dry. Repeat if necessary.
Or you can use a mold and mildew spray to remove mold from walls and other surfaces around the home . The best mold sprays will give you results just be prepared that they will be temporary.
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Musty Smell In Basement
The basement in a home is a place that most homeowners infrequently visit, if at all during their average day. This is usually due to the conditions present in this environment dark, humid, moist, and generally uninviting due to the raging odors permeating from the air of this space. All of these conditions allow for the perfect environment for mold to blossom and aggressively spread within and thus the musty odor will be detectable in full force when you are exposed to the air of this indoor space.