Mold seems like a comparatively innocent issue. Sure, it’s ugly … when you see it. But sometimes, it’s the mold you can’t see that’s more of a problem. Mold removal is one of those chores we tend to place low on a list of priorities because it doesn’t seem like it does much damage, but it’s a little like an iceberg; you don’t always see the full extent of the problem. If you knew more about this seemingly innocuous substance, you might feel inclined to tackle mold removal more promptly.
1. Mold can cause degradation to buildings and even cause problems for the health of people and pets. You may not know it but when there’s mold in the house, you can actually breathe in the spores.
2. Mold is not ‘dirt’, despite its grimy appearance. It is actually a living organism in the family of mushrooms and you don’t just clean it, you kill it. Mold removal can be any ongoing job unless you remove the source and cause of it.
3. If you want to determine if a dirty patch on a surface is mold or dirt, spray some water on it and rub. If the patch turns slimy, you most likely have a mold removal job on your hands.
4. Mold can present as black, gray or brown spots.
5. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just get rid of mold by pouring bleach on it. Most chemicals have been proven to be ineffective against the spores over a period of time.
6. To really tackle mold removal, you have to find the source of the moisture that is feeding it. Then you have to dry it out, physically scrape off the mold and then apply the right dilutions of the appropriate chemicals.
7. Vinegar actually kills the spores and is therefore an effective tool for mold removal. It actually kills the mold without emitting any chemicals into the air so it’s a ‘friendly’ way to do the job.
8. Only white fermented vinegar works on mold. Synthetic acetic acids simply don’t work.
9. Exposure to fungi has been associated with asthma, hay fever and allergies. Spores can reach the respiratory tract and lungs, triggering allergic responses. Up to 15% of the general population have been found to be allergic to “fungi”.
10. During mold removal, always wear gloves to protect your hands. If possible, it’s a good idea to also protect your eyes with goggles and wear a disposable mask to avoid breathing in the spores.
11. When tackling a large mold removal job, investing in a pair of disposable overalls will help contain the problem as you can simply throw the overalls away and not contaminate other garments in the washing machine.
12. Removing old wallpaper could uncover a mold problem that you didn’t know existed. Not only will it reveal it, but it will disperse mold spores into the air.
13. Mold removal should begin as soon as you notice the spores so that they don’t have a chance to weaken or rot the surface on which they are feeding.
As unsightly and smelly as the spores may be, the greater motivating factor in mold removal is to maintain an environment of health and hygiene. Mold is quite a culprit in terms of allergies and respiratory problems and is sometimes overlooked. Keep your family – including pets – free of exposure to mold spores by being vigilant about dampness in the home.