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Put mold eradication on your fall home improvement list

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ August 25, 2011

Get the mold out of your house now before winter comes barreling into your neck of the woods. Mold clean-up and eradication is best conducted while you can still open doors and windows to ventilate and dry your home. My house in the Pacific Northwest sits under unbroken clouds and persistent rainfall for months after autumn and I get to work now to track down mildew before it can build a colony for the remainder of the year.

There are even natural mold and mildew products for those of us who already suffer allergies made worse by introducing additional harsh chemicals into the indoor air. Solutions manufactured with tea tree oil and citrus seed extracts (shot from a spray bottle) work wonders on wet spots that appear on your walls and ceilings. You can read up on how to mix the solutions at Care23.

Mold spores and your health

Unless you live in an air-tight environment, you can forget about totally eliminating mold from your home. It travels by air and shuttles from room to room. For people like me who have asthma, it's crucial to keep a HEPA filter working and to use mold and mildew resistant bedding.

A good rule of thumb is that if the mold occupies a space less than 10 feet square, you can handle it without calling in a mold contractor. On the other hand, if you have black mold, it's best to call in some local talent with experience in knocking it down before it permanently damages your home.

A simple anti-mold, home improvement project

Complete a thorough walk around of your plumbing and interior walls. Be sure to give the basement a thorough inspection, especially if it's been a humid summer. Most likely, you won't have a mold problem if you don't have water leaking or pooling somewhere.

Your bathroom is one of the more obvious suspects. If it's not a ventilated bath, consider installing a fan or installing a window. And if your clothes dryer is unvented, it's a clandestine warehouse for mold.

Be sure to wear gloves, goggles and an N-95 respirator while combatting mold and mildew. The respirator will cost you around $25, a price that compares quite favorably to paying for an allergist visit after you react violently to exposure.

Prefer good-old bleach to green cleaning solutions? The North Dakota State University Extension recommends that you use a bleach solution of 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup to 1 gallon of water for a first step. Use a greater strength (1 ¼ cup) solution on concrete or wood that just won't clean up. Let the bleach work for 15 minutes before you rinse. Dry everything thoroughly!

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