Do you have white mold (aka sclerotinia)? Mold is a very unpleasant subject to talk about yet it’s very important that you deal with it immediately. There are a number of different types of mold in your home and they can be very bad. Not just for your home but also for your family. There’s also the issue of why the mold is growing there in the first place. If you are having a mold problem then it is because the conditions are there for the mold to grow. You can have mold spores floating about all over the place but if the conditions aren’t prime then they won’t grow.
Why is white mold growing in the first place?
Mold of any type simply loves moist and warm conditions along with some sort of organic matter to feed off. Mold isn’t fussy in that department which is why you will get mold growing on wood, concrete, drywall, carpeting and such like. Mold is actually something that we need but it’s better for it to be kept outside. The mold then breaks down old vegetation which is good but inside the home it’s bad news.
Are there health problems associated with mold?
The mold can cause many health problems and it’s especially bad for people who suffer from allergies and asthma. If someone in your family is suffering from symptoms such as runny nose, skin rash and a sore throat then mold should really be checked out as a potential source of these problems. Actually, mold is one of the things that can be included in what’s known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS).
How do you know it’s actually mold?
If you feel that you have a bid mold problem it’s a good idea to get tested first. Some people assume they have mold but in actual fact they have something else completely. You don’t want to go to the time and effort of removing something that isn’t really a problem in the first place.
Although there are mold testing kits available on the market, it might be a good idea for you to get a mold removal expert in who is experienced in the matters of identifying mold.
I have white mold, now what?
If you have had the affected area tested and it has been confirmed as being mold then you will need to look to see what the heck has caused it to grow in the first place.
Mold, as mentioned above, loves moisture. Look to see where the moisture might be coming from. If it’s a leaking pipe then this needed to be sorted out ASAP. If you have rising damp then you will need to look at all the different methods of dealing with rising damp. If your humidity meter reads at more than 50% then you might want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier.
OK, so how do you actually kill the mold?
Using a stiff brush, you can then scrub the white mold off with soapy water. Many people will tell you to use bleach however the EPA advise against this. However there may be some circumstances where bleach is required, so make sure the area is well ventilated and also don’t combine bleach with ammonia-containing detergents as this will cause toxic fumes to be produced.
Please note that if your surface area is porous you might have no other option than to discard it. Cleaning it just is unlikely to be effective and the problem will just come back.
How to stay safe when killing white mold?
When you clean mold make sure that you do so in a well ventilated area. You should also wear protective clothing to prevent the mold from getting into your system. N-95 respirators are very good for this purpose and will prevent you breathing the mold in. They don’t cost very much money and are well worth buying. You should also wear long protective gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC so that you don’t get any bleach onto your skin. In order to prevent mold from getting into your eyes you should also buy eye goggles without ventilation holes.
Why should you never paint over mold?
If you are looking for an easy and quick solution you might be tempted just to paint over the mold and hope the problem goes away. This is a very bad idea and should not be done. You will not be resolving the problem at all. The paint will also just peel and look horrible. You really need to make sure that you clean off the mold and allow the area to dry thoroughly before re-decorating.
How do you kill white mold on wood?
If you are killing white mold on wood then you should be careful about what you use in order to prevent staining. Also, if you go overboard with the amount of water you use it can cause the wood to warp and buckle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s wooden flooring, furniture, doors or paneling. What you can do is use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the excess mold. The clean the wood with a soapy sponge or cloth. Make sure you wring out the excess water first. Then use an anti-bacterial spray to clean the moldy wood. The wood should then by dried off with a fan.