Mold & Mildew: Where does it come from and how do you get rid of it?

Mold & Mildew: Where does it come from and how do you get rid of it?

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. (Source: EPA)

Mold can present problems in providing a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment. Understanding what it is (above), how it exists and how to eliminate it is important.

Ideal Conditions for mold:

  • Temperatures ranging from 40- below 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Moist Environments
  • Existing Mold Spores

Products needed to clean mold:

  • Gloves (latex, vinyl, nitrile)
  • Buckets
  • Scrub Brush
  • Broom, mop
  • Phenolic or pine-oil based cleaner
  • Chlorine Bleach (10% solution)

Hard surfaces: Wash items such as metal, glass, solid wood, plastic, and other non-porous materials with a non-ammonia detergent and hot water. Use a stiff brush on rough surface materials such as concrete. Use a Wet-Dry shop vacuum to remove water and clean items such as studs or exposed wood framing.

Disinfect all cleaned surfaces with a 10% bleach solution. Let the solution stay on the surface for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with clear water or allowing drying. (Source: FEMA)

Porous materials: This includes upholstered furniture, rugs, bedding, clothing, curtains, books and papers, and furniture made of pressed particle materials. Deciding whether or not to keep contaminated item? Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. If an item has been wet for less than 48 hours, it may be able to be cleaned, disinfected with a phenolic or pine-oil cleaner. It should then be completely dried and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors– if any mold develops discard the item.

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