When you enter a home and it has a stale "old house" smell, you are likely smelling mold and mildew. Mold and mildew is more than a nuisance. Mold can be a serious health issue, especially for children and those who are allergic to mold spores. Attempting mold removal requires determination and planning. Most homes in New England develop mold at some point due to their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Older homes, which are also numerous in New England and Massachusetts, are very prone to developing mold.
Over the years, builders have learned how to prevent moisture and mold in homes by properly insulating and ventilating homes and using mold resistant building products during construction. Older homes lack these features, making the mold is hard to kill and keep from returning.
Moisture is mold’s best friend. To check the humidity levels in a home, use a hygrometer. These inexpensive meters are quick and easy to use. If humidity levels exceed 60 percent, it puts your home at risk of developing mold.
Removing moisture is the best way to kill and prevent mold. There are different methods to do this based on your budget and accessibility to electricity in damp locations of your home.
Dehumidifiers are the most efficient way to remove humidity from a home. A home may require several dehumidifiers to keep humidity levels low enough to inhibit mold growth. Dehumidifiers can be pricey and require electricity to operate, but the up-front cost will save you money in the long-run.
If you are looking for a way to remove moisture from the air that is inexpensive and works in a location without electricity, Damp Rid and other drying agents are a great solution. Damp Rid is a salt that absorbs moisture from the air and turns it into a liquid form, which is collected at the bottom of the container. When the salt dissolves, pour the liquid into a toilet or sink drain and flush or rinse. Refill the little bucket and keep doing this until the humidity of the room improves.
Removing Mold and Spores
Wear a respirator when you remove mold to prevent inhalation, which poses a serious health threat. Mix a combination of 1/8 cup of borax, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well and spray it on mold. Wear rubber gloves and use a brush to remove the mold debris. Vacuum the debris with a vacuum cleaner with a heap filter to keep from spreading the spores. Continue using this mixture to clean away the mold. Once the mold is no longer visible, spray the area again and let it dry.
Once the mold is removed, take the vacuum outdoors to remove the bag or dump the container and change out and toss the HEPA filter. Wash the gloves and brush in sink with vinegar and water and thoroughly rinse the sink when you are finished. Remove the respirator. Once the cleaned molded area is dry, paint two solid coats of mold and mildew killing primer on the area. Allow the area to dry completely between coats. Then paint with semi-gloss acrylic paint, which is easily washable.
Prevention is the best way to keep mold at bay. Continue to maintain humidity levels below 60 percent and tackle any new mold growth ASAP. If you have health concerns or suspect black mold, call a professional for mold removal in Braintree, Massachusetts.