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Finding mold in a home may not be cause for alarm. Most molds do not pose a health problem for the average, healthy person. However, those with allergies, asthma, or other conditions that affect the respiratory system may develop symptoms when mold is present. Additionally, there are some molds that produce harmful toxins. To prevent potential health problems, avoid the musty smell that often accompanies mold, and protect walls and other surfaces. It is best to clean mold as soon as it is discovered.
A section of mold that is less than 10 square feet (3.04 meters) in size may be possible for the average person to tackle. Larger areas may be best left for a professional trained in mold removal. Likewise, mold that is hidden, such as behind cabinets and inside of walls, may be best left to professionals. The same goes for mold that has been contaminated by waste, such as sewage.
To prepare to clean mold, a person should gather protective gear, such as a cotton face mask, goggles, and gloves. If it is necessary to clean a large area of mold, a cotton mask may not be good enough. In such a case, a particle mask, approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), makes a better choice. Additionally, it is wise to seal other areas of the building off to prevent the spread of mold spores, covering any ventilation ducts as well. A window may be opened in the area to keep air circulating, and mold-free furniture should be removed from the room.
To clean mold, wash the affected surfaces with a mild detergent and water solution. Usually, laundry detergent will suffice. Allow the washed surfaces to dry and then wipe them with a bleach and water solution. This solution should consist of 1 cup (240 ml) of bleach mixed with 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water. Repeat this step twice, leaving about 15 to 20 minutes between each wiping.
As a last step to clean mold, mix a detergent containing borate with water and apply it to the affected surface. This solution should not be rinsed off. Letting it linger on the surface will help to prevent the regrowth of mold. Once this process is complete, vacuum any rugs in the area and wash fabrics, such as clothes and linens.
As a person works to clean mold, it may be necessary to throw some things away. Such items should be put in plastic bags and sealed or tied securely. The bags should be placed in outdoor trash receptacles right away.
I moved into a new apartment recently and discovered that there was mold growing behind some of the paint. The problem was apparent immediately as it spread across the walls.
I was able to fix it pretty simply by just using a dilution of bleach water. I scrubbed it on the walls and the mold went away immediately. I had worried that it might damage the paint but I had no problems.
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