Mold & Mildew Found in Bedrooms

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Mold and mildew can appear in a bedroom for many reasons, all of which involve moisture in some way. Whatever the cause, you will want to remove the mold before it has the opportunity to endanger your health or the health of your family. If you ignore the problem, it will spread quickly.

Risks

  • Mold in a bedroom can put you at greater risk than mold in a basement or attic, because you (or one of your loved ones) most likely spend more time in the bedroom, breathing in the spores and fumes. Excess exposure can lead to respiratory difficulties, sinus infections, headaches, disorientation, asthma attacks, allergy symptoms and dizziness. If you have a large colony growing in the bedroom, contact a mold specialist for proper removal. If you have only small areas of mold, you can destroy it yourself before it gets any bigger.

Specific Causes

  • If you use a humidifier in your bedroom, you may develop mold if you leave the device running on a high setting for extended periods of time. If you have a swamp cooler in your bedroom window, this can also contribute to mold growth, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If your bedroom floor becomes saturated due to house flooding, the water trapped in your carpet can cause mold spores to germinate.

Eliminating the Cause

  • Mold needs moisture to grow; once you determine the cause of mold in your bedroom, you should first cut off the moisture at its source. For instance, use humidifiers and swamp coolers sparingly to prevent excess water vapor from forming. If the room has a door leading outside through which moisture can enter during a rainstorm, seal off the crack or install a drain outdoors. If water drips through the ceiling, repair the roof.

Removing the Moisture

  • There are two ways that you can effectively dry out your bedroom: using heat-based products and using products specially made for moisture removal. For example, if you want to use heat to dry the room, you can turn on a portable electric heater, or use a hair dryer to remove moisture from small areas such as mattresses, bookshelves and chairs. If you want to use a moisture removal product, turn on a portable dehumidifier or vacuum wet carpets with a wet/dry vacuum. Remove every ounce of moisture from your bedroom in order to neutralize the mold. Place movable items, such as beds and dressers, outside in the sun to dry.

Disinfecting the Bedroom

  • After neutralizing the mold, you will still need to disinfect your bedroom surfaces. A University of Missouri Extension report recommends scrubbing mattresses and other upholstered items with thick suds -- not the watery part of the solution -- and wiping them off with a damp cloth, then drying them thoroughly a second time. For wood objects, like bookshelves, dressers and nightstands, mix 8 tbsp. of washing soda with a gallon of water and apply it to the moldy surface with a soft cloth; dry it thoroughly. Moldy carpets should get the thick-suds treatment. At least the top level of mold can be vacuumed up; be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately.

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