Getting Rid of Mold Spots
Why is Mold the Bad Guy
Mold is one of those words that incites panic and despair. What if I have mold? What does mold even look like? How do I get rid of it? A stream of questions may come to your mind about the most common fungi on earth. The fact is mold can grow anywhere and on just about every surface, it just needs oxygen and moisture. It spreads through mold spores; tiny cells that are resistant to drying. When a mold spore finds a good home, it grows and destroys the surface that it clung to as well as the underlying materials.
Then of course there are the health risks of inhaling mold spores. While some people experience mild or no symptoms, others may react in a full blown allergy attack with annoying cold-like symptoms. For a small population, mold can actually be quite dangerous to overall health, even toxic. So it’s important to keep an eye out for that crazy fungi and get rid of it immediately.
Who’s that Fungi
The best way to discover mold is by simply looking for it. The mildew variety is black, but mold can wear a variety of dark, earthy shades and usually looks fuzzy. With this coloring it can be hard to see mold on darker surfaces, especially with varied texture (like a towel). Discoloration or spots may also indicate mold growth. Some molds will stain their surface host in a dark black-blue shade. Mold often produces a foul, musty odor that you can smell before you see it. Water stains and signs of water damage like peeling paint or vinyl are red flags to look for mold. When in doubt you can look at the stain in question under a magnifying glass to check out its texture, or call a professional for testing.
Tackle the Stain
If you’ve identified mold, you won’t need to just get rid of it, you’ll also need to treat the stains that it leaves behind. Start by brushing the mold off the surface. If you can, vacuum the mold and throw away the vacuum cleaner bag (if using a bag less vac, wash and dry thoroughly).
For bathroom or kitchen mold on tiles or walls, you’ll need a medium-sized brush and a small brush for any crevices and grout, like an old toothbrush. A mixture of up to one cup of chlorine bleach in one gallon of water seems to do the trick. A small spray bottle works quite well in hard to reach areas. Wear gloves as you scrub the moldy areas with this cocktail. For persistent stains or more natural solutions, you can also try undiluted vinegar or one cup of borax with one gallon water, rinsing with water and brushing clean.
For upholstery, rugs and mattresses, try to clean using as little water as possible with an upholstery or rug shampoo. Wipe with a damp cloth and let it dry in the sun if you can, or use a fan to help the process and prevent re-growth. Once completely dry, the musty odor should go away. You can also use a fungicide spray on most surfaces to help prevent regrowth.
Leave it to the Professionals
As with many things, it’s often best to leave stain fighting to the professionals. HouseMaids can rescue your home or office from mold stains as part of a weekly or bi-weekly service, deep cleaning, to restore a home to its original sparkly state after a move out, or to make sure a new home is up to standard at move in.