It’s easier and healthier to prevent mold than it is to try to clean it up. This article will explore some simple ways you can use to clean your home to prevent and control mold.
What is Mold?
Mold and mildew are types of fungi. They are actually pretty much the same thing. Mildew is just an early form of mold. Mold thrives best in wet, warm environments like the shower or basement. It often appears as green or black discoloration in corners or between the grout in the shower. It sometimes produces a dank odor. Mold is easily killed from surfaces with vinegar or bleach, however, it’s important to be vigilant. It will always come back if the conditions for it are right. Mold is a natural part of the indoor and outdoor environment. You can’t eliminate it entirely. A certain amount of mold is normal and is typically harmless. Only a certified mold inspector can tell you if you have a serious mold problem or not.
Mold can grow on just about any kind of household surface. This includes drywall, insulation, wood, tiles, wallpaper and clothing. It can infest plants and food, too. In the outdoor environment, mold serves to break down materials as part of the normal process of biodegradation. In your home, however, it’s just destructive.
Mold loves bathrooms. It needs moisture to survive. One of the key ways to limit mold is to keep surfaces dry. Wipe down the shower with a squeegee after use. Open the window to circulate air and to keep the area as dry as possible. If you have one, use the exhaust fan.
Your best bet for cleaning for mold prevention is vinegar. Although bleach will kill mold on contact, vinegar is much better at penetrating porous surfaces to kill more of the mold and also to prevent its growth. Most commercial mold-killing preparations are just bleach mixed with fragrance or other inert ingredients. They’re expensive and not necessary. Just fill a spray bottle with plain white vinegar and spray it on bathroom surfaces. Let it sit for an hour before wiping it off. Avoid using vinegar on natural stone, cast iron or aluminum.
A mold problem can happen to anyone, no matter how clean they are. Mold can be resistant and tough to eliminate. If you’re smelling moldy odors even after regular cleaning, you should consider having a certified mold inspector come to evaluate the air quality in your home.