10 Tips for Removing Mold from Your Home

Remove Mold From Your Home

The removal of mold will prevent many diseases from attacking you and your family. The absense of mold will also give your home a fresh, clean scent.

Here are some steps on how best to remove mold from your home :

    • Clean Roofs and Gutters

One of the hiding places of mold is in blocked gutters or on top of roofs. Leaves and other wet debris can become trapped and stagnant, providing a great place for mold to fester and grow.

  • Watch out for compost piles
    If you have a compost pile, keep it far from the house to prevent mold spores from entering the house via the basement or walls. If you are moving your compost pile, make sure a protective mask is worn to prevent the inhilation of toxic mold released in the air.
  • Sunshine is important to reduce external moisture
    Homes that are heavily shaded by large trees or overhangs are more likely to have damp, moldy areas. Direct sunlight on the area can reduce the probability of mold. If you have mold allergies, this step is especially important.
  • Disposal of Damaged Materials
    Building materials and furnishings contaminated with mold growth should be placed in sealed water-resistant bags or closed containers while in the remediation area. These materials can usually be discarded as ordinary construction waste. Large items with heavy mold growth should be covered with polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before being removed from the remediation area.
  • Control moisture levels
    Keeping moisture levels in check is a great way to prevent mold from growing at all. Air conditioning or dehumidifiers can work as an effective check to mold growth. These appliances must be kept clean to avoid contaminating them with mold that can add to the problems for sensitive individuals. They can be cleaned through scrubbing or by spraying them with an aerosol mold remover. The ideal level of humidity inside a home should be between 35 and 40 percent. Levels above 50% allow molds to grow.
  • Remove molds with bleach
    One of the best ways to get rid of mold is to simply treat it like your toughest laundry stains. In these cases, try bleaching them out.

    The ideal solution is one cup of bleach to 10 cups of water, or a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Scrub those places inside your home where mold exists. Places best for mold growth are basements, shower curtains, bathrooms, fixtures, floors and walls, shower curtains, tile and behind the toilet; window panes, basement walls, floors and ceilings; and areas around the laundry room.

  • Clean your closets
    Mold is often found in shoes or even on clothing. Closets can be a festering ground for mold growth. If asthmatic or allergic reactions do not seem to be getting better, this may be a necessary step. If your closets are carpeted, it may be time to replace them. If mold exposure is unavoidable while cleaning, sensitive people should wear a tight-fitting facemask.
  • Inspect appliances
    Appliances that have mold inside them can increase a sensitized individuals mold allergies. Proper outdoor ventilation of indoor appliances is especially important for clothes dryers and stoves. Another potential mold spawning ground is the refrigerator drip pan, which can collect great amounts of moisture.
  • Be careful on vacations
    Vacations can be times when mold allergies or reactions worsen. This is especially true for vacations at the beach, woods, or any place where the accommodations are damp or moist. If you have a cabin that you only visit a few times a year, you should properly clean it before each use.
  • Water leakage inside your home
    Replace or remove porous materials such as ceiling tiles, sheet rock, carpeting, and wood products if they have become water logged.Drying does not remove all of the dead spores on heavily-molded carpet. Remove all sheet rock to at least 12 inches above the high-water mark. Visually inspect the wall interior and remove any other intrusive molds. This may need to be carried out by a licensed contractor. Any insulation that is damp or wet should be replaced with dry insulation.
Source: moldblogger.com

7 Tips for Preventing Mold In Your Home

Exposure to mold is more common than you think!

Your home may be infected with mold, but you don’t realize it. Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside the home. Some people are more sensitive than others, especially those with allergies and asthma. Because mold spores are very small and can easily be inhaled into the lungs, it is harmful to live in a home with high mold levels. Exposure to high spore levels can cause severe mold allergies.

How do I know if I have mold and what do I do?

Molds grow on organic materials such as paper, leather, dirt and soap scum. They grow best at warm, moist temperatures, between 72 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit ( 22 to 27 degrees Celsius).

The simplest way to detect a mold problem is using your own senses. A musty odor is one indication. Not only is mold smelly, but can be many different colors from black and gray to orange and green. Watermarks on the ceiling and walls are also a telltale sign.

Most often bleach and water can be used to rid the house of mold. The problem is this does not guarantee that the mold will not come back. The only way to keep your house clean is to prevent mold from occurring.

Here are 7 tips for mold prevention:

  1. Wet materials need to be dried quickly.

    Mold will grow within 2 days given the right conditions. Leaving your wet towel or other item lying around inside or outside the house gives mold a chance. Ever left your laundry in the washer for too long? The nasty smell when you pull it out is mold.

  2. Cleaning, disinfecting and drying surfaces prevents mold growth.

    Surfaces like sinks or floors are also favorite places for mold; more so if they are wet most of the time. Luckily these are typically non porous surfaces (tile, stone, laminate…) which makes them ideal for disinfectants and other cleaners. Some people consider the strongest and safest method of disinfecting to be a vapor steam cleaner. Once finished cleaning, make sure no moisture remains. Mold can grow faster than you think. Making sure your surfaces are dry prevents other hazards for the residents living there too.

