Everyone hates ugly mold; it’s unsightly and can even be dangerous. The blackish gray “soot” commonly grows due to lingering moisture in drywall, ceiling tiles, carpets, furniture, ductwork, roofing, paneling, wood, and showers. When you notice it in YOUR home, plan to 1) dry the area, 2) increase airflow and 3) kill the spores.
Dry the Area
The key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control. Mold and mildew thrive in warm, wet environments. Do an audit of your home; where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up the carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. For chronically damp areas of the home like bathrooms and kitchens, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. Also, be sure to fix any leaky plumbing as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew from growing in hard-to-reach areas like behind walls and under cabinets.
A hidden source of moisture, and therefore mold, is houseplants. They’re beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean. However, damp soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.
Increase Air Flow
Make it a habit to air out your home regularly by opening windows and doors. Also, if you have ventilation fans in the bathroom or laundry room, use them to further cycle the excessive moisture. (Be sure that they vent outside, not into a closet!) Keep shower curtains closed when not in use so they can dry. Furthermore, avoid leaving items like damp rugs, moist towels, or wet clothes laying around as these are the perfect medium for mold and mildew to grow in. Get these items up off the floor and onto racks with opportunity for air to flow around them.
Killing Mold Spores- Naturally
As you clean the dirty areas, you need to think long term. How can you kill the spores that could come back? Here are several safe and effective methods to attempt before you resort to bleach.
- Tea Tree Oil
Found in the “natural foods” section of the grocery store, this essential oil is a powerful natural fungicide. To use this essential oil to kill existing mold and mildew growth, simply add around ten drops of tea tree oil to a glass spray bottle filled with water. Spray onto hard surfaces where mold and mildew are growing and let this amazing oil go to work. You’ll still have to scrub a bit, but with repeated use, this all-natural cleaner will kill the fungus and help to prevent future growth. Remember: You’ll have to shake this mixture well before each use as the oils will separate. It works because it is antifungal, antibacterial. and anti-microbial properties kill the mold.
Inexpensive and readily available, the secret is the acidic pH of about 2.5. It breaks up the structure of the mold without harming you or your materials. Just mix with water and spray straight from the bottle, then scrub or apply with a cloth.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture with Baking Soda Rinse
Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water put in a spray bottle or a wet cloth with it and wipe on the mold. Let the hydrogen peroxide stay on the surface for ten minutes or so. Wipe off with more hydrogen peroxide then rinse with baking soda mixture of 1/2 Tsp baking soda and a cup of water. Scrub the area clean and rinse with water. Here, the hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen which breaks up the mold by oxidizing the surface. The baking soda is another natural disinfectant.
- Household Bleach
Bleach is very effective for killing mold and mildew due to chemical reactivity with microbes. It works quickly to destroy many pathogens but needs some caution, such as latex gloves and good ventilation. Tiny splatters will leave white spots on your clothes, as well.
If your mold problem is larger than you can manage, professional mold removal teams can tackle many complicated surfaces at the same time. Pioneer Restoration is a locally owned and operated full-service disaster restoration company in Central Oregon. They specialize in fire damage, water damage, and mold damage, but remediate and restore property from just about any disastrous event. The mission is to streamline the entire restoration process to get your property back to the way it was before as if nothing ever happened. Pioneer Restoration responds to any location in Central Oregon within one hour, no matter what time or day it is.