Many homeowners aren’t aware of the severe health implications of living in a mold-infested house where some of the best home remedies for getting rid of mold are easy and cost-effective to do.
Not all people will have the same responses to mold. Some have allergies where others can withstand extended periods in an infested area. Regardless, experts like the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization agree that mold is a health hazard. They also agree that minor mold issues can be cleaned with simple household remedies.
What Are the Main Causes?
Living in a moist, humid environment is one of the leading causes of household fungi. Inadequate insulation and ventilation often result in damp surfaces where mold thrives.
Plumbing mishaps like leaking/burst pipes or flooding can also result in an infestation especially if preventative measures aren’t taken to limit the water damage.
Is Mold Testing Necessary?
Many homeowners believe that, once mold becomes visible, it is essential to identify the intensity and type. While it is true that certain types of mold are less damaging to your health than others, mold testing is typically not necessary once it becomes visible.
As a general rule, there are only two scenarios when it is necessary to have a professional perform mold testing.
- The first is if any of the members of your family show symptoms of being affected. This includes constant nasal congestion, coughing, and eye or skin irritation. People with allergies or immune disorders could even develop lung infections.
- The second reason to perform mold testing is to check if your property has been successfully restored after a plumbing emergency or flood. Even if you have involved a water damage restoration expert, it is always a good idea to perform a “clearance” mold test to ensure the area has been properly restored.
While home test kits abound, use them sparingly and at the onset of a mold problem to get some answers. But when a professional is brought in to conduct restoration, a mold assessment professional should be used for final clearance testing.
Home Remedies for Mold
A good rule of thumb is: if mold is visible, you should remove it. While involving a professional to do this is an excellent approach, many affordable home mold remediation options are incredibly useful for small areas of visible mold growth.
General Household Prevention
As the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. To avoid an infestation, here’s some things homeowners can do:
- After a major plumbing emergency, involve a professional water restoration expert.
- Fix leaky pipes immediately (no matter how small) and dry the area out.
- Ensure your windows are properly insulated if you live in a humid, rainy climate.
- Run an exhaust fan / open bathroom window for an hour after taking a shower or bath.
- Don’t dry your laundry indoors.
- When cooking, use your oven’s exhaust vent and make sure exhausts to the exterior.
- Take advantage of good air quality days and cross ventilate your home by opening some windows.
- Baking soda is a great absorber of moisture and a natural mold killer. Keeping a box open in troublesome areas is a great preventative.
- Invest in a good commercial grade dehumidifier that is designed to run 24/7.
Clean with Correct Materials
Mold removal is best done with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). It has potent anti-fungal properties, is non-toxic and will foam when destroying the mold. Add a teaspoon of the chemical to a cup of water and spray the solution onto the affected area. After 15 minutes, scrub the mold away.
Ethanol and chlorine bleach are both also adequate substitutes if you don’t have Hydrogen Peroxide handy. But for non-porous porous areas only.
For those homeowners who prefer a slightly more organic approach to mold removal, tea tree oil, grapefruit extract, and distilled white vinegar also work well.
Sometimes, semi-porous materials (like wood) may need to undergo surface restoration depending on the duration and extent of mold exposure.
Clean and Repair Tile Grout
Bathrooms are the “front line” in the battle against molds. It’s common in the small gaps between floor tiles, walls around vanity/toilet and shower stall. Keeping your grout well maintained is one of the best home remedies for getting rid of mold. Cleaning grout is easy where fixing / replacing grout takes some time but if you follow some simple guidelines can be a good, affordable long term solution in helping prevent your bathroom from becoming a breeding ground for harmful fungi.
Improve Ventilation in Damp Rooms
Some bathrooms or kitchens don’t have windows that open or exhaust fans that vent to the outside. Its more common than you think and often an easy fix for a good handyman.
Exhaust fans are one of the best home remedies for getting rid of mold and keeping a damp-prone room dry. Ensuring adequate ventilation is one of the most effective mold prevention techniques.
Discard Severely Affected Items
Porous and semi-porous items (like carpets, furniture, pillows, drapes, and other household items) are difficult to clean off mold. Many times it’s more cost-effective to just replace those items. Especially if you are worried about any future issues with those items.
Mold Removal Precautions
DIY mold removal inst complicated, but you do need to take precautions even when using the best home remedies for getting rid of mold.
- Invest in good Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- Wear clothes that you’re willing to discard afterward.
- Ensure that the room you are working in has good ventilation.
- Do not work while the air conditioning unit is on.
Still Have Mold Questions
It’s common to have a lot of questions on how to rid your home of an infestation. Contact a GreenWorks Building Biologist to share your story for specific feedback to your unique mold challenge. It’s probably what you need to give you that peace of mind you are looking for.