How To Remove White Mold
What is White Mold?
Molds, which are part of the environment, are microscopic organisms which digest organic matter and release spores to reproduce. They are a type of fungi of which there are over 100,000 species. There are many different kinds of mold, the most common being black mold but you also have gray, green and white molds
How Does White Mold Come And Where Does It Grow?
Mold, including white mold, grows and multiplies rapidly under the right conditions with sufficient moisture. White mold originates from high humidity, damp soil, condensation of even a leaking tap. Other conditions which contribute to white mold are roof leaks, plumbing leaks and damp walls. Mold grows on almost any surface like wallpaper, ceiling tiles, wood, carpet, paint, sheet rock and insulation. Some molds appear white initially but progressively change color when it starts producing black, blue or other colored spores. White mold however remains the same color regardless of age. Like black mold, white mold is not type specific as several different species are visibly white.
Efflorescence Or White Mold?
Efflorescence is a white deposit seen on concrete floors which is often mistaken for white mold. Concrete floors tend to absorb water from the ground which generally contains a high level of dissolved salts. When the water evaporates the salts left behind leaving a deposit which homeowners often mistake for white mold. The easiest way to distinguish between the two is to scrape off some of the deposit and stir it into water. If it dissolves, it is efflorescence and not white mold.
What Are The Symptoms Of White Mold?
White mold has the appearance of white specks along damp walls like in the bathroom or basement accompanied by a musty odor. But this is misleading as white mold could be hidden behind ceiling tiles and wall coverings. It is also found growing in places where moist air condenses on wall surfaces like in closets against walls, headboards and behind dressers. White mold proliferates in high humidity rooms like laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
Is White Mold In The Home A Concern?
You can usually find white mold in basement or anywhere with damp conditions. White mold is a health hazard, but effects vary from one person to the next and also depend on the amount of white mold they are exposed to. Typical symptoms are wheezing, coughing, throat and nasal conditions. Asthma sufferers who are mold allergic will experience a worsening of their allergy symptoms. People with weakened immune systems are likely to develop severe fungal respiratory infections.
How Can I Prevent White Mold?
You cannot eliminate mold-carrying spores in the environment, but the best way is to prevent white mold is to control moisture. Stop the source of leaks or water problems to prevent white mold growth. Reduce indoor humidity by venting out damp air with dehumidifiers and exhaust fans. Clean mold off surfaces where it has already formed and replace absorbent materials like moldy ceiling tiles. Add insulation to reduce condensation on hard surfaces.
How Can I Remove White Mold?
Hard surfaces can be scrubbed with a dilute solution of water and detergent to remove white mold. Where you cannot stop the moisture source, use a 10 percent bleach solution to control the white mold growth. Monitor the areas which you have cleaned for further signs of moisture and white mold growth. White mold thrives in empty spaces so remove all traces of white mold before caulking or painting. If white mold re-appears, further material removal or repair are indicated. Protect yourself with gloves, goggles and breathing protection while working. White mold is a health hazard. White mold removal products are available but these are generally synthetic chemical based which could pose their own problems.
Are There Any Home Remedies For White Mold Removal?
Tea tree oil, vinegar and grapefruit seed extract are three natural remedies good for white mold removal. Tea tree oil which is available in most health food stores has broad spectrum fungicidal properties but is expensive. It leaves a residual odor but this goes in a few days. Grapefruit seed extract is as effective but leaves no odor. However both ingredients are expensive. By far the cheapest home remedy to get rid of white mold is to use vinegar.
What Are The Health Risks Posed By White Mold?
White mold, like all indoor mold growths, is a health hazard to anyone, and can be particularly dangerous to people suