Mildew, mold and fungi are inescapable under certain conditions. When the proper moisture level combines with the right temperature they find a home and grow. If caught early, however, they may be eliminated with the use of a fungicide.
Among effective EPA-approved commercial fungicides are those with acetic acid as the leading active ingredient and those with more potent ingredients, such as dimethyl ammonium chloride.
Common household ingredients mixed together remove mold and related stains. Bleach, dry laundry detergent and water are all you need in some cases. The Western Wood Products Association recommends a solution of 1 part household detergent, 10 parts bleach and 20 parts warm water. Spray the affected material thoroughly and use a brush or a sponge to scrub the mold away.
Borax, vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are all natural mold killers. Dry baking soda or borax must be mixed with water, but the others may be applied directly onto the infected areas.
Dangerous fumes produced by some combinations and the release of spores during the cleaning process require steps to ensure the work area is properly ventilated. An OSHA-certified breathing mask adds additional protection.