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Get Dangerous Mold out of your House

Written by; Joy Smithers / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Sat Oct 03 2009


After the destruction wrought in the U.S. by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a new destructive enemy emerged: the proliferation of dangerous molds in storm damaged homes. Mold can induce allergic reactions and asthma, but there is no simple way to eliminate all the mold spores in an indoor environment. And mold can cause reactions in some people whether it is living or dead.

The key to controlling mold is controlling moisture, which gives mold a good environment in which to grow. While some moldy surfaces can be cleaned, porous surfaces like ceiling tiles may have to be replaced if they have significant mold growth.

Likewise, molds on carpeting in damp areas may necessitate throwing the carpet out. If the moisture problem cannot be eliminated, then replace the carpet with a hard surface that is easier to keep clean and dry.

If your house experiences water damage, you need to do what you can to dry those areas out within two days to prevent mold growth.

Fix leaky plumbing, wash mold from hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.

When you're cleaning up mold, use a mask that will filter out mold spores and wear rubber gloves and clothes that can be washed immediately. If you dampen moldy materials with a light spray of water before cleaning them, you can minimize the number of mold spores that can get into the air.

While hard surfaces can usually be cleared of mold, porous materials like textiles and paper often cannot and will have to be removed or replaced.

Wood is somewhere in between. Scrubbing may not get all the mold off of structural wood, in which case you'll need to sand it before cleaning it thoroughly with a bleach solution of 1/4 to 1/2 cup bleach to one gallon of water. The surface needs to remain wet for about a quarter of an hour to allow proper disinfection. Wear rubber gloves and make sure you are in an adequately ventilated area.

After the solution has sat on the surface for 15 minutes, rinse with plain water, then dry the surfaces as much as you can with clean rags or paper towels. Run fans or dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the area.

Remember: mold isn't just unsightly. It can also be a health hazard. Serious mold issues should be addressed as should the excess moisture that makes the mold grow.


Copyright: 2009

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