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The Dark, Dirty Truth About Household Mold (And How to Rid Yourself of It)

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There are few homeowner problems more terrifying than mold. While thousands of molds are part of the natural environment, ghastly examples of it can be lurking in the nooks and crannies of even the cleanest house. They are not just unsightly. They can be harmful to your health. So, it’s important for every homeowner to know how to prevent mold, and how to get rid of it, should mold rear its ugly head.

Mold thrives in damp, dusty, and stagnant conditions. So, it’s important to keep your home well ventilated, and at a relative humidity below 50%. Homeowners most often encounter mold in the basement, but it can occur in other areas as well, including around leaky pipes and windows. The key to getting rid of mold is moisture control.

Should you find mold in your home, clean it up promptly, and fix any

water problems that have caused it. If you do experience water damage to your home, dry those areas within 24–48 hours to prevent mold growth. Whether you find mold on the ceiling, in the shower, or in your carpet, quick action is paramount.

If you find the dreaded black mold (Stachybotrys), call a professional—you'll need an expert to clean mold of this nature. Other common household molds, you can handle yourself with either conventional or natural mold remover. Protect yourself by wearing gloves, goggles, and a respirator before starting work. Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Porous materials like ceiling tiles and carpet that have been exposed to mold, will probably need to be discarded. Let’s take a good look at molds—what they need to grow, where they thrive, and how to keep our homes from becoming their playground.

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