When warmer weather arrives, area conditions for mold growth are optimum. Molds are often referred to as “mildew.”
Mold spores are everywhere. When the conditions are right, the spores grow into mold. Mold is a health hazard, especially high levels of molds and molds that produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins represent a very serious health risk to both humans and animals. Mold grows when the spores have moisture, food and warmth. Moisture is most often in the form of humidity. Any wood or paper product including the paper used on drywall, as well as dust particles and dead skin cells are food. Warmth is anything over about 45°F, though some molds can prosper in lower temperatures.
You can kill molds with a mild Clorox bleach solution. The solution can often be applied most conveniently and effectively with a hand spray bottle. Dampen the affected area with the solution, let it dry and then vacuum away the remnants. You can stop mold growth by removing one or more of the necessary elements for growth. Almost invariably, the only practical approach to controlling mold growth is by eliminating excessive humidity.
You can remove excessive humidity most easily by a) dehumidifying the air or b) causing constant air flow, which simulates the effects of dehumidification. A dehumidifier is the preferred and most effective tool for this task. By combining a dehumidifier and a small fan, humidity levels can be reduced even more rapidly.
When using a dehumidifier to dry out water-logged areas, the dehumidifier should be run long after the visible areas have dried. Moisture will be trapped inside of walls, behind wallpaper and paints, in insulation and inside drywall. Extended dehumidification is required to dry those areas thoroughly and prevent further mold growth.
Steadman’s has a complete line of tools to help the homeowner eliminate mold growth conditions and kill existing molds:
•Comfort Aire dehumidifiers
•DampRid dehumidifying products
•Clorox bleach, sponges, spray bottles, large sprayers and vacuums
For additional information on molds and their health hazards, visit the websites for:
•The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
•The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
•The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
•The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).