Mold Symptoms in Your Ohio Home
Mold is a microorganism that thrives just about anywhere. It grows on almost any surface if there is enough moisture, and it is found in bathrooms and on trim in damp homes. It can look like a black stain, fur, or specks of white, black, brown or green. When mold grows in a home, people can end up breathing in spores. These can cause allergies, infections, asthma and numerous breathing problems. With certain strains of mold, exposure can even cause more serious health issues.
Mold is a serious health hazard in any state, but Ohio has a climate where mold thrives. This is why it is important to learn the signs and symptoms of mold in a house and eradicate it as soon as possible. While professionals are available to help address the problem, mold can often be eliminated with a few simple steps.
Where and how does mold form?
Like any other organism, mildew or mold requires nutrients in order to grow. Therefore, there are a few places a homeowner should look for mold spores. If food has been spilled on a carpeted surface, it must be cleaned right away with a disinfectant detergent. Not only will the mold grow on the surface of the rug, but it can grow beneath the rug, causing deep-rooted problems in the future. Homeowners should clean window sills and door trims regularly to remove any sticky or oily food particles that may have been transferred to those surfaces by dirty hands. Homeowners with children or pets should be particularly aware of this.
Air conditioner, heater and air purifier filters should be changed or cleaned regularly to prevent mold from taking hold. Refrigerator and other appliance filters should be switched or cleaned, too.
Clothing should not sit in laundry baskets for long periods of time, as any dampness in the clothes will facilitate mold growth. In addition, clothing items should hang loosely in closets rather than tightly packed. This will help keep moisture away and thus prevent mold. Finally, it is a good idea to open a window when showering to prevent moisture from building up in the bathroom. Even if the walls look dry, moisture can seep into the tiniest of cracks and allow mold to take hold.
Signs of Mold
The first signs of mold are not always obvious. Residents in the home may begin to experience unexplainable allergy attacks or ear infections. Then, a musty odor may be present. Once this odor is present, the mold is usually visible. However, mold can hide just about anywhere, so even if a resident is not able to find the mold, it does not mean it does not exist. To be sure if mold exists in a home, household members can purchase a mold test kit. These kits are relatively inexpensive, and they are well worth the knowledge and peace of mind they will impart to a homeowner.
How can Ohioans get rid of mold?
Finding the mold is not always the problem, but getting rid of it can be difficult. The obvious answer to a mold problem is to clean the surfaces where mold has developed. To do this, scrub all the moldy surfaces with a stiff brush. Collect the cleaning liquid with a vacuum, sponge or a mop. Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly. Always use protective equipment when working around mold.
After you have scrubbed the area clean, disinfect the surface. Tiny mold spores can remain, and they will grow if they have the chance. Wipe down the ceiling, wall and floor again with a mixture of bleach and water. If cleaning a small zone, a mixture of five cups of water mixed with half a cup of bleach will suffice. If the area is larger, then use a five gallon bucket of water and mix it with half a gallon of bleach.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the bleach label, and do not mix the bleach with ammonia as this will create toxic fumes. Open a window or turn on a fan in order to get rid of the bleach fumes. The fumes can irritate your lungs and eyes. Ideally, the surface should be allowed to air dry to maximize the power of the bleach.
Throw out anything that you cannot cleaned. When mold is in a mattress, bedding, clothes or curtains, wash them or dry clean them to kill the mold spores.
To prevent mold from growing in your household, keep your home as dry as you can. Repair any leaks immediately, and make sure the ground around the foundation of the home slopes away to prevent flooding in the basement.
If the home has a bathroom, kitchen or window fan, use them when showering or cooking. Just the moisture from a boiling pot can cause mold to build up in a home. In addition, dry clothes on a clothesline outside or in a dryer in order to prevent moisture from building up in the laundry room. If any area of the home is perpetually damp, purchase a dehumidifier.