Mold and Mildew Removal Explained

by BMRT on 10:52 am

The process of mold and mildew removal should be started as soon as possible after it is found in or around your home. Several types of fungi that grow on moist organic material cause mold and mildew. Exposure to even small amounts can cause health problems in susceptible people. Some mold varieties can produce chemicals called mycotoxins that can be toxic to your health. People are exposed to these toxins through contact with the skin or through inhalation when spores and fragments are released into the air. In high concentrations, even people who do not have mold allergies can be adversely affected.

Mildew and mold grow in moist, warm environments and can be found in areas with high humidity. Areas likely to be affected by mildew include fabric, wood, wallboard or sheet rock and paper. Bathrooms are particularly susceptible to the growth of mildew. When mold grows in large concentrations within a home, it can even cause structural damage. Areas of the home where air circulation is poor and light is dim are often breeding grounds for these fungi. Crawl spaces and basement closets often harbor mold.

Mold and Mildew Removal

This is what happens when roof leaks are left unchecked!

Effective removal of mildew requires more than just cleaning – you must also kill it. If you do not take steps to kill the spores, it will grow back repeatedly. When choosing mold and mildew removal products you should always read the label. Many products that claim to kill mold and mildew contain sodium hypochlorite, which is the chemical name for common household bleach. These products will remove mildew from hard, non-porous surfaces but bleach containing solutions will not work effectively on porous surfaces such as wood.

Products that contain chlorine dioxide eliminate mold by oxidizing it and are effective on non-porous surfaces. These products inhibit microbial growth and will work for up to seven months even in very humid environments. Chlorine dioxide products are safe and will not cause rashes or other problems if they encounter your skin.

Mildew can be effectively cleaned from porous materials with products that contain sodium per-carbonate such as Oxy-clean. Sodium per carbonate is made from sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. Using this mixture is an environmentally friendly way to remove mold or mildew because it breaks down into naturally occurring elements. For stubborn mildew stains, it may be necessary to soak the item for as long as several days to completely remove the stain.

Several natural products are also effective at removing mold and mildew. Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and products containing tea tree oil are very effective. Another natural product for removing mildew is grapefruit seed extract, which is also known as citrus seed extract. Both of these ingredients are safe and effective when used according to the manufacturer’s direction.

Mold can be dangerous and following appropriate safety procedures is important when undertaking mold and mildew removal. Always work in a well-ventilated area and use rubber or latex gloves to prevent skin contact. If you are dealing with a large amount of mildew, or if you have mold allergies, a face mask filter (preferably a N-95 filter from 3M) or respiratory filter should be used.