  3. Reduce moisture levels in the bathroom by running an exhaust fan during and after showers.

    Your foggy mirror isn’t the worst problem you’ll have if you don’t use the fan during your shower. The moisture in the air is getting into every nook and cranny, the kind of places that are very hard to clean, even if you do notice the mold growing there. Exhaust fans help minimize the moisture level in the bathroom as well as the possibility of growing mold.

  4. Fix plumbing leaks and seepage to prevent the buildup of moisture and prevent the growth of mold.

    Leaks are caused by pipes that have disintegrated already. It is important to replace old pipes as soon as they show signs of being dilapidated. The moisture from a leaky pipe will travel much further than just the visible signs. No matter how much you try to keep the house clean, there are still areas that you are neglecting or can’t get to. Those are the places mold loves to grow.

  5. Store clothing, camping gear, and other occasional use items dry and clean to prevent the growth of mold.

    Thoroughly dry your items before putting them into storage. Try to put them outside or in places where there is air circulating. The last thing you want to find out on a camping trip is that your tent was put away wet last time and is covered in mold.

  6. Increase the flow of air within your home.

    Moving furniture away from walls and opening closet doors to permit air circulation limits the growth of molds. Confined spaces and dark areas should be kept ventilated. Open windows are preferable over fans and air conditioning. There should be a stable availability of fresh air coming inside the house to prevent mold.

  7. Deal with your basement!, and prevent condensation.

    Lets face it, no one likes going down to the musty basement. You just need to man (or woman) up and deal with it. Whether that means running a dehumidifier, installing a foundation drain, or getting more air circulation, don’t let that moisture remain trapped under you home. Insulating walls and installing storm or thermal pane windows keeps walls warm and limits condensation.

Other additional mold prevention tips :

You may not realize it yet but those beautiful plants you have in your home could be harboring unwanted friends and foes. Plants are great for helping to keep the air in the home clean but can also be a source of mold. Molds like to grow in the soil of our house plants and sometimes on the leaves.

One simple treatment can help keep your houseplants mold free. Taheboo tea can help to retard mold growth in your plants soil. Just adding this tea to your house plant water in a mild solution is enough to do the trick!

Source: moldblogger.com

Room-by-room guide: How often should you clean that?

It’s hard enough to vacuum and dust on the reg, but what about the less common chores that stand between you and the pristine home of your dreams?

Bathroom

Ah, yes, the room we’d all like to forget on cleaning day. “Unfortunately, cleaning your bathrooms needs to be a regular occurrence, but you may not need to clean all the bathroom fixtures as often as you think,” Dodson said. She suggested that homeowners deep clean the bathroom at least once a month, using the following tips for neglected corners:

Toilets. Spot clean as needed, but deep clean once monthly for a long-lasting shine. “Scrub with a cleaner made for toilets and a stiff brush to remove germs and mineral deposits for good,” she said.

Shower heads. Give your shower heads the attention they need by soaking them once yearly to remove deposits. Dodson stated that you can use a vinegar and water solution to knock loose the debris for ideal water pressure.

Bathtub. Surprisingly, Dodson said you don’t need to worry about cleaning the tub more than once per month, unless you want to. The main thing you want to avoid is the dreaded bathtub ring, so spray the tub with a bathroom cleaner and scrub away before stains start appearing.

Kitchen

You likely clean your kitchen regularly, but you need to pay attention to areas besides the sink and stovetop every now and then. This is super important to prevent the spread of germs.

Refrigerator. “Remove everything from your fridge once quarterly so you can effectively wipe down the inside of your unit,” said Dodson. This is a healthy habit, too, since it will allow you to more easily check for expired foods.

Oven. Don’t worry about the oven too much unless it starts producing smoke or odors from burnt-on food remnants. Dodson reported that you can spot clean as needed with an oven cleaner, or just a damp rag.

Backsplash. Look closely at your backsplash, and you’ll likely notice that it is coated with grease and dust. “Wipe it down with a good cleaner once monthly to nix the buildup,” Dodson said. Get the shine without the residue by using a chemical-free product.

Flooring

The way you clean your floors depends on the type of flooring in your home. “Feel free to vacuum any flooring in your home to remove dust,” said Dodson. “This should happen at least every two weeks in order to reduce allergens.” If you have tile or linoleum floors, use a cleaner every two weeks to mop and address spills. Wood flooring only needs dusting once monthly, and an occasional spray with a wood cleaner to create luster and remove gunk.

Household extras

Of course, there are hidden corners throughout the house. Consider the following three nasty household items that need occasional attention:

Windows and blinds. Dodson suggested you wipe down your windows and ledges once per month, but spend the money on professional window and blind washing once per year for a beautiful finish.

Toy chests. “Children carry germs, so cleaning their toy chests at least bimonthly will reduce the risk of colds,” she said. Use a simple disinfecting cleaner for great results.

