Mold growth is a great concern for every homeowner. Not only can it lead to significant home damage and strange smells in your house, but it can also cause various health issues. Needless to say, when mold comes around, you’ll try your best to remove it using conventional mold remediation chemicals. And they are often very effective at eliminating mold from your walls and hidden home corners.
However, almost everything in this world has a catch, and many people have concerns about these chemicals. They may be effective, but exactly how safe are they? Are you doing more damage to yourself by removing the issue with nose-crinkling mold remediation chemicals? Well, read on to find out the answers to your questions.
Are Mold Remediation Chemicals Safe?
Mold remediation chemicals can be very safe, provided they are used properly. These products were created specifically to kill mold spores and were also made for safe human use. That being said, some chemicals have the potential to be harmful if the room is not properly ventilated. So, you need to follow the exact instructions of the manufacturer to prevent any issues.
One thing to keep in mind is that not every mold solution is made equal. Some can be very harsh in comparison to others, whereas others may not be as effective. For example, if you have a serious mold problem, with the spores covering a wider surface, then you must be very careful when following the instructions.
Mold remediation chemicals also have the potential of reducing the air quality in your home. Each time you use the cleaning solution, a toxic cloud lingers for hours, entering your lungs once you breathe the air. A solution would be to leave the room for the next 24 hours, but an alternative would be to use an air purifier. Units such as the Airfree Lotus air purifier can help take out the toxins so that you can breathe clean air in.
Aside from fixing the symptom, you also need to find the reason it formed in the first place. Perhaps you have a leak in your home or are cooking with steam, causing moisture to appear in the bathroom or kitchen. If that’s the case, work on fixing the problem so that future mold situations do not happen again.
You may also own plants that are increasing the humidity levels of your home. Some plants have a humidifying effect, which is great for homes with dry air, but horrible for homes where the air is already humid. You may want to relocate those plants or balance them with plants that dry or purify the air.
Solutions Used for Mold Remediation
When it comes to mold remediation, there are various chemicals that can help you get rid of the spores. Bear in mind that while most of the products can eliminate mold, they are most effective in the incipient stages. If you let the mold spread, it will go deeper into the surface, making it difficult for you to clear it entirely.
That being said, here are the solutions that can help you remove mold once you see the first signs:
Bleach can kill every indoor mold species without any problems, leaving the surface sanitized and resistant to future growth. However, keep in mind that it only works with non-porous surfaces such as tile, glass, or countertops. It is not as effective on porous surfaces such as drywall or wood, as it will only kill the mold on the surface.
Bleach is a very tricky substance to work with, as it is corrosive and may cause damage to the surface. When mixed with substances such as ammonia, it may also give off toxic and harsh fumes. You may need to wear the right protective gear and leave the room to ventilate until the fumes go away.
Borax is not as harsh as bleach, but it can be very effective in killing mold. The substance is indeed toxic when you swallow it, but it doesn’t emit harsh or dangerous fumes like bleach does. This makes it a better solution if you are highly sensitive to chemical fumes or cannot stop using the treated room for the day.
When used for mold removal, you need to mix the borax with water. One cup of borax should be enough for one gallon of water. By using a brush dipped in the solution, you can scrub the mold away from the surface until it is clean. Don’t rinse the borax away once you are done, as it is a natural inhibitor for mold.
Vinegar had antibacterial and antifungal properties and can kill about 82% of the known species of mold. The good news is that, unlike bleach, it does not give off any dangerous fumes. However, it is not as strong as bleach, which means that it may not be as effective in cleaning bigger surfaces affected by mold.
Vinegar is mostly used for preventive measures, but it can also be used for cleaning mold in its incipient phase. Pour vinegar into a spray bottle, this time not watering it down. Spray it on the problem area and let it sit for about an hour. Wipe the area until it is clean and then allow it to dry. To prevent mold from growing in the future, you may want to repeat this action every few days.
Ammonia is relatively similar to bleach and can kill mold on a non-porous surface with ease. That being said, if the mold made its way into the deeper layers, ammonia might not be able to reach there. This makes it sometimes inefficient on drywall or wood, as the mold can always grow back.
Ammonia, like bleach, also releases toxic chemicals into the air. This is why you may want to wear gloves and a protective mask while applying it to the surface. Moreover, make sure that the room is properly ventilated, leaving the window open until the fumes are no longer inside the house.
