Mold And Mildew And What You Should Do About It
Water and bleach are the two most commonly used items that people use to clean up mold and mildew. Three parts water to one part bleach will work wonders on your mold and mildew problems. Never try to use straight bleach or you will be over come by the bleach. Also never mix other chemicals with bleach or you may get a bad chemical reaction. If you mix bleach and ammonia it could potentially kill you.
You will also find commercial products made for cleaning up mold and mildew sold in hardware stores and stores like Walmart, Lowes, and K Mart. But if you buy those products be sure that you read the labels and follow the directions. Some of these products can be potentially hazardous if used incorrectly. Ideally you want to purchase a mold and mildew killer that is a fungicide and a disinfectant. that way you will be killing the mold and mildew that is growing and the germs and spores associated with the mold and mildew. If you don't feel confident in the job you may be able to do in getting rid of the mold and mildew in your home hire a professional.
One of the first signs that most people will notice that they have a mold and mildew smell will be the musty smell. In most cases the smell will be very strong and you won't be able to ignore it. But since mold and mildew can make some people very sick its important that you take care of it right away. If you do the cleaning up of the mold and mildew yourself you'll probally have to do a second cleaning a couple of weeks later. But if you don't stop the moisture from gathering and building up in some areas you'll never get rid of the mold and mildew problem. Anywhere that you have lots of dampness and moisture you will eventually have mold and mildew.
In some cases where the mold and mildew are very bad you will have to replace carpets and quite often some parts of the walls and ceiling. While the smell of mold and mildew isn't pleasant it does let you know you have a problem. Getting rid of the moisture is also very important. Tree's and bushes may need to be cut away from your home and you may need to install an attic fan to bring fresh air into your home. If you have window air conditioners in your home its important that they be tilted properly so that all the moisture will run outside and not back into your house. If you get moisture in your house you will develop mold and mildew.
Mold and mildew are both potentially very dangerous and you need to take what ever steps necessary to clear up the mold and mildew. You should keep in mind that mold and mildew can effect peoples health especially the very young and the very old. Mold grows on walls, floors, ceilings, and inside walls and ceilings while mildew grows on fabric only.
Both mold and mildew have spores and this is how the mold and the mildew spread. And usually when you have mildew or mold spores present you usually will have a foul odor. You may not be able to easily see mold or mildew. But if you smell a musty foul odor it is probably present. It may be inside a wall or under a carpet. And you may have to really look well to find the mold or mildew. You should know that moisture is the number one cause of mold and mildew.
People with allergies or asthma will find that their symptoms get worse when they are exposed to mold and mildew. There have even been reports that people can't breathe well and their doctors can't find the cause only to later find out that it is mold and mildew causing the problem all along. So even if you don't smell a musty smell still check around for mold and mildew.
But not everyone will have the same reaction to mold and mildew. Several people can live in the same house and it will affect some people in the house while other people in the same house won't feel any ill effects at all. But know that mold and mildew may be the under laying cause for a persons deteriorating health problems. If a person or several persons are getting sick often you may want to call in a professional home inspector to check for mold and mildew. Because you can often have mold and mildew growing inside your walls and crawl apaces where you can't see it but it may be effecting the health of people living in the house and breathing in the air.
Most people in very humid areas usually have to have a dehumidifier in basement areas. Again be sure to keep dehumidifiers emptied of the water they gather out of the air. If you have fears of mold and mildew developing have your home inspected for it at least once a year. In some houses you may need to have a attic fan installed to help keep fresh air in your attic and to help keep it dry. You may have to keep bushes away from the sides of your house and don't lay things against the sides of your home. Keep wood piles a few feet away from your house. Don't create places that will collect and hold moisture. Be sure that all drains that are intended to carry water away from your house remain cleaned out and don't become stopped up. Also check to make sure you have no broken windows in your basement to allow water to get in and collect in your basement. Water and moisture ae the chief causes of mold and mildew so you have to keep the water and moisture out.
You should know that it is very important to remove any mold or mildew that is in your home or work area. And the sooner you can identify it then the less damage you'll have. The first thing you'll probably notice if you have a problem will be a musty smell.
This usually means that you have mold or mildew growing in places where you can't usually see so you need to start looking around. And if you have mold or mildew growing in one location chances are you have it growing in multiple locations so keep looking after you locate the first place it is growing.
The very first thing your going to need to do is to determine what the cause of the mildew or mold is. Check carefully to see if you have a water leak. Sometimes a pipe overhead will be leaking and running down inside a wall so you'll have to trace the water backwards to see where it is coming from. If you have a water leak inside a wall or over head in a ceiling you'll want to call a professional plumber to take care of the leaking pipe or pipes. Even a pin hole leak can cause a lot of damage. Or if you live in a area with a high rate of humidity this can often be the source of the water causing the mildew or or mold to grow. In this case you may need to purchase a good quality dehumidifier or two for your home.
