Moving into a new living space can be a thrill, but waging a war against mold and mildew can put a damper on the most excited mover and those who have already created an oasis in their homes. This dull-colored fungus often grows in basements, garages, laundry rooms and other areas exposed to high levels of humidity and darkness. It can enter your home through windows, doorways, vents and even attach itself to your clothing, shoes and pets.
The worst part is that exposure to mold can cause mild to severe reactions in people with or without allergies or sensitivities. So here are a few tips to learn how to control and fight mold growth.
How to control growth
- Control dampness levels with a humidifier, and ventilate wet, damp areas like the shower, kitchen and laundry area. Use the exhaust fan in the kitchen.
- Keep on top of leaky faucets, windows, roofs and pipes by fixing and repairing them immediately.
- Thoroughly clean and dry areas after flooding, such as when your toilet bowl overflows or after taking a bath in the tub.
- Remove wet carpets and thoroughly dry them in the sun or the dryer. Sometimes you may need to throw away a wet carpet altogether.
Natural ways to fight growth
- Pour a solution of 3-percent concentration hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and use on moldy areas. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial.
- Pour distilled vinegar into a spray bottle and spray on moldy areas. Let it sit for an hour, wipe and let dry. Vinegar is acidic and can kill 82 percent of mold species. If you hate the smell, add essential oils to the mix.
- Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a spray bottle and fill with water. Spray onto the offending area, scour the area with a scrub brush, rinse, spray again and let dry. Baking soda absorbs moisture and is a great way to clean without scratching surfaces.
- Mix tea tree oil and a teaspoon of water, and apply directly onto moldy areas. Tea tree oil is an antifungal, but be careful because it is dangerous when ingested.
- Mix grapefruit seed extract and water, then use in the same way as the tea tree oil.
Go with your nose and trust your instincts. If it smells musty and like mold, it usually is. If you've tried everything and still smell it or are worried about its growth in your home, contact an Atlanta based cleaning service for professional help.