The board of health receives calls on a regular basis with questions and concerns about mold in their home. Mold is part of the natural environment; its spores are airborne indoor and outdoor and only grow in places where there is moisture present. Mold presents itself in many different colors and at times has a certain musty odor. If you think you have mold, there is no need to identify what type of mold is growing, but it is important to remove it and work to prevent future growth.
Tips to Control Mold Growth
Use exhaust fans that vent outside when cooking, using the dishwasher, or doing dishes in the kitchen area.
Ventilate the bathroom when showering. If you do not have a fan, open the window to allow the steam to exit to the outdoor.
Clean the bathroom with mold-killing products.
Condensation found on windows may be a sign of high humidity. If you see condensation, immediately dry the wet area.
Repair leaking roofs or windows that cause water intrusion.
Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels between 40% and 60%. A moisture or humidity meter may be available at many hardware stores to be used to determine humidity levels.
If you experience a flood anywhere in your home or basement, thoroughly clean and dry the areas within 24-48 hours. Use a dehumidifier or fan to help expedite the drying process. Remove and discard wet carpets that cannot dry within 24-48 hours.
Clean and repair roof gutters on a regular basis.
Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
Mold that is already present in your home can be removed with commercial products, soap and water, or bleach. The bleach solution should be a ratio of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. If you choose to use a bleach solution, remember to;
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
If you have certain items that are expensive or have sentimental value that are moldy, you may not want to use a bleach solution, but rather consult a specialist. Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books.
- Thursday, 01 March 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Webster Board of Health