Like frizzy, untamed hair, mold thrives in humid conditions. The link between moisture levels and mold is a strong one – and one we should pay attention to if we want to maintain a mold-free home. As weather patterns and seasons come and go, it is important to keep track of the humidity levels within our home walls in order to preserve a healthy dwelling.
Stop the Condensation
Condensation is an issue for every bathroom – it’s a humid environment where moisture is released into the air in an indoor environment by something as simple as taking a shower or a hot bath. Condensation forms when the hot steam meets cold air and surfaces, forming droplets on windows, mirrors and every hard surface. The hotter the water vapour, the more moisture the air can hold and the more condensation will be deposited on cold surfaces.
Vital Oxide is an odorless disinfectant that is also used to kill mold. It is additionally utilized as a deodorizer and is approved by the EPA as a hospital grade disinfectant. I was sent a sample and tried it in two locations. The first was in a car, and the second on an aluminum window.
Because I don’t drive to work very often, my car doesn’t receive as much use as most cars do. This coupled with living in a very rainy place (the coast of the Pacific Northwest) was the perfect opportunity for a little bit of mold to show up on the seats and in the cup holder. So I sprayed it on and scrubbed. The cup holder mold came off easily because it is a non porous surface. The seats however took a bit more elbow grease, but I was eventually successful in removing the mold. A couple weeks later the mold did come back on the seats, but no where near as strong as before. So I repeated the process with success.
My second experiment was on a single pane aluminum window. Because the U-values (insulating properties) of single pane glass and aluminum window frames are both low, this combination makes for a rather cold spot in a warm room. The warm air holds moisture quite well, but as soon as it gets near the window its temperature drops and so does the water, right onto the window. Naturally the water breeds mold. So I used Vital Oxide to clean the window with success. The glass and aluminum are both non porous surfaces so the mold wiped right off.
In general Vital Oxide is a strong and effective mold cleaner. It’s less effective on porous surfaces, but from my experience that is the case with all cleaners due to the properties of mold. It is sold both in a can or spray bottle. I preferred the control of the spray bottle, but understand how the can would be easier to use in tight spaces. Even though Vital Oxide is a little more expensive than most, it is well worth it for one very good reason. Most mold cleaners that I’ve used tend to have a strong and often offensive odor to them, but Vital Oxide has no odor and it removes the smell of the mold.
Brian Reeves co directs MoldBlogger.com with his wife Krystle. As an intern architect living in the Pacific Northwest he often encounters the damage mold can cause in buildings not properly constructed to prevent mold growth.