Mold is a type of fungus that grows on plants and fibers and is most often associated with damp, musty locations such as bathrooms, basements and attics. Mold travels through the air as tiny spores which like to make their home in wet areas, where they will breed. If mold is spotted, it's best to nip it in the bud immediately lest it spread to other areas. It's also a good indication of a moisture problem, which should be dealt with as soon as possible.
In addition to its unsightly appearance, mold can present a hazard to one's health. It's an allergen and an irritant. Someone who suffers from household allergies or asthma will no doubt have trouble breathing in homes with mold infestations. Eyes, ears, noses and throats can become irritated as well.
To eliminate mold, you'll first need to eliminate the source. Find out how and where moisture is seeping into your home and deal with it accordingly. If the area where mold is found isn't too large, the moisture problem can probably be tackled by the homeowner. If it's a large area, covering ten square feet or more, the homeowner is well advised to contact his local environmental protection group for a recommendation. A professional who deals with mold removal on a regular basis will most likely need to be called in.
If the homeowner is tackling the mold himself, it is in his best interest to invest in a face mask of sorts. The last thing he wants to do is breathe in mold. A surgical mask, or the type used by carpenters to keep from inhaling saw dust, works well for this task. A long sleeved shirt and long pants should complete the protective outfit.
When cleaning mold, the area should be scrubbed with warm water and detergent, and then dried. An additional step of disinfecting the area by a solution of 1 gallon of water (about 3.8 liters) to 1/4 cup (about 60 milliliters) of bleach and then letting it air dry is recommended. This step can be repeated to ensure that more if not all of the mold is eliminated.
As long as the moisture problem has been eliminated, mold shouldn't be an issue anymore. If, after all of that work, the mold comes back, it's time to call in a professional. Not only will he remove all the mold, he'll eliminate the source. If the moisture isn't completely removed from the home, it's just an invitation for the mold to come back.
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