Hydrogen peroxide is a very good alternative to using bleach, as it can kill mold without harming you or damaging the environment. As it does not release any toxic fumes or leave residue, you can use it to kill mold on floors, clothes, walls, bathroom fixtures, or kitchen appliances.
Best Ways to Remove Mold
If you want to keep mold away, you should employ some good practices. After all, the best way to remove mold is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some methods for you to prevent mold from growing in your home:
Keep Humidity Levels Low
Mold thrives in humid environments, which makes your path here obvious. You need to make sure that your home humidity levels stay below 60%. The higher they go, the bigger the chances that a small mold spore will take over your entire house.
You can keep your humidity levels low by properly ventilating a room. You can open the window and allow the air to circulate, or you may install a fan. A good alternative would be to get a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the air. Make sure that the humidifier is big enough to cover the size of the room.
Fix Leaks Immediately
To prevent mold from occurring, you need to make sure there aren’t any leaks in your house, no matter how small they may seem. Perhaps you have a small leak under your kitchen sink or one behind the toilet. The puddle may be barely there, and you’ll just think it will dry almost immediately.
The problem is that the more it leaks, the more it will encourage mold growth. Not to mention that your water bills won’t be happy when you leave that leak unattended. Small leaks have the potential of becoming big almost immediately, so you should not procrastinate on them. The bigger the issue becomes, the more mold spores will grow.
Ventilate the Place Properly
Proper ventilation is very important if you want to prevent mold from appearing. As the air is passing through the rooms, the humidity will dry out, keeping moisture patches away. This will make it impossible for mold to thrive.
So, make sure to install fans in the areas that are likely to gather moisture, such as the bathroom or the kitchen. If you have an energy-efficient home, you may also be holding the moisture indoors. In this case, you may want to crack open a window or run a fan whenever you are cooking, showering, or washing dishes.
Regular indoor ventilation can also prevent mold from growing. The quickest way to immediately air out a room is to open every window in the house, leaving the doors open as well. This will allow the air to be exchanged faster, taking the moisture out of your home.
Use a Dehumidifier
Some areas are humid naturally, with you having no control over the matter. No matter how long you keep the windows open or clean the mold off, the spores keep growing. For example, the average humidity in Florida is 75% and, in the morning, it’s as high as 85%. This makes it a ripe place for mold to grow.
In these circumstances, you may prevent humidity from wreaking havoc by buying a dehumidifier. You will be surprised how much moisture such a unit can pull from the air. The more often you use it, the more you’ll notice the air becoming drier. Just make sure that you buy a unit that can handle the size of your room and the average humidity levels.
Clean the House Regularly
Messy homes and clutter can cause mold, which is why you need to clean the area regularly. Mold likes moisture, stagnancy, and food, with clutter providing for all three of them. By cleaning the house, not only do you take away mold’s hiding spots, but you also prevent the spores from appearing in the first place.
Make sure to vacuum and dust the place regularly. Use cleaning solutions when needed and ensure that the area is well-ventilated when you do so. Even if you did use a mold-killing chemical, the moist area will bring you back to square one, which is why airing the space is essential.
Get an Air Purifier
The surfaces are not the only ones that need to stay clean. The air in your house must be cleaned as well. Mold lives in the air before settling, so the best way to clean the house is to get an air purifier. This will filter out the pollutants from the air without giving them a chance to multiply.
You can run the air purifier at different times of the day, or you may run it constantly. For instance, the Airfree Tulip air purifier has a compact and modern design that will look great in every room. It’s also completely silent, so there is a good chance you won’t even notice it running in the background.
The Bottom Line
Depending on their nature, mold remediation chemicals can safely be used to treat mold if you use them correctly. You just need to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some chemicals do not release harsh fumes that can potentially prove dangerous to your health, but others do. This is why you must protect yourself against them.
However, the most efficient way to reduce mold is through prevention. You need to keep your humidity levels low while ensuring your home is clean and properly ventilated. You also need to fix any leaks the moment they appear, to keep mold away.
If you do notice mold growing in your home, the best way to go would be to hire a professional mold remediation company. This will help prevent future mold growth while protecting your health.