Removing molds and mildews
By Dianne Lee, Construction Philippines
Molds can be a health hazard and constant exposure can include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. It also leaves stains and lasting stench that’s not good when visitors come. While “moisture absorbent packs” bought at hardware department store thus absorb moisture, you would need lots of it to make it work fully, and may not be economically practical. Unless you’re using it for a small box or cupboard, it may work but only for a limited time. Charcoal can also help a little but it can also be messy. Besides, to really make charcoal work, it too will require a huge sack just make it work say on a clothes cabinet – which of course is not a practical solution at all.
To get rid of the mold, get rid of the source! – It’s that simple and practical. If the mold problem is inside your homes, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
1. Consider if there is a water problem or leak from pipes or roof.
2. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%). You can do this by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside. Bottom line is increasing ventilation and the best way is to have bigger windows to let the sunshine in.
3. Clean and dry damp or wet materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. You can do this by sun drying furniture, rugs and accessories made of wood or fabric.
4. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent. An easier way is to use Zonrox Bleach (but do not use on colored materials). Follow instruction for a drop can be potent and enough to kill and remove the mold within minutes.
5. Prevent potential condensation such as cold surfaces like airconditioning, piping, walls, roof or floors. Have a professional check you can add more insulation to these piping.
6. In areas where there is perpetual moisture (like basement, and those near a swimming pool or sink areas) do not install carpet or stack papers. The only way to remedy this is to make sure there’s enough air movement in this area. An exhaust fan installed will be a good solution to move the damp air elsewhere.
7. Molds can be found almost anywhere, but the best target would be paper, wood, carpet and of course food so always keep watch over them.
Five warning signs of mold:
- Damp Musty Odors?
- Evidence of Water Leaks?
- Family Members Complaining of Not Feeling Well?
- Water Seeping Through Home Foundation?
- Constant Coughing, Dizziness or Flu-Like Symptoms?