Is Mold Beneficial?
Nature is designed to maintain balance. Animal predators keep overpopulation of species in check, which lowers levels of disease and other issues. Mushrooms, which are a part of the fungi family, help to aid the supply of nutrients, decompose and recycle. This is crucial in maintaining health and the cycle of life for many species.
Mold is also a fungi and has a purpose within the natural world. It is only when mold enters the home where nature is not at play that many harmful problems can arise. Mold takes root and thrives in areas that have moisture. Leaks and high humidity can cause conditions that encourage mold growth.
Allow Nature to Kill Mold
Nature can often successfully deal with mold using good airflow and sunlight. That is why it is so important to work with nature and keep your home well ventilated and exposed to sun as much as possible. Keep trees and shrubs back from the home to provide plenty of sunlight on the outside of the dwelling and keep window shades open during the day to allow the sunlight to purify the inside of the room.
It is desirable to maintain a healthy humidity level. The EPA suggests reducing humidity levels to 30-60% indoors (ideally 30-50%) to decrease and prevent mold propagation. Condensation on or around windows is a good indication that moisture levels are too high. If you live in a humid climate, or your home does not have good ventilation, you may need to balance your humidity another way. Use exhaust fans while cooking and showering. Open a window if the weather allows to provide a good airflow. Buy a dehumidifier to more accurately control your humidity.
Prevent a Leak from Causing Mold
If you notice a leak in your home act immediately to prevent mold. Fix any pipes or roofing that is causing the leak. Thoroughly dry the area affected by the leak with open windows, fans, and/or dehumidifiers. Create beneficial airflow to allow natural mold prevention. Ensure that the area is completely dry and the leak is resolved before letting your guard down.
Did Your Leak Cause Mold?
If you notice a leak too late and mold has already begun growing, you will need to immediately have the mold removed or remediated. Large mold issues require assistance from a professional mold remediator. The EPA recommends that any mold problem larger than 10 square feet be investigated by an expert. If the mold has penetrated drywall, it will need to be cut out and replaced. Do not delay in dealing with mold as it has a tendency to grow fast and can cause health issues for you and your family.
Treating Mold Naturally
If you have mold growing in your home that is just on hard surfaces like bathtubs or countertops, etc, you can try treating the mold naturally with the following:
Many essential oils have shown to be anti fungal. The potency of pure essential oils reveals a non-toxic and natural method of fighting mold. Mold growth and exposure may be inhibited with these natural plant compounds. There are numerous studies showing the effectiveness of certain essential oils assisting in mold and fungus issues.
Some of the best options for killing mold are tea tree oil (sometimes referred to as melaleuca), oregano, thyme, and clove oils. Be careful with some oils like oregano, thyme, and clove as they can burn if they contact the skin undiluted.
Some people have successfully used colloidal silver to kill mold. Apply directly to the mold and allow to dry completely.
Vinegar is a natural acid that can kill many mold species. Vinegar is an inexpensive way to treat mold. You can spray vinegar on the mold directly and allow to soak before wiping it off. Repeat as needed.
After cleaning with one of the above-mentioned natural mold-killing solutions, put item outside in direct sunlight for extra mold protection. Some fabrics can also be cleaned and put in direct sunlight to kill mold and lighten mold stains.
Proper treatment for mold growth will depend on the surface it has populated. Always consult a professional before attempting to remediate a major mold problem yourself. If you don’t have experience with mold remediation the EPA recommends that any mold problem larger than 10 square feet be examined by an expert.
Krystle Reeves assists in managing MoldBlogger.com, a website dedicated to providing a place to share and receive information that will better allow individuals to fight and conquer toxic mold and the consequences of mold exposure, and also blogs at Where the Green Things Grow where she shares her adventures and challenges while homesteading off-grid.
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