Molds are everywhere and are an important part of the natural cycle of the planet. They play a major role in the decomposing of organic matter and if not for mold dead plant and animal remains would have a hard time disappearing from view. Mold spores feed off moisture and when moisture and poor ventilation combine, mold multiplies.
That's why mold is often found in homes and in wet places such as the bathroom, kitchen, leaky windows and basement.
When mold grows indoors spores often cause allergic reactions in humans. Symptoms include sneezing, chronic cough, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and difficulty breathing.
To avoid mold build up the first thing is to decrease moisture by fixing leaks, as cleaning will only temporarily fix the problem but not erase it. A dehumidifier also helps when removing moisture from a room.
So how do you know when you have a mold problem? Aside from the above health symptoms mold can take on many different colors and usually has a musty scent but doesn't have to smell like anything at all. Again, if you see moisture in a particular area, chances are mold is lurking.
If you find mold, here's a few suggestions on how to clean it up, a process that should only take a number of minutes for a small area.
A few necessary items may include rubber gloves, dusk mask (disposable), sponge, scrubber, cleaning agent or mild detergent, a bucket and water.
1. Tell anyone affected by mold to clear the area.
2. Proceed to sponge the effected area with a cleaner.
3. Immediately dry the area.
4. Discard moldy items and materials, including dust mask and gloves if they cannot be cleaned.
5. Take steps to prevent a recurrence. Most importantly: keep the house dry.
6. If you think the problem is fixed but weeks or months later new mold appears moisture is still collecting in the vicinity. Repeat the previous steps and search for the source of moisture. If one is not visible there could be a leak behind a wall. To test for leaks turn off all appliances, don't use the tap for an hour and a half, and check the water meter from the outset. If an hour later the meter has changed you have a leak that needs attention.
NOTE: if you find a large area with mold it may be a good idea to call on a professional, as wide pockets of mold can be extremely dangerous if breathed in directly.