10 essential tips to help you successfully deal with mold in your home

What you need to know about mold

1. How is mold formed

If you've been unlucky enough as a homeowner to have experienced mold, you know how un-pleasant a smell it can be. Black mold and spores, occur in areas of high condensation and Should be of concern to any homeowner. Mould occurs when the warm air is ridden with moisture, which rises until it reaches a cold surface, the cold surface cools the air and the resulting moisture condenses on the surfaces when it comes into contact with it.

2. How does mold spread

With enough condensation and a slightly warm environment mold can thrive and survive. Some examples of an ideal environment for mold to develop will be your bathroom or shower room, specifically starting as patches on the celling or wall, and expanding to tiling grout and adhesive. Moisture rich areas are the perfect conditions for black mold spores specifically to grow, and this should be of concern.

3. Be aware of black mold

Black mold or (Stachybotrys chartarum) is a type of micro fungus, it has the capability to produce conidia which as an asexual reproductive spore and can reproduce exponentially, within a wide range of moisture based condition. The reproductive characteristics greatly assists in the ability for spores to multiply and spread.

4. A bit about where mold comes from

Mould exists in small quantities in grain and soil, and is mostly found in cellulose rich building materials affected by damp or water ingress. This means that a moisture rich environment, coupled with exposure to materials designed to absorb moisture, in the absence of ventilation, means mold can make it's way into your home, in expected areas, relatively easily. By reducing the quality of mold resistance materials, in certain project builds, couple this with the design that lacks ventilation, moisture, can quickly present itself in this as an ideal environment and proceed to feed, survive and reproduce, and this can also cause damage as well as health issues.

5. Mould frustrates and is a risk to homeowners health

This means homeowners not only get frustrated with mold growth on ceilings, tiles, basins, but it means these areas are always having to be cleaned, which means introducing chemicals and substances, that can also be harmful, but also expensive and take considerable time to clean, you also require the correct health and safety equipment and procedures to clean these areas, such as ventilation, the wearing of gloves, no contact with skin etc.

6. How can homeowners deal with mold in several ways:

Homeowners could:

1. Have less baths or showers to reduce the fungi collection on surfaces, but this is less practical

2. Mange ventilation or use mobile moisture withdraw devices such as dehumidifiers, which reduce and delay the spread of mold through air management solutions

7. Mold likes warm environments

Most homes are designed to integrate into and work with the national and the electrical grid, this means, that heating is readily available in spaces where mold can thrive by design. Mold is multiplicative in warmer environments, and in cold or less insulated spaces in the home, Heat being used in the home, is a welcome catalyst for mold growth.

The ideal conditions in the UK, for mold to thrive, survive and spread, would be an environment of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Degrees’ Celsius’) and a relative humidity (concentration of water in the air) of 70% and this combination of temperature and humidity, creates the perfect environment, to allow spores to quickly reproduce and spread, this is typically the temperature for homes in less than extreme seasonal conditions.

8. What can homeowners do to reduce the spread of mold

Reducing moisture is th first step to making a difference in mold presentation. Heating in an environment that is high risk can contribute to mold presentation, multiplication and health risks, this assumes no mold is identified at the start, that's why it is important to:

- Use a dehumidifier if possible, to reduce spread and distributions, and reduce moisture in the space. Check the environment and space is suitable.

- Ventilation of the space or room, depending on the room and time of year, care should be made to cost

- Heating and insulation, this will reduce the area of cold surfaces which will reduce the capability of the air to retain the moisture, through prevention of condensation, by increasing the surface temperature moisture will not form on the surface providing the room temperature is increased also.

- An extractor fan unit installed can continuously remove moisture-laden or bacteria rich air, before it can settle on a surface. Doing this in conjunction with insulation is recommended to maximize the effect. These approaches reduce the risk of mold forming, but there will still be some moist air in places, especially the bathroom or shower room and this means that there is still the likelihood of mold recurring.

Introduce temperature and humidity measuring devices, and sensory digital equipment, which can alert homeowners, to this. At billntrade.com we are working with trade professionals, to ensure that such solutions are available to our customers, and such alerts are early enough that customers can identify a potential issue, and we can consult then with our experts to find a safe and manageable solution to prevent the mold problem from getting worse.

9. Other method to reduce mold which have some risks

Other methods can be adopted but should be weighed by the benefits and risks associated, for example:

1. Opening windows can make the room cold, whilst this is not so welcome in winter, it can remove moisture ridden air, and change the environmental temperature, making it difficult for spores to settle and reproduce.

2. Installing heating and insulation may prove expensive depending on your circumstances, but again can prevent mold settling due to the temperature of the surface area, where the insulation is placed, it may be that killing mold rather than preventing it may also be a ore affordable option.

3. If you have a pre-existing outbreak, cover the surface area with a sterilizer or mold killer based product, follow the instructions to remove the mold, clean and prepare the area, as recommended by the product. You can then use a barrier solution undercoat product and once the barrier solution has dried, apply the top coat ensuring it is mixed with a fungicide additive, this product formulation should have instructions on how to prevent the mold returning. Mould eradication kits are also available and a good product can clean a huge surface area, whilst the fungicidal properties they have should eradicate the mold completely.

4. Other simpler methods include bleach, mold and mildew products or antifungal sprays.

10. Getting rid of mold in your home

lady cleaning a moldy window

When dealing with mold it is important to consider wearing the right apparatus and/or protective clothing before attempting to remove any mold from surfaces; particularly if you are a tradesperson who does this regularly. The reason being, the spores in the air form a fine dust which when inhaled can cause health and safety issues, including severe respiratory or breathing problems. Care should also be taken to leave the environment worked in safe for the homeowner and their families, during each phase of the removal, reparation and/or restoration work.

About the Author

Sarah Tring
Hi, I'm Sarah, I'm a blogger who enjoys eveything related to home improvement, I'm passionate about sustainable homes, home improvement, home developments and technology used in the home. When not blogging, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children and our dog 'Leto'.