Baseboards. Once quarterly, use a gentle brush vacuum attachment to pick up dust off the baseboards. “Any additional baseboard work is likely unnecessary,” said Dodson.

Source: sheknows.com

This Is How Often You Should Clean Your Home, According to Science

If you’ve been avoiding spring-cleaning since the start of the season, you’re not alone. For most of us, the thought of steaming our carpets or cleaning out the crisper section of the refrigerator makes us want to crawl under the covers and wish for winter. Almost. Since we all can use some extra motivation to get our rubber gloves on, we’ve rounded up the leading expert advice about how often you should clean everything and, more important, why. Turns out, your home is harboring more bacteria than a public trash can. Motivated yet? Take a deep breath and read on to see how frequently you should be cleaning your house. Truth time: It’s more than once a year.

MICROWAVE

Frequency: Every week

For years, the conventional wisdom was that cooking food in a microwave oven was a great way to kill bacteria and make it safe to eat. If you’re guilty of zapping days-old takeout in the microwave, we’ve got some worrying news: New research suggests that might be a myth, so keeping your microwave splash-free is crucial. We recommend wiping it down once a week, then doing a deep cleaning twice a month. Try this handy concoction: Mix half a cup of water with half a cup of white vinegar in a heat-safe dish. Microwave it on high until the window steams up, then wipe the interior with a sponge. Easy.

BATHTUB

Frequency: Every week

The toilet has a reputation as one of the dirtiest areas of a bathroom, but according to new research, it’s got nothing on your bathtub. Elizabeth Scoot, co-director of the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston, compared the bacteria she found on tubs to trash cans. You’ll want to read these findings before you take a bath. Scoot found skin infection–causing bacteria in 26% of tubs tested, compared with just 6% of garbage cans. Yes, your bathtub is officially grubbier than the trash. The verdict: Clean your bathtub as often as your toilet—ideally every week.

BED LINENS

Frequency: Every one to two weeks

Surprisingly, fresh findings suggest your bed linen isn’t as dirty as you might think. “We’ve done research that showed that you don’t get as much exposure to dust mites [when] in bed as we once thought,” Euan Tovey, head of the Allergen Research Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, told Ninemsn. He says you’re subjected to dust mites whenever you’re moving, not just when you’re confined in your bed. But before you forego washing your sheets, take note: Results vary depending on your sleeping routine. If you don’t shower after work or snooze in the buff, opt to wash bed linens every one to two weeks in hot water.

REFRIGERATOR

Frequency: Every month

Brace yourselves: Scientists say salad drawers contain 750 times the safe level of bacteria, making them one of the main places to clean regularly. Don’t wait for a spring-cleaning reminder; this part of your home deserves monthly attention.

COMPUTER

Frequency: Every week

A massive 70% of Americans eat lunch at their desk, making computer keyboards a hotbed for bacteria. One study found that keyboards harbor five times the bacteria found on a toilet seat, but 10% of people never clean them (eek!). Set aside time every Friday to give your desk a once-over with disinfectant spray. Pay attention to the mouse, too, and use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean between keys.

PILLOWS

Frequency: Every three months

Pillowcase protectors can help shield your bed from dust mites and daily grime, but don’t forget to wash the pillow itself; Wilson tells Huffington Post every three months is ideal. Depending on your allergies, pillows should be replaced as often as every six months, although he admits most people are fine to keep them for three years.

CARPET

Frequency: Every 6–12 months

We hate to break it to you, but vacuuming doesn’t count as carpet cleaning. If you don’t regularly steam your floors, research suggests that it could be harming your health. “Indoor air quality can be eight to 10 times worse than outdoor air quality. If you don’t clean your flooring, clean your drapes and let air inside regularly,” says Robin Wilson, an interior designer who specializes in allergy-free homes. That’s not all. Another study suggests your carpet could contain up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch. Have we convinced you yet? Opt for a professional steam cleaning every six to 12 months, or more frequently if you have a pet.

MATTRESS

Frequency: Every two months

You might regularly wash your linens, but what about your mattress? Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Institute says mattress pads need to be washed every two months, and that you get bonus points for cleaning your mattress while the protector is in the wash. Her cleaning hack: sprinkle the mattress with baking soda to absorb odor, vacuum it then spray the mattress with Lysol to kill bacteria.

KITCHEN COUNTERTOP

Frequency: Every day

If you’re a regular cook, chances are you already wipe down kitchen surfaces daily. That’s a great start, but there are a few key zones to focus on. According to experts, countertops are dirtiest near the sink area because people tend to use sponges contaminated with food. Be sure to wipe surfaces daily and swap out your kitchen sponges and washcloths every week!

TOWELS

Frequency: After every three uses

How often do you clean your bath towels? If your answer is every one to two weeks, science suggests that’s not enough. Researchers have found that washing your towel after only three uses removes millions of dead skin cells (yes, you read that right). Wash hand towels every three days to avoid that musty scent.

Source: mydomaine.com