In the right conditions, mold can grow rapidly in your home. When an area is warm, dark and damp, mold spreads unnoticed. If you find you have mold, don’t panic. As a mom with a new baby, your fears will take over but there are things you can do.
It’s important to understand what causes mold in a house so you can stop its growth. Once you have prevented further spreading, switch your thoughts to how to get rid of mold in house. As parents, we don’t want to use harmful chemicals to treat mold. If you are searching for natural solutions, get to the root of the cause first and then clean up with non-toxic solutions.
What is Mold
Mold is a type of fungus that is multicellular. There are thousands of mold varieties and they grow everywhere in and outside the home. What causes mold in a house? Well, mold likes warm, wet conditions and when it gets that, it spreads quite quickly. That’s why flooded homes, humid climates and unvented places are vulnerable to mold.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold is a toxic mold named Stachybotrys Chartarum. It looks black to green in color and appears in spots or blotches on fiberboard, gypsum board and drywall. Basically, it likes the materials we all have in our homes today. Black mold gets lots of hype but it’s only a real danger to those who suffer with asthma, respiratory illnesses and immunity vulnerabilities. If it gets out of hand in a building, however, it needs professional treatment. It shouldn’t be tackled by an amateur if it covers an area of more than 10 feet in one place.
Symptoms of Mold Allergy
Mold can cause an allergic reaction in around 10% of children. The symptoms include wheezing, coughing, a runny nose and headaches. If your little one has asthma or other underlying conditions, these are worrying symptoms. It is also thought that babies who are exposed to mold at a young age are more likely to suffer from other allergies in later life. That’s why it’s important to get rid of mold quickly if you have a baby in the home, or move out until it is removed.
How to Get Rid of Mold in the House
If you discover mold in your home, there are natural ways to remove it. As with most things in life, the earlier you start, the easier the job is to complete. Begin with all those things that cause the mold before you think about clearing it off surfaces.
- Repair those leaks. As mold wants it damp, remove any water. So a small drip behind a counter can be all that’s at the root of things. Fix the seals on windows and doors too if they let in a tiny amount of rainwater.
- Make sure that your extractor fans are working and are the right size for the job. In kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms you need a tip-top extractor system to remove steam.
- Purchase a humidity meter. Check the areas where you see mold, the humidity level needs to be 40% to 60%
- If you need one, a dehumidifier is essential. This portable unit pulls the moisture out of the air and turns it back into water that you can tip down the sink. You might only need the machine in certain rooms, or just at specific times of the year.
- Ventilate the room if the weather permits. Even a slim opening in the window can help.
- Run your air-con. Make sure you have a HEPA filter to maximize the good effect of running it.
- Check and change the filters in your air-con unit. It won’t work well if your filters are old or clogged up with dust, hair and mold spores.
How to Clean Away Mold
Now you have got to the bottom of the source, you can successfully clean the offending mold spores away. A cup of bleach diluted in a gallon of water works well, but if you want a more natural way to get rid of mold, these are some alternative solutions.
- The mild acidity of vinegar kills mold very effectively and it’s a natural and cheap product to use around the home. White vinegar is the clear liquid to use so it won’t leave a mark. Use vinegar on mold undiluted. Pour it into a spray bottle for easy application – you can use it on most things around the home. Leave it for around an hour before wiping off and make sure the area dries thoroughly. The smell of vinegar usually disappears quite rapidly.
- Essential oils can be used to rid the home of mold. Tea tree oil can be used for so many things, it’s a useful thing to have in the cupboard. Tea tree oil is a fungicide and all you need is a teaspoon mixed with water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution all over any affected area and leave. You can wipe away after an hour or so if you prefer, but there is no need to. The aroma is pleasant and clean, but it’s good to know that some people have a mild allergy to the oil if it gets on their skin.
- Anyone who embraces natural practices knows that lemons are ideal cleaning products. Lemons deodorize, bleach and cut through grease with ease. To get rid of mold, squeeze enough lemons for the amount of juice you need to cover the mold. Leave the juice for 10 minutes to work its magic, then rinse. You should be left with a mold-free surface and a refreshing, lemony smell!
- Hydrogen peroxide is a mild acid used for its disinfectant and bleaching qualities. You can find it in the medicine cabinet and it’s great at killing mold in the home. You only need a 3% concentration, that’s 3 fluid ounces in 100 fluid ounces of water. Soak a cloth and wet the moldy area, leaving it in place for 10 minutes. Be careful as hydrogen peroxide can damage some surfaces.
- How to get rid of mold in house using baking soda – add a teaspoon to a spray bottle full of water and shake it up. Spray the mold with the solution and scrub with a brush. Apply a little more baking soda onto your brush if it’s really stubborn. Wipe the surface with clean water afterwards or you will see powdery remains when it dries.
Take Back Your Home and Rid Your Place of Mold
There is no need to use a toxic chemical to get rid of mold in most cases. The media and large corporations play on our fears when advertising cleaning solutions for mold. In extreme cases, where your whole property was flooded for example, you should call for professional services.
Most of the time, alternatives can be used alongside addressing the initial cause of the mold. Don’t let the growth go undealt with, tackle what you see and investigate under flooring and behind cupboards just in case. But otherwise, protect your loved ones the natural way.