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Mold. How Serious Is It Really?

Many people actually live in a home with mold and never realize it’s there. They ignore the warning signs until the problem reaches a point where the mold is affecting their health.Mold can trigger allergies, headaches, rashes, and asthma attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Certain types of mold can even cause brain infections and sepsis (blood poisoning).  If you discover mold, it should be addressed immediately.  Let’s learn about mold…

Where is mold normally present?

Most houses contain mold to some degree.  Mold forms under varying conditions of moisture, ventilation, and temperature.  Unfinished basements typically harbor mold problems because this is where moisture occurs, there is very little ventilation, and the air is relatively warm.  When mold is not identified early, such as in a basement that is not visited routinely like the main level, it may grow into a larger problem.  If you have an unfinished basement, check the walls and floor routinely for mold.  Since mold forms from moisture in a stagnant environment, mold can also be present underneath sinks, in bathrooms, and other discrete moist areas.

How to recognize mold.

A strange odor: If you notice an unusual persistent odor in your home, the culprit may be mold. Mold has a pungent smell. When mold is confined to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you’re in that area, especially if the area is not ventilated. Mold can sometimes live within the walls or behind wallpaper, and so you might not immediately associate the smell with mold.

The appearance of mold: In your shower stall or bathtub, its easy to distinguish normal soap scum from mold. However, in the basement or cellar you may have to investigate a little further to find the mold. Mold will take hold of damp areas, so if you have a wall or floor where dampness collects, mold could very well be there as well.  Common mold is typically black, but can range to brown, orange, green, yellow, and other colors.

Health symptoms: Because mold is not always visible, it can be difficult realizing that you do indeed have a mold problem. If you feel listless, congested and experience watering eyes while in your home, these can all be signs of the presence of mold.It’s not uncommon for a person who lives in a home that has mold to feel better while at work or out shopping. Their health problems begin the moment they step through their front door. Mold can often be the cause of this.

What to do with mold

There are several ways to combat mold.  Here are some common ones…

Option 1: Fill a spray bottle with standard 3% hydrogen peroxide and spray it on the affected area. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.  After the hydrogen peroxide does its thing, scrub and then wipe clean with a cloth to remove anything that was left behind. If you need a stronger solution, mix some hydrogen peroxide with vinegar and baking soda.

Option 2: Spray some vinegar on the affected area and let it sit for several hours. It may work a bit slower than hydrogen peroxide, but it still works. When the surface is ready, scrub using a brush, then wipe dry.

Option 3: Stir two teaspoons of tea tree oil into two cups of water and put the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray your walls and let it sit, scrub it off… never! Bonus to this method: no cleanup!

Option 4: Add some water to baking soda to dilute it a bit, and spray your walls. Let it sit for a while, then scrub and wipe clean with a damp cloth.