Mold growth is a familiar condition in many homes across the world. In wetter climates, mold issues can be prevalent. However, even homes in dry climates have certain rooms and spaces that are more prone to developing mold year-round. Mold can be a stealthy intruder, growing behind and around what you first see.
Mold will grow anywhere there is moisture and can easily get into the home through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold spores in the air outside can be brought indoors on shoes, clothing, and even pets. Aesthetically, mold growth is never a good thing; in visible areas, mold signifies decay and neglect. Functionally, mold can cause severe damage to your home structure. When mold grows on walls, floors, and foundations, it can cause the structure to weaken. If left uncontrolled, mold growth will eventually rot the structure, resulting in permanent (and often costly) damage.
Of the thousands of varieties of molds that exist, some are known allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic substances. Even dormant molds can affect some people. Not everyone is affected by mold, but affected people can develop serious health issues. Some molds, but not all, produce health-threatening mycotoxins.
Mold in the Home
Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on damp surfaces within 24 to 48 hours. Molds reproduce by spores, and all it takes for them to activate is some moisture, warmth, and a surface on which to grow. This growth can happen anywhere the conditions are optimal and on just about any surface. Mold can hide in unexpected places, and due to the number of damp areas, crevices, and cracks in a home, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to experience the adverse effects of mold long before the mold growth becomes visible.
Small mold colonies can typically be removed with an EPA-registered disinfectant and mold inhibitor, such as Vital Oxide. However, the EPA recommends professional removal if the mold growth is extensive (larger than 10 square feet). Removing large mold colonies requires specialized equipment and tools. If you have health concerns, consider hiring a mold remediation professional to remove the mold. Exercise caution in cleaning and disinfecting molds because some molds can release harmful spores when disturbed.
The Basics of Removing and Inhibiting Household Mold
Fix the Mold Source
Mold will thrive in places with enough moisture, whether from condensation, leaks, water damage, infiltration, or flooding. It’s imperative to address any moisture or humidity concerns as soon as possible. For example:
- Ventilate or use an exhaust fan (or dehumidifier) in naturally humid rooms, such as the bathroom or kitchen).
- Repair any water leaks or other issues right away. If your home has a basement, make sure the ground around the foundation of your house slopes away from the house so that the basement is less likely to flood.
- Keep indoor relative humidity (RH) below 60%, ideally between 30% and 50% if possible, to prevent mold growth indoors. Using dehumidifiers can help lower your home’s RH.
Use the Right Tools
Although chlorine bleach is often used for mold cleanup, bleach is not an EPA-approved biocide. Bleach is only effective on hard, non-porous surfaces and can further degrade indoor air quality.
There is a better way. Unlike bleach and other mold removal products, Vital Oxide does not contain harsh chemicals or produce harmful fumes and byproducts, is non-corrosive to treated articles, and does not cause skin irritation. Vital Oxide can be used on both hard, non-porous surfaces as well as porous surfaces, like carpets, upholstery, concrete, wood, drywall, and more. Vital Oxide doesn’t stop at removing the current mold problem, and it has been shown to have a residual effect. Vital Oxide can prevent mold re-growth on building materials for up to seven months.
Whether you’re a mold remediation professional or a homeowner dealing with a mold problem, when used as directed and conditions causing moisture or water damage are removed, Vital Oxide is the only product you need to destroy the roots of tough mold and restore your environment to a safer state. Read more about using Vital Oxide for mold remediation here.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Before you begin mold cleanup, make sure the working area is well-ventilated and that you have proper safety gear to avoid exposure to mold and mold spores. The EPA recommends wearing gloves, goggles, or other eye protection and an N-95 respirator when cleaning small areas affected by mold (less than 10 square feet total).
Clean Surfaces with Vital Oxide
Cleaning is the first step to removing and inhibiting mold. To avoid possible interference from other chemicals, use Vital Oxide for initial cleaning for best results. Spray Vital Oxide onto the surface and then use a suitable cleaning tool for the surface (such as a scrub brush, cloth, or cleaning pad) to gently scrub away as much surface dirt, mold, or mildew as possible. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Disinfect Surfaces with Vital Oxide
After cleaning, apply Vital Oxide full-strength (via spray bottle or a fogging device) from a distance of 12 inches until visibly wet. Allow to dwell for 10 minutes. No rinsing or wiping is required. Simply let air dry.
Toss Items that Cannot Be Cleaned
If you’re deciding whether or not to keep a contaminated item, keep this in mind: when in doubt, throw it out. If an item has been wet for less than 48 hours, it may be able to be cleaned and disinfected. Vital Oxide is effective on hard, non-porous surfaces as well as soft, porous surfaces such as upholstered furniture, rugs, bedding, curtains, carpets, and more.
Wash Fabric Items
You can remove mold and mold spores from bedding, curtains, clothing, pet beds, pillows, and other washable fabrics with an Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent.
At Vital Oxide, we’re proud to offer our revolutionary disinfectant cleaner that is powerful enough to inhibit mold without harsh chemicals. Learn more about the science behind our product, as well as tons of great tips on cleaning, disinfecting, and more. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We’re here to help!