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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Get Rid of Mold

Mold is exceptionally common in older homes and can cause a surprising number of health problems.  For people with allergies, common symptoms can include sneezing, watery eyes, and hives, but for asthma sufferers and people with respiratory problems, they can be much worse.  If someone in your home has been experiencing these symptoms and no cause can be found, it is quite likely that there is mold in your home.  This article will take a look at mold growth within the home, including how it starts, how to treat it, and even how to prevent it.

Mold can grow during any season.  Moisture in the air caused by humidifiers and showers can create growth during the cold winter months, while elevated humidity levels during the summer create the ideal breeding grounds for the stuff.  While mold inside walls must be treated by professionals and will require a great deal of work, there is much you can do to keep it from growing in other parts of your home.

The primary places in your home for mold growth are any rooms where there is water, such as the kitchen and the bathroom.  While bleach may be able to kill mold, it is important to know that it is dangerous to the air passages and that there are solutions that will be just as effective but with far fewer side effects.  Vinegar is perhaps the best treatment for mold and is completely safe around children and pets.  Take time to spray vinegar under all of your faucets, on shower curtains, dish drainers, cutting boards, sinks, counters, and even the grout on your floors to help prevent the growth of mold.  Using vinegar to mop the floor can be especially effective.

Another important step is to run an air conditioner during summer months.  An air conditioner is a natural dehumidifier.  If you have a basement, keeping a dehumidifier running can also help to eliminate moisture here, which is one of the most common places for mold growth.  Dehumidifiers are also excellent for main floor use during colder months when an air conditioner is impractical.

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If you have carpet in rooms in your home that are prone to moisture, such as a finished basement, there are two general options to inhibit mold growth.  One option is to replace the carpet with tile or hardwood flooring.  If this is not an option for you, dusting the carpet with baking soda frequently and allowing the powder to absorb moisture for a few hours before vacuuming can be quite effective.

Removing mold growth can be frustrating and takes a bit of work.  Remembering to clean every nook and cranny and even to clean out the inside of your air conditioner can seem overwhelming, but the reward is well worth the effort.  Mold is a significant cause of health problems and can spread quickly to parts of your home where it cannot be easily cleaned.  If you are concerned about mold in your home, using vinegar to clean these areas can help you work quickly to eliminate and stop the fungus in its tracks

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