Mold and mildew are a common fungus that grows in a variety of locations including your home. Mold spores float through the air. When the spores land on a surface that has the ideal environment for them-dark, humid and damp-they grow, thrive and spread to other areas. Over time, mold and mildew can deteriorate the item on which it is feeding and growing as well as fill your home with an unpleasant, musty odor.
Things You'll Need
1 gallon warm water
1 cup bleach
1 cup white vinegar
Removing Mold and Mildew
Wear the proper safety gear when removing mold and mildew from your home. Rubber gloves, an N-95 respirator and safety goggles should be worn at all times during the mold-removal process. Allow for adequate ventilation in the area in which you will be working. Open as many doors and windows as possible.
Mix together water with bleach. Saturate a sponge in the mixture and scrub molded hard surfaces-such as vinyl, tiles, walls, paneling, wood and counter tops-with the sponge. Allow the area to air dry.
Take molded clothing outside and brush the mold off the items. Launder the items as you normally would but add vinegar to the water. Allow the washer to complete a full cycle.
Preventing Mold and Mildew
Run a dehumidifier in every room in which you want to prevent mold and mildew growth. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and greatly reduce the number of mold spores in the air.
Dry your shower walls and bathtub with towels after each use. This will remove excess water and moisture.
Provide adequate air circulation and ventilation. On warm, sunny days, open doors and windows to allow fresh air into your home.
Turn on room lights for several minutes at a time. In areas that do not get sunlight-such as basements, bathrooms and closets-turn on the lights to kill mold and its spores.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home
- University of Missouri Extension: How to Prevent and Remove Mildew--Home Methods
- Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Mold After a Flood
- FEMA: Prompt Flood Clean-Up Lessens Health Problems
- Minnesota Department of Health: Dealing with Mold Problems after a Flood