4 Ways To Prevent Mold And Mildew In Your Home
Mold and mildew should never be given a foothold in your precious home; they’ll end up wreaking havoc with clothing, bedding, furniture, upholstery, even the infrastructure of your house. Worse still, they can severely exacerbate problems with asthma, allergies, and other health concerns. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about this persistent problem.
How do I prevent mold in my house?
The most effective way to do this is to reduce the amount of moisture in your home. Spores and mold can’t grow without moisture, so even if you clear out the mold without tackling the moisture, it will in time return! Having at least one or two dehumidifiers in your house is a very good idea, especially if you live in a hotter, more humid part of the country. A portable air conditioner or smart air conditioners are also useful weapons in this ongoing fight because such things will help you maintain your indoor humidity to less than 60%, which is where it needs to be. To check the humidity in your home it’s worthwhile investing in a hygrometer, available at most hardware stores.
In colder months you’ll need to keep your house at a consistently warm temperature, via a space heater or similar device. Loft insulation can be installed, as well as thick rugs on floors (if they’re tiled or laminate), and ‘door snakes’ beneath doors to prevent draughts. When cooking, ensure that an exhaust fan carries humidity out into the open air rather than letting it embed itself in the infrastructure of your house.
Your basement ought to be painted over if it has concrete flooring; this will form some protective layering. If you want to fit a carpet in your basement, it is prudent to install a vapor barrier over it first, then sub-flooring (plywood containing insulation), which prevents moisture. Meanwhile, outside your house have your guttering cleaned once per year, depending on how many trees you have in your area; ensure that the gutters are leading water away from your house, and are in proper working order.
Can you get sick from mold in your house?
Mold that can develop on your shower curtain, basement floor, or kitchen drain, is not just ugly and unpleasant; it can even make asthma worse and irritate existing allergies; nose, skin, lungs, throat, and eyes can all be affected. Symptoms can involve a runny nose, skin rash, red eyes, sneezing; for some, it could lead to asthma attacks or shortness of breath. As well as asthmatics, other people who are especially at risk are elderly folk, very young kids, or those whose immune systems might be compromised due to lung disease, liver disease, cancer, or HIV.
Do air purifiers help with mold?
Air purifiers can help solve the symptoms of mold, not the cause. The root cure must involve stripping out any mold-infected areas, thoroughly cleaning with a bleach solution. Affected rugs, carpets, etc. ought to be thrown away because they’re too intricate to be fully cleansed of mold; leaky pipes, damp walls, or high humidity need to be treated properly or even replaced. When it comes to mold spores that’s another story because they’re in the air! HEPA Air purifiers can help to purge the air of mold spores, which is great news. Their filters will have to be changed more frequently, though, but it is worth it. It might be good to have an air purifier permanently stationed in your basement, due to the lack of sunlight and airflow from which it can suffer.
What kills mold instantly?
Hydrogen peroxide has anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, so can be used to great effect in your kitchen, bathroom, particularly on walls, floors, and fixtures. Mix 3% of hydrogen peroxide with 97% of water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray any affected surface and leave for ten minutes before thoroughly wiping down.
Vinegar reputedly kills 82% of mold species due to its mildly acidic properties. Distilled vinegar can be poured straight into a spray bottle, without mixing it with anything else. After spraying suspected areas, leave for 60 minutes before a thorough wipe-down. The vinegary smell should be gone with a couple of hours.
Baking Soda; a mild, white mineral powder, can work instead of vinegar, or even in combination with it. It is safe for pets and children (if they accidentally touch it). Mix a quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda with water in a spray bottle, then spray liberally on to the various surfaces and employ a scrub brush with plenty of old-fashioned elbow grease. Rinse the surface to purge any lingering mold from the surfaces and it should then be in tip-top condition.
Hopefully, this has given you more of an insight into the mold and mildew saga that can affect homes. They shouldn’t be tolerated for a second and there is a range of solutions you can immediately employ.