You may also need to have trees trimmed back especially if branches on the tree or trees are touching your home. You can do a quick walk around the outside of your home to see if this is the case. Branches laying on your homes roof or against the outside walls can create places where water will gather and in no time at all you can have a water leak through you rroof and mold and mildew growing inside your attic space or inside a wall or ceiling. So be sure to keep all branches on trees trimmed back so they don't touch your houses roof or external walls. You will also want to make sure all gutters are clean and flowing freely. Blockages in gutters can cause water to leak inside your home and start mold and mildew growing.
Anything you find like curtains, rugs, or other decrotive items with mold growing on them needs to be taken outside. Take your items like curtains and rugs to a professional dry cleaners and have them cleaned. In the event of severe damage from mold or mildew you may have to remove and replace carpets. In some high humidity areas where you may have a cool damp basement room you may want to remove the carpet all together and go with some other type of flooring. In some cases you may need to have a wall vent with a fan installed to bring fresh air from the outside in doors.
Mold and mildew can be dangerous to your health so wear gloves and a mask when you remove items with mold or mildew or if you are trying to clean up mold or mildew. If you have a lot of mold and mildew growing in a room of your house you need to buy a good quality dehumidifier and put it in the room. If you have a water leak or leaks that are causing the problem you must get the leak or leaks fixed so that the area can dry out thoroughly. Use box fans to help dry out the wet areas. Don't forget to check shower curtains for mold and mildew especially in homes with high levels of humidity. If a shower curtain has mold and mildew growing on it you may be better off to just replace it. Make sure that all water spigots are not leaking. Any where that you have a water leak even in a sink get it fixed. A water spigot leaking in a bathroom sink in a closed in bathroom can cause mold and mildew to grow in your bathroom.
You should cover yourself with a lightweight rain parka, wear a respirator and wear gloves when you are working with mold or mildew. The spores from mold can be potentially dangerous and can cause some people to become very sick. So be sure to protect yourself from the mold and mildew. If you think that you or another family member may be potentially ill from mold or mildew go see your doctor and voice your concerns. Mold and mildew can be potentially deadly to some people. Especially those with allergies to certain substances.
If you have a really bad mold and mildew problem you may have to call in a professional to rid your home of mold and mildew. And even then you have to find out what is causing the dampness in the area where the mold and mildew is growing and do everything you can to dry out the area and keep it dry. It may be that you have to keep a dehumidifier or two running in your home and you'll need to make sure the water storage tanks on the dehumidifier stays emptied or your dehumidifier will not work properly.
If you find that your mold and mildew problem was caused by a water leak or leaks you will want to contact your insurance agent and find out if the clean up and repairs are covered by your home owners insurance policy. Have a professional plumber to do a through check for leaks of any type and be sure that you keep copies of any repair bills so you can show them to your insurance agent and hopefully your repairs will be covered by your home owners insurance.
If you have mold growing on the seat or carpet of a vehicle you may want to start parking the vehicle in a area with full sunlight. Check to be sure that water is not leaking into the vehicle around a window or door. Mold and mildew can not grow with out a source of moisture. So if you get rid of the moisture the mold and mildew should clear up on its on. Quite often if you park a car under a large tree just a little bit of water will get in your vehicle and cause mold and or mildew to start growing in your vehicle. Move the vehicle out from under the tree and check for water leaks and the mold and mildew should clear up.
Getting rid of mold and mildew can be quite a chore. But it can be accomplished. I would strongly suggest calling in a professional to do the cleaning especially if you have mold and mildew growing in several areas. You should also keep in mind that many of the chemicals used to clean up the mold and mildew can be quite harsh. If your going to make it into a do it yourself job you will need a light weight rain parka, a respirator, and elbow length dish washing gloves to wear while you do the cleaning.
Mildew stains can be a real eyesore and its not always easy to remove the stains. This is one of the reasons that people often have to replace carpet and walls. You can start mildew and mold growing by putting wet towels in a laundry basket so be careful to immediately wash soiled or wet towels. A lot of people just don't understand the importance of keeping any moisture at all out of their house.
You can use white vinegar to get out mildew stains where you can't use bleach. Just be sure to first test a small spot that is not easily seen before you clean the entire area with the white vinegar. You can wash your shower curtains with a cup of bleach and a cup of white vinegar and get the mildew and mold stains off your shower curtains. Add a couple of tablespoons of Dawn dish detergent also to insure all the stains come off. You hang the shower curtains back up wet. You don't put them in the dryer.
After you have cleaned all the mold and mildew from a area open up all your doors and windows and let the fresh air in. If you live in a house that has damp areas all the time you may want to have a high powered attic fan installed both to bring fresh air in and to blow all the air in the house out. You can have the installer to set it up this way when they install it. If you live in a house that has damp areas you may also have to install a large dehumidifier or even two. If they have large water collection tanks you'll have to keep them emptied often so they will operate properly.
I hope if you have mold and mildew in your home that this Hub Page on Mold and Mildew and What You Should Do About It Will Be Helpful To You. Please post your comments below now.
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