How Bold Is Mold? Can Mold Just Be Wiped Off?

At some point or another, we all encountered mold. It may appear in the shower, on the ceiling of a closed room, or on a slice of bread that we forgot in the bread bin. Mold is a part of our everyday life and can happen in any home, no matter how clean.

But can mold just be wiped off, or do you need to clean it more thoroughly? We look into this question, as well as any health concerns that accompany mold.

Can Mold Just Be Wiped Off?

The quick and easy answer to that question is “No”. But to answer it properly, we need to explain where the problem comes from.

Mold is a type of fungus that naturally grows outdoors and assists with the decomposition of leaves and trees. Mold spores, the seeds that assist in its production, are released into the air, and they can travel into our homes.

When mold is combined with dampness and humidity, it starts growing. Rooms with poor circulation are especially prone to this. In order to eradicate mold growth, these environmental conditions need to be changed.

Mildew is one form of mold, and it is white and powdery. Other forms of mold can be gray, black, or green. Some varieties are extremely toxic, but all forms of mold have a detrimental effect on your health. It can also disintegrate and discolor fabrics or leave behind a nasty odor.

The Effects of Mold and Mildew on Your Health:

Mold and mildew pose several different risks, but the most concerning of them all is the risk to your health. Inhaling mold spores can be detrimental to a person’s respiratory system. Here are the main health concerns when it comes to mold and mildew:

1. Irritation

The most basic and least dangerous effect mold may have on your body is the irritation it might cause you. This irritation ranges from your eyes, throat, skin, to your nose or even your lungs being affected. Breathing in small amounts of mold, or even touching it may result in irritation, skin rash, shortness of breath and even in some more severe cases, fever.

Simple over-the-counter medication should alleviate the symptoms. If the mold found its way into your eyes, immediately wash it out with clean water and contact your General Practitioner.

2. Asthma And Allergies

In more severe cases, being exposed to mold or breathing in the spores may cause an allergic reaction, especially if the mold is cleaned or disturbed in any way. The spores can worsen a person’s asthma symptoms.

It is important that your General Practitioner is notified that you have been exposed to mold in, so that they can prescribe antifungal medication or inhalers.

3. Lung Infection

When exposed to mold or mildew for an extended period of time, serious lung infections may occur. In such a case, visit your General Practitioner for antifungal medication. Our bodies possess the required antibodies to fight off mold. But with exposure to large quantities of it, your immune system isn’t able to fight off the attack.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew

To ensure that your home stays free of mold and mildew, take care of any moisture problems. Moisture assisted by the summer heat creates a humid environment perfect for growing mold. This may mean that a professional is required to take care of the underlying issue that is causing the moisture – for instance, a leaking pipe.

Should you require further means to extract the moisture from your house, there are several chemicals you can use. If an unpleasant odor is present, leave charcoal or bicarbonate of soda out.

Once the moisture problem has been solved, invest in a dehumidifier or even an air conditioner, ensuring that the warm moisture-infused air stays outside. The constant circulation of air in every room also helps avoid mold growth.

How to Properly Clean Mold and Mildew

It is inevitable that mold and mildew may be present in our lives at one point or another but the effect thereof may be detrimental to your health. The important question is – how do we make sure this mold and mildew does not affect our health and is eradicated as soon as it shows its head? Can mold just be wiped off or does it require a deep clean? Take a look at these helpful tips:

1. Wear a Mask

Before diving into the cleaning part, be sure to wear a mask, bandanna, or cloth over your mouth and nose to avoid breathing in any mold spores that get released as you clean.

2. Check Your Surface

To ascertain what exactly needs to be done, it is important to know exactly what surface you are working with. Every surface requires a different form of cleaning, a different detergent, and different post-cleaning care. Here are a few surfaces and some basic ways to clean each one:

  • Tiles

Clean tiles with warm water and a bleach solution to ensure the mold is killed on the first contact.

  • Fabrics

To clean mold or mildew from fabrics, wash them thoroughly with detergent and scrub the stains with a soft brush. Leave the clothing item in the sun to dry.

If any mold or mildew is still present, a bleach solution should be used, or you can go for a mixture of lemon juice or vinegar mixed with salt. Rub the mixture into the fabric, and leave it in the sun to bleach. Ensure that the fabrics are tested for colorfastness beforehand.

  • Wood

In order to clean a wooden surface, wash it thoroughly with a detergent and warm water. Apply heat to the area to ensure that the moisture is extracted from the wood. Should the mold return, it may be wise to replace that portion of the wood.

  • Ceiling Board

A moldy ceiling must be washed with a bleach and warm water mixture, treated with antifungal treatment from the top side, and repainted with a mold-free paint or road paint. You may have considerable expenses if you find mold on the ceiling boards.

3. Stop the Growth Before It Starts

As soon as you notice a moldy spot, wash the area immediately with warm water and some form of detergent. If it is a surface which cannot stain, a bleach detergent can ensure that the mold is not only removed but killed as well.

Final Thought

Mold can’t just be wiped off. In fact, doing so will actually assist mold growth since the dampness remains. It is imperative that the mold is properly cleaned or scrubbed away and that the area is dried thoroughly. Make sure that all moist-ridden areas in your home are properly treated by a professional to avoid the regrowth of mold.

 

References:

http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/programs/ih/ieq/mold/
https://extension2.missouri.edu/gh5928
http://www2.furman.edu/studentlife/housing/services/Pages/mold.aspx

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