Types of mold and mold removal
At one time or another, every home can be prone to mold. Many factors can contribute to mold growth, such as a poorly ventilated room or minor flooding in the basement. If you are concerned about mold growth in your home, here are the most common types of mold and how to eliminate them.
Types of molds and where to find them
Mold can take on a variety of colors. Typically, it is black, white and green in color, while the mold growing outdoors can take on an orange hue. The mold is also identified by three names: aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra.
Aspergillus: this is the allergenic mold that grows on food or in domestic air conditioning ducts.
Cladosporium: this mold can be black or green, although black mold is not the same as black mold. It grows on the back of toilets and painted surfaces and in fiberglass ventilation ducts.
Stachybotrys atra: This is commonly known as black mold and can cause serious health problems if inhaled. It is found in its ideal habitat, i.e. warm, humid and damp areas such as basements and crawl spaces.
As for white mold, it is not a concern in itself. Technically, it is not a mold since it is in its early stages of growth and can be easily treated.
What is black mold?
Black mold is often a concern because it can cause health problems when inhaled. It is important to note that with 100,000 types of mold, many of which are black, you must use your nose to determine if your black mold is truly stachybotrys atra. This is because the foul odor of black mold is more pronounced than other molds, reminiscent of moldy, rotting leaves.
To be sure of what kind of mold is in your home, call a professional. However, regardless of the type of mold or its color, it must be removed from your home as soon as possible.
How to clean mold types
If you notice mold growth, you must first determine whether you can clean it up yourself or with the help of a professional. The size of the mold-covered area is a good place to start. An area smaller than 10 square feet may be small enough for you to deal with the problem yourself. However, contact an expert in the following situations:
If you think mold is growing in your heating and cooling system;
If mold is growing due to damage from sewage or contaminated water.
8 tips to eliminate types of mold
If you decide to clean it up yourself, wear a mask or respirator specifically designed for mold exposure. Cover your arms and legs to avoid an allergic reaction and make sure you wear thick enough gloves.
Mildew in the shower or bathroom grout can be cleaned with a half cup of bleach in a liter of water. You can also buy a ready-to-use product. Just make sure it contains bleach.
Treat mold-prone areas, such as the shower, once or twice a week with vinegar, which contains an acid that repels mold growth. Cleaning with a mixture of borax and water can also prevent future mold growth.
Mold growing on basement walls or other surfaces can be cleaned with one part bleach to eight parts water.
If your project is larger and you are removing moldy drywall, vacuum all debris with a wet/dry vacuum. If possible, use a long hose so the vacuum can stay outside to prevent the spread of mold spores inside. Clean the vacuum by discarding the filter and washing the tank and hoses with the bleach/water mixture.
Use dehumidifiers and fans to dry the area being cleaned.
Clean moldy areas before painting or caulking. If you don’t remove the mold first, the paint and caulk will eventually peel off.
If a valuable or sentimental item, such as furniture or artwork, is showing mold growth, you may want to consult a specialist. Look for one with good credentials and who is a member of a related professional organization.
Once you notice mold growth, it is important to clean it up immediately. Mold can cause significant damage if left untreated. The longer you take to clean it up, the more damage it will cause.
The best mold removal starts with prevention
Mold needs only two things to survive and grow: moisture and darkness. Basements, showers, heating and air conditioning units, carpets, ducts and crawl spaces are the main places where it takes shape. So, the best way to prevent it from growing is to eliminate water leaks or remove as much moisture as possible from your home.