We have all been confronted with mold in our homes at some point of time. Mold isn’t only aesthetically displeasing but it can also seriously harm your health. In this article, you will find various tips regarding mold removal: how to effectively remove mold from your walls and quickly return to a healthy home.
What is mold and what does it look like?
Mold is a fungus, often green, grey or black in colour, which develops due to too much moisture. Mold can also hide invisibly in insulation materials or wallpaper. It is not uncommon to find it in damp rooms, especially in the bathroom, which makes cleaning the walls and ceilings much harder. Besides the visible indications, mold can also leave a musty smell behind. If it is minimal, it is not particularly dangerous to health, but if it starts to grow, it can cause health problems ranging from allergies to respiratory problems. If in doubt, consult a doctor.
Mold removal – How can you remove mold for good?
If it is only a small area that is infested with mold, you can set about removing it yourself. However, don’t just scrub away, make sure to get a respiratory mask and disposable gloves from the hardware store first.
To ensure that the spores in question have no chance of spreading further, wipe the mold with a damp cloth on which you apply household agent. Once the mold has been wiped away, disinfect the area with high-proof alcohol. In addition to that, the gloves and rags must be disposed of after the mold removal. Also make sure to wash your work clothes at 60 degrees to ensure no residue.
Caution: The widely praised household remedy vinegar is not suitable for removing mold! On the contrary, in some cases it can even promote growth. In this case, it is better to use agents based on fruit acid.
Find out what caused the mold
Simply removing the mold is not enough. The second step is to find and eliminate the cause. Have you perhaps not ventilated sufficiently? Then make sure to open the window after showering in the future. Is the mold on wallpaper? Remove the wallpaper and check whether the plaster is already affected. If the mold keeps coming back, you will have to call in a specialist.
In the case of larger mold infestations, professionals must get involved
As a rule of thumb, you can remember the following: If the mold infestation covers more than half a square metre, a professional must take a closer look. It is best to discuss with your landlord how to proceed. Instead of just fighting the symptoms, the causes must be eliminated, otherwise you will never find peace. Often mold can also be a sign of previously undetected water damage. Sometimes tenants are unlucky and move into an apartment which is already infested with fungi.
If necessary, a specialist will have to pay you a visit and determine the affected room’s humidity. He can even identify particularly endangered areas. In some cases, a sniffer dog is even present and gets to the bottom of the spores. Often the specialist will also expose so-called thermal bridges, for example poorly insulated windows. In this case, heat escapes faster than in other places and allows persistent moisture, which eventually leads to mold.
In some cases it may be necessary to remove the plaster from the wall to get rid of the mold completely. A special anti-mold paint can then be used on potential weak spots. This prevents mold from growing again in the endangered area. In some cases, it helps to install a ventilation system or a vent to avoid future possibilities for mold to form.
What can be done to prevent mold from developing in the first place?
Prevention is better than cure. This applies not only to your own health, but also to mold. But what exactly can be done to successfully prevent the uninvited guest?
Ventilation is the number one key to a mold-free home. Weather cooking or bathing, make sure to open a window in order to prevent moisture from lingering. The best way to ventilate is “cross-ventilation”. Open opposite windows so that there is a draught. In the ideal case you can open the windows in different rooms and leave the doors open.
However, it is not necessary to ventilate for hours. The walls must not start to cool down. Ventilate only as long as the moisture has a chance to disperse. Five to ten minutes several times a day is sufficient. In the cold winter months, five minutes should be enough. Avoid tilt ventilation as much as possible. Too little air circulates and if the window is left open for too long, the walls cool down.
Position furniture correctly: To ensure that the air can circulate sufficiently in the corners of the room, it is best not to move your furniture completely against the wall. Leave a little space, about five to ten centimetres, to minimise the risk of mold.