Molds are microorganisms found everywhere and which can grow on almost everything moist. You will find them growing on damp surfaces such as kitchen, bathroom walls, around your window, your basements, and so on. Fungus at home is a result of excessive moisture triggered by damp, cold, and dark conditions. Your bathroom and loft spaces are the main areas affected by fungus since they lack ventilation and airflow.
Fungus leads to smudges, stains, and discoloration on your ceilings, walls, as well as carpets.
How Mold Gets Into Your Home
If many people are living in your home, you are likely to experience mold. Human beings release a lot of moisture in the air when breathing, during long hot showers, and when cooking with uncovered pots. Moisture is also released when we dry clothes indoors, use humidifiers or store wet firewood. We also make room for molds to grow by watering several plants and storing vegetables such as squash and potatoes in the house.
How To Tell That You Have A Mold Problem
You will know that there is a mold problem in your home when you experience the following;
1. Mold on ceilings, walls, floors, or carpets. You could also notice a musty smell in these areas.
2. Mold in your basement, especially if there is flooding due to rain. Moisture can seep through your foundation and cause mold at the bottom of your carpet and walls.
3. Leaks in your plumbing and roof will cause mold to grow if the water is trapped under your carpets or inside the walls. Although you may not see the mold, there may be a strong, musty odor or light stains.
4. Water damage around your doors or windows. Moist air can get onto these surfaces during winter and cause molds to grow.
How To Prevent The Fungus From Growing In Your Home
Winter comes with damp, dark, and dreary weather, which could be ideal for mold growth. Mold and mildew pose health risks such as sinus infections, eye irritation, headaches, and respiratory diseases. Mold is especially problematic for the elderly, infants, and those having respiratory issues. This problem could also damage your furniture and your home’s structural integrity.
Here’s how to stop fungus from growing in your home;
1. Ventilate your homes by opening the windows even when it is cold. Aerate your bathrooms and kitchens when taking a shower and cooking, respectively. You can also retro-fit air vents into your windows, which help to let heat out.
2. Keep your home dry by repairing plumbing leaks and roofs. Ensure that the area around your home’s foundation slopes away to prevent flooding in the basement
3. If you have fans in your kitchen, bathrooms, or windows, use them when cooking or showering. If you have no fans, open the windows when showering or cooking and make sure that the cooking pots are covered. You may also take a short cool shower and hang your wet clothes outside.
4. Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from your basement if it is damp. You can also use an air conditioner during summer to drive out moisture as it cools the air. Make sure that the windows are closed when using a conditioner or dehumidifier if it is damp outside.
5. Ensure that your basement is very dry before finishing it. Do not finish a wet basement with wallboard and insulation and avoid putting wall-to-wall carpet on the floor. You can paint your basement floor and use rugs if it is made of concrete.
6. Equip your home with fungus-resistant products such as mold-resistant sheetrock, mold-resistant drywall, as well as mold inhibitors for paints. You can use moisture-resistant drywall in bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and laundry rooms since they are more prone to molds. You may also want to use a mold-resistant gypsum board, which helps prevent the absorption of moisture and inhibit mold growth.
7. Enhance airflow in your home by opening doors between rooms, moving your furniture away from the walls, and opening doors to closets. Fresh air reduces moisture and keeps the mold away.
8. Keep off household plants from your home since moist soil is a perfect breeding ground for fungus. You can also add Taheebo tea to the water you give to your plants instead of keeping them away. Oil from the Taheebo tree endures fungi even in rain forests. It also helps to prevent the growth of mold in plant soil. You can get this product from food stores.
9. Maintain your indoor humidity at 30 and 60 percent. You can purchase a moisture meter from your local hardware store. You may also detect high humidity by observing potential areas such as your bathrooms, kitchen, the bottom of your carpet, or the basement. If you notice condensation on your pipes, windows, and walls, this is a telltale sign of mold. Dry the surface immediately and deal with the source of moisture by turning off the humidifier.
How To Get Rid Of Mold From Your Home
You will get rid of mold problems in your home and protect yourself and others by doing the following;
Cleaning Your Surfaces
Ensure that you scrub all moldy areas with a stiff brush, soap/detergent (should not have ammonia), and hot water. Collect any used liquid with a mop/sponge or a wet/dry vacuum. Rinse all parts with clean water and dry completely.
Disinfect Your Surfaces
Once you have cleaned the affected areas, wipe the ceiling, wall, and floors with a mixture of household chlorine bleach and water as follows;
|Space to clean||Volume of water||Amount of bleach|
|A small area||5-cups||½-cup|
|Large area||5-gallons||½ gallon|
1. Ensure that you follow the directions and warnings on the label of the bleach
2. Never mix bleach with ammonia as this produces toxic fumes.
3. Ensure all the windows are open when using bleaches to get fresh breathing air and prevent your lungs from the effects of bleach.
4. Be careful when handling bleach.
Discard What Can’t Be Cleaned
Some materials like mattresses and carpets cannot be cleaned when they get mold. Throw them away to get rid of the fungus.
Let Your Surfaces To Air-Dry.
After cleaning your surfaces with bleach, allow them to air-dry. Doing this gives enough time for the bleach to work.
Clean Any Fabrics Items That Have Mold
You can wash or dry-clean your clothes, curtains, drapes, and beddings to remove molds.
Effects Of Mold On Your Health
Mold poses health issues, especially for those with existing respiratory problems, weakened immune system, or an allergy. The following are the effects of mold on health;
Unstable organic compounds, cells, spores, and fragments can enter the air as mold grows. These substances can produce irritants, mycotoxins, and allergens, which can be poisonous to sensitive people.
Mold also causes dampness that leads to material breakdown and increases the volume of dust or particles in the air. These particles irritate the nose, throat, and lungs. A person who has a breathing issuse such as chronic lung condition or asthma is at risk.
Aspergillosis is a serious health condition caused by some molds, such as aspergillus. When a person with a weakened immune system breathes in this fungus’s spores, it causes a severe reaction. There are different types of aspergillosis, such as:
1. Allergic Aspergillus Sinusitis which affects the nose and can cause headache
2. Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) that affects the lungs and causes breathing difficulties
3. Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis whose symptoms are cough, breathing problems, and weight loss
4. Fungus Ball Or Aspergilloma which causes a cough that may lead to the production of blood and breathing issues
A person who is allergic or sensitive can react to mold. The mold-related particles can affect the upper respiratory tract. Some of the symptoms include; itchy nose, running/blocked nose, itchy throat, watery eyes, and sneezing. Mold can lead to an asthma attack when it accumulates in the environment. A lot of dust in the air can lead to dust mites known to trigger allergic reactions.
Production Of Bacteria And Microbes
Mold leads to the production of bacteria and microbes, which can trigger inflammation in some people. According to WHO (World Health Organization), mold produces microbial agents that increase the risk of fungal and bronchial infections.
Mold may lead to bronchitis, allergic alveolitis, allergic fungal sinusitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It can also cause problems in the lower respiratory tract in children. Evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that people who are exposed to mold environment show symptoms of;
4. Skin and eye irritation
8. Sick-building syndrome
9. Mucous membrane irritation
Mold hurts people’s health, especially those with existing respiratory issues. It is brought about by excess humidity in the environment, and one should do all they can to prevent it. However, if there is mold in your home already, follow the above methods to get rid of it, and protect your family and self from its effects.