The milk on the upper lip ads have become iconic. When you see it you automatically know the caption above or below the photo will say “Got Milk ?” What if you saw a photo of a basement wall or a picture of the underside of an unfinished basement floor with either a black or white substance growing on the wood or surface? Would you think “got mold ?”
Homeowners who have older homes or homes with unfinished basements that have some moisture issues may see mold in these locations. Mold grows anywhere there is some moisture, a food source, relatively warm, and lack of light. The presence of mold has no bearing on how well you keep you house clean it is a natural process that has been around since the earth was formed.
While there are numerous mold remediation companies and “Mold Doctors” the reality is that most molds are not really harmful to humans, although they can be a problem for allergy sufferers and the mold will eventually grow and eat through wood.
There are a number of ways to eliminate the mold without spending a fortune and it can be done usually using only household chemicals.
First, if you do have a moisture problem such as basement walls that leak, a sump pump that doesn’t work well during heavy rains or a basement that has been flooded due to a broken water pipe, you need to resolve the problem and minimize or eliminate the water source. Flooded basements due to broken pipes are only a problem if the floor has carpeting and the water came up the walls into the sheet rock. Then the carpets need to be removed and dried and cleaned and you may have to replace the sheet rock and the sub-wall if necessary.
Treating the mold itself is easy. You can use 9 parts water to one part bleach (scented is best) and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the affected area once a day for a week and the mold will be gone. Bleach kills the mold on contact and the diluted amount should not affect the surrounding surfaces.
After a week you can wipe down or sand the areas if wood is the affected surface and then check the surface every few days to make sure you have killed and removed all the mold. Even dead mold once airborne can be an issue for some people. Again, if you have a moisture or water problem that must be resolved first or the mold will grow back.
Of course you should also have a very effective air filter in your HVAC unit that is capable of removing any of the airborne mold and other airborne contaminants. Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems since 1985 and has a line of furnace air filters that can significantly reduce the levels of mold in your air. For more information on the complete line of air filter products and information on the various types of mold please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com