Keep mold out of your home with these simple tips

Finding mold in your home is a scary thought. It’s something most people don’t think about until they see it. Or smell it. So, once you detect mold in your house or apartment, what’s the best course of action?

Some types of mold are more dangerous than others, but the Centers for Disease Control says testing is neither necessary nor reliable.

“If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if the problem is relatively small in size, it can be cleaned up without professional help.

“If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself,” the agency states.

Areas that are often wet or damp are particularly susceptible to mold, according to their website. “If there’s some mold in the shower or elsewhere in the bathroom that seems to reappear, increasing ventilation (running a fan or opening a window) and cleaning more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum.”

Commonly available cleaning products containing diluted bleach are recommended for bathroom disinfection. These items can be purchased at the PX or Commissary.

“Ensure that the safety precautions on the container label or are followed; opening windows to ventilate, use of impervious gloves, and eye protection. The use of commonly available consumer products eliminates the need to mix your own concentrated bleach and water solution.”

The agency urges caution when using products containing bleach.

“Mixing concentrated bleach in the workplace would require an emergency eyewash station since concentrated bleach is extremely corrosive to the eyes and can cause permanent eye damage. However, if one wishes to make their own disinfectant, the generally accepted concentration is 1 part concentrated bleach to 10 parts water. Also, never mix different chemicals or chemical products together, especially bleach and ammonia.”


GOT MOLD?

I found mold growing in my home, how do I test the mold?

“Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.” – CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

Mold Cleanup in Your Home: “Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the Mold Cleanup Tips and Techniques.” http://www2.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home#TipsandTechniques.

– EPA, http://www2.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home

Bathroom Tip: “Places that are often or always damp can be hard to maintain completely free of mold. If there’s some mold in the shower or elsewhere in the bathroom that seems to reappear, increasing ventilation (running a fan or opening a window) and cleaning more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum.”

Cleaning Products for Mold: The use of commonly available consumer cleaning products for bathroom disinfection, mold, and mildew is recommended. These products may be purchased at the Commissary or PX. These products often contain bleach that is diluted with water. Ensure that the safety precautions on the container label or are followed; opening windows to ventilate, use of impervious gloves, and eye protection. The use of commonly available consumer products eliminates the need to mix your own concentrated bleach and water solution. Mixing concentrated bleach in the Workplace would require an emergency eyewash station since concentrated bleach is extremely corrosive to the eyes and can cause permanent eye damage. However, if one wishes to make their own disinfectant, the generally accepted concentration is 1 part concentrated bleach to 10 parts water. Also, NEVER MIX DIFFERENT CHEMICALS OR CHEMICAL PRODUCTS TOGETHER, ESPECIALLY BLEACH AND AMMONIA.

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