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Out with the Mold

Out with the Mold

Returning from vacation recently, my family was welcomed back by an unwelcome house guest: mold. Our basement, which is usually aired out through open windows, had been shut tight for a little over a week. A funky smell hit our noses as we went downstairs, and we discovered the creepy, whitish fuzz on the back of a couple of brown fabric armchairs. We’d thought we had salvaged these chairs from the flood we experienced last winter after an especially rough ice storm. Dehumidifiers, fans and the wet vacuum had all been deployed, yet apparently, some moisture must have remained.

We’re getting rid of the chairs, but in doing a deep immersion study of mold since our discovery, here’s what I’ve learned, and I hope this helps you if you encounter the nasty stuff:

  1. Molds are microscopic life forms that can be found outdoors or indoors. Not all molds are bad; for instance, those used to make cheese and antibiotics are good. Toxic or allergenic molds that grow indoors, however, are bad news.
  2. Beyond being gross and smelly, mold can be seriously dangerous to your health. There are a variety of molds, and many have been linked to a number of symptoms, including allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, decreased concentration, agitation, and severe asthma. Some people are especially vulnerable to mold exposure: infants and children, the elderly, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems and people with existing respiratory conditions.
  3. Trust your nose: if you smell mildew, there is a problem somewhere. Don’t delay in eradicating it at its source. If you can’t find where the odor is originating, hire professionals to do it for you.
  4. In addition to harming people, an untreated mold problem can cause tremendous property damage–the cleanup of which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Again, get to the source early.
  5. If your mold problem is small (a few square feet), you can probably do the cleanup yourself. Always wear rubber gloves and a quality mask. While bleach may remove mold from the surface, a proper mildewcide needs to be used to kill mold and mold spores. These DIY formulas do the job without the use of harsh chemicals.
  6. If the problem is greater than a few square feet, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to remove the mold for you.
  7. To prevent mold, make sure rooms are well-ventilated. Invest in the right sized air conditioner or humidifier for rooms during humid months. In the colder months, proper insulation of exterior walls helps prevent condensation on inner walls.

Read more: Asthma, Career, Health, Household Hints, Life, Natural Remedies, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

24 comments

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4:48PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

Clove oil is another one for removing mould.
1/4 tsp in 1L water in a spray bottle. Wipe off mould then spray again and leave.

3:07PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

If you have mould - get rid of it asap - I believe in the tea tree method as tried and true - my nanna used it and my mother did too - smile
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3:35AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Thanks - bookmarked

3:29AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Thank you...

3:28AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Thank you...

7:19AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

I wanted to buy Essential Oils and was really interested in that "thieves" deal, but with all the SPAM here, i really wonder if it is a decent product. Mold is killing me and i don't have money to get out of this house or to waste on crappy products! Has anyone who DOESN'T SELL IT used that or anything like it? My life is just slipping away and i have no help. Thank you.

9:41AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

good to know

10:30AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

One thing to remember when dealing with mold; even if you can clean it up, without taking care of the moisture source, it will just keep coming back. If you have any concerns about mold in your home, I'd recommend talking to a professional about having a mold testperformed.

6:38PM PST on Dec 29, 2010

Thanks for the healtful tips. Now to clean everything that was in storage. aagghh

4:01AM PDT on Aug 23, 2010

The only cure I have found for mould in our bodies ( candidia albicans and a fungas cure is from John Dudding Napier , he has light potenised homoeopathic remedies that cure it ( 10 1/2 years for me) Im another homoeopath so Im not doing this for anything but altristic reasons
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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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