Cleaning Mold and Mildew
How to Get Rid of Mold
What is mold/mildew?
Molds and mildew are naturally occuring fungi which serve as nature’s recycler by helping break down dead materials. SNiPER is a highly effective and efficient fungicide! Mildew is a thin, white to blue-green growth that is caused by spores that connect with moisture on a hard or porous surface. Molds grow throughout the natural and built environment. Tiny particles of mold are ever-present in indoor and outdoor air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions. Black mold is very common and bleach does not kill black mold or the spores. SNiPER is an EPA registered fungicide! You can use SNiPER to safely clean mold and mildew in your home.
What does mold need to grow?
Mold only needs a few simple things to grow and multiply:
3. Suitable place to grow
Of these, controlling excess moisture is the key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth.
Where does it grow?
Mildew grows in damp, warm, poorly aired, poorly lighted places, such as in cellars, basements, and closets; on shower curtains and shower stalls; and under houses.
Should I be concerned about mold in my home?
Yes! Besides looking unsightly, mildew has an unpleasant, musty odor. If permitted to grow, mildew will discolor and rot surfaces such as fabrics, wood, leather, and paper. Mold should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. Breathing in the spores in high concentrations is dangerous to health.
Will mold in my home make us sick?
Exposure to molds can affect health. People are mainly exposed by breathing spores or other tiny fragments. People can also be exposed through skin contact , and by eating mold contaminated food. The most common health problems caused by indoor mold are allergic reactions. People who are allergic or sensitive to mold commonly report :nasal and sinus congestion, coughing, wheezing/breathing difficulties, sore throat, or skin and eye irritation. Exposure to mold can trigger asthma attacks, may suppress the immune system and have other deleterious health effects.
How do I tell if I have a mold problem?
Investigate, don’t test! The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth, and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold, or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.
· Look for visible mold growth (may appear cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery and have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow, green). Mold often appears as discoloration, staining, or fuzzy growth on the surface of building materials or furnishings. When mold is visible, testing is not recommended.
· Search areas with noticeable mold odors.
· Look for signs of excess moisture or water damage. Look for water leaks, standing water, water stains, condensation problems. For example, do you see any watermarks or discoloration on walls, ceilings, carpet, woodwork, or other building materials?
· Search behind and underneath materials (carpet and pad, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, sink cabinets), furniture, or stored items (especially things placed near outside walls or on cold floors). Sometimes destructive techniques may be needed to inspect and clean enclosed spaces where mold and moisture are hidden; for example, opening up a wall cavity.
Can I use bleach to kill Mold?
NO! The idea that bleach kills mold is simply false. Bleach will cause the mold to change color, but it does not kill either mold, or mold spores. Bleach is known to produce toxic byproducts when used for cleaning. Add to this that bleach is a known toxin to humans and pets. It can cause severe allergic effects and can harm skin and eyes. You really do not want family or pets to come into direct contact with bleach or their toxic residues.
Mold Clean Up and Removal
To clean up and remove indoor mold growth, follow steps 1-4 as they apply to your home.
1. Identify and fix the Moisture Problem: the most important step in solving a mold problem is to identify and correct the moisture sources that allowed the growth in the first place. Common indoor moisture sources include:
· Condensation (caused by indoor humidity that is too high or surfaces that are too cold)
· Movement through basement walls and slab
· Roof leaks
· Plumbing leaks
· Overflow from tubs, sinks, or toilets
· Firewood stored indoors
· Humidifier use
· Inadequate venting of kitchen and bath humidity
· Failure to vent clothes dryer exhaust outdoors, (including electric dryers)
· Line drying laundry indoors
· House plants. Watering them can generate large amounts of moisture
To keep indoor surfaces as dry as possible, try to maintain the home’s relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. Ventilation, air circulation, dehumidification and efforts to minimize the production of moisture in the home are all very important in controlling high humidity that frequently causes mold growth.
2. Begin drying all Wet Materials: As soon as possible, begin drying any materials that are wet. Use fans and dehumidifiers and move wet items away from walls and off floors.
3. Remove and Dispose of Mold Contaminated Materials: Items which have absorbed moisture (porous materials) and which have mold growing on them need to be removed, bagged and thrown out. Throw away vacuum cleaner bags because they may contain moisture as well as mildew-producing fungi.
4. Clean Surfaces: Surface mold growing on non-porous materials such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal and solid wood can usually be cleaned. SNiPER™ can also be used to remove mold from fabric surfaces, such as carpet and upholstery. Cleaning must remove and capture the mold contamination, because dead spores and mold particles still cause health problems if left in place.
5. Using SNiPER™, thoroughly scrub all contaminated surfaces with a stiff brush until there is no visible evidence of mold and mildew.
6. Sponge excess liquid with a clean, dry towel, or a vet/dry vacuum, mop or sponge. There is no need to rinse. Use fans or dryers to speed up the drying process.
SNiPER can make it easy - and safe! - to get rid of mold smell and musty smells.
For further information or suggestions for removing molds from your environment, please call 866.551.1927, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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