Mold naturally occurs in nature. The problem arises when it creeps into your home. (source) Mold grows in warm, damp, and dark spaces.
When mold is in your home, these health conditions could arise or worsen (source):
- nasal stuffiness
- throat irritation
- coughing or wheezing
- eye irritation
- skin irritation.
The best way to get rid of mold in your home is to prevent it from growing. To prevent it from growing, you need to control the humidity in your home.
Yes, I wrote an article about the downfalls of running your A/C constantly. However, if the humidity in your home is too high in the summer, it could be an excellent idea to run it during those times. In the winter, you may need to use a de-humidifier.
Take proper measures to control moisture in your bathroom.
If you have a window, open it after your family takes showers. If you do not have a window, leave the light and exhaust fan on.
Also, be aware of the condensation around the commode, leaks under the sink, and water that collects behind the faucet.
Hang up any damp rugs. Better yet, hang up them outside.
Be sure that your shower curtain dries properly. Use a fabric shower curtain instead of a plastic one.
Use a biodegradable cleaner to thoroughly clean your bathroom at least once a week. If you have multiple family members using one bathroom, you will need to clean it more often.
Spray the biodegradable cleaner in your shower and tub and use a squeegee to get rid of water
Avoid carpeting in areas around water. (source)
In your home, this will include the kitchen, restrooms, entryway (think melting snow in the winter), and possibly even the dining room. If you have carpet in those areas, it would be a wise investment to replace it with linoleum, wood, or tile.
If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s a good idea to invest in tile flooring in the basement of your home. If your home floods, carpet flooring would need to be replaced. Tile can be cleaned up.
Mold can also grow in your moist laundry.
Have a place to dry damp or wet clothes before you put them in the hamper. Consider washing them right away.
In addition, do not leave clean, washed clothing in the washing machine. Transfer it to the dryer right away or hang it up to dry. Mold begins growing right away on the clothes (remember, they are in a damp, cool, and possibly warm place). If you use highly scented laundry detergent, you may not smell the mold, but it will be there nonetheless.
Mold can grow in the kitchen too. Here’s what you can do to prevent it:
Avoid soaking dishes for long periods of time. Wash them as soon as possible.
Run the exhaust fan while you are cooking.
If you have a rug by your sink, hang it up to dry as needed. Wash it at least once a month as well.
Keep your refrigerator shelves dry. Clean up any spilled liquids right away.
You are not perfect, and sometimes you may see mold somewhere in your home. The best way to treat it is not with bleach.
Spray the moldy area with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (be sure to wear protection for your mouth and eyes). You may need to soak it for a few minutes.
If the mold keeps coming back or if it is covering a large area, you may need to call a professional for help.
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