Wondering how to remove mold? Mold is generally a benign substance when it is found outside; however, when it moves indoors it can be more than a nuisance. It can be a health hazard. Several types of mold can be detected by a musty smell and they can cause a home to rapidly degenerate. It can be very hard to eradicate mold once it takes a hold on your house. Bathrooms are notorious for growing mold, and need to be cleaned scrupulously on a regular basis in order to avoid it. If there’s already mold growing in the bathroom area and you’ve done everything to remove it, here’s a great article on how to clean black shower mold permanently.
In order to know how to remove mold from your home, it can be useful to first understand what mold is, how it grows, and how it spreads. A special kind of fungus, mold has a legitimate place in nature. Mold is a microorganism that breaks down non-living organic material. Consider a compost bin, for example. Mold is responsible for decomposing dead leaves, grass, and other vegetation and turning it into rich, fertile mulch that will be valuable in helping fresh gardens grow. While outdoor mold is all well and good, indoor mold is not. Mold can cause a number of allergic reactions in humans, including nasal congestion, coughing, runny eyes, skin rashes, wheezing, and breathing difficulty. Mold can also potentially contribute to chronic conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. There is one form of mold in particular that is extremely hazardous, and that is toxic black mold. Depending on what kind of mold you are dealing with, there are many dangers of mold in your home.
Mold grows best in warm, wet environments and that’s why it seems to thrive in the bathroom. The moisture that hangs in the air and collects on surfaces after hot baths or showers makes for the perfect mold-growth environment. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to vent the bathroom somehow – using an exhaust fan and opening a window after bathing can be very helpful. Wiping out the bath or shower after every use can help as well. You might want to scrub the floor and floorboards at least once a week. Mold lands on moist surfaces and, if the environment is favourable, it starts growing tiny, hair-like roots, or hyphae, that embed themselves deeply into the walls, grout, caulking, tile, flooring, or what have you. It prefers organic materials as mentioned earlier, but mold can also attach itself to synthetic material as well. From there, a mold colony will rapidly emerge, potentially expanding out to several square feet if left unchecked. Mold releases spores that are virtually indestructible micro seeds that become airborne, land on fresh surfaces, take root, and grow into new colonies. And with that, the mold cycle continues.
As you can see from the pictures below, we tested out this educational article on how to remove black mold from your shower and bathroom comes from the “Our Home from Scratch” website, an awesome DIY home improvement blog authored by married teamsters, Lisa and John. The basic involves a thorough exposure of the moldy area to a strong product such as bleach with a tool that will really work the mold away. Since mold can be toxic be sure to wear gloves and a mask for this process. The awesome part of the tutorial is in fact getting rid of the mold entirely by removing the old caulking and then recaulking with a high quality product that is less susceptible to mold growth.
Moldy caulking can be a really big problem because the mold tends to root itself so deeply that there’s no way to separate the two. The only solution is to remove the caulking by gently using an Exacto knife or another kind of sharp blade around the shower basin or tile. A flat-bladed box cutter, similar to a window scraper, can also be helpful while scoring it. Next, peel the caulking out – it should lift out easily, but if not, you can use a flat-headed screwdriver to get the rest. Next, prep the entire area for the new caulking. Clean it completely and allow it to dry. Go out and get yourself a tube of silicon-based caulking – if you possibly can, pick out the shower-specific kind that will remain mold-free for several years. This type of caulking will also protect against moisture build-up, but it’s more difficult to work with than latex caulking. For this reason, you’ll want to use masking tape, leaving a half-inch around the area you want to caulk. Apply the caulking by dotting it around the area and then smearing it with your finger until the entire strip is covered. For seamless smearing, try moving your finger in one continuous motion from one end to the corner, then repeat with the other side, and so on, until you’re done. Then remove the masking tape (you will likely need to use the exacto knife to slice it so the caulking does not peel off) and gently smooth out the caulking lines one final time. Allow for ample drying time before using the shower again – at least eight hours, but preferably 24. This entire DIY mold-cleaning process will take you approximately two hours. The most time-consuming will be the removal of the old caulking. Once you’ve installed your new caulking and allowed it to dry, make sure you clean it once a week so the mold won’t come back. Should this happen, then apply your bleach solution and allow it to soak in for approximately 10 minutes before wiping it away, and this should do the trick.
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