Mold growth in the home can be a health hazard to your family, especially to those who are allergic to it. Respiratory problems are one of the potential hazards of exposure to mold. It’s important to be vigilant about eradicating mold from your home should you find any. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may be able to clean it yourself, or you may need to hire a basement waterproofing expert to take care of it for you.
Certain areas of the home are always prone to mold growth, and you should check these areas frequently and clean them regularly to help keep this under control. While these areas do often exhibit mold growth, they are usually not the cause of serious health problems like bigger infestations are. An exception to this would be the people whose immune systems are already overwhelmed. In this case, being vigilant in eradicating even these small areas may help in reducing their overall exposure and reaction.
Areas Prone to Mold Growth
- Check the seal on your refrigerator door and the seal on your freezer. If you see black along the seal, that is mold, and it should be cleaned.
- Mold likes to lurk on the moist environment of your shower curtain.
- Window moldings, which are exposed to frequent changes in moisture due to the weather, often harbor mold.
- Shower stalls/tracks and bathroom tiles make a good environment for mold.
- Air conditioners and the areas around them are also places that mold likes to grow. Check these frequently, because your don’t want mold spores being dispersed throughout your home by your air conditioner.
The New York State Department of Health lists some guidelines for cleaning up mold. You can find information at http://www.epa.gov/mold/index.html.
Clean Up Mold
- Mold grows because of a moisture problem. Find the moisture problem and fix it if possible.
- Porous materials that have an extensive amount of mold growth, like drywall, paper, carpet, and ceiling tiles, should be thrown out.
- Anything that is wet needs to be completely dried. If that is not feasible, it needs to be thrown out.
- Hard surfaces with mold growing on them such as concrete and wood should be cleaned. Small areas can be cleaned with a rag with diluted detergent. For jobs other than routine cleaning, protect yourself by wearing rubber gloves and a dust mask. For large infestations of mold, or if you are sensitive to mold, hire a mold remediation expert to do the work.
- In areas that can’t be kept dry such as the bathroom, cleaning with a 10% bleach solution can control mold growth. Be sure to ventilate the area when cleaning with bleach so that the fumes do not cause irritation.
- Continue to monitor the areas for regular cleaning and further action if needed.
Being proactive where mold is concerned can help keep a small problem from becoming a big problem, ensuring a healthier environment for you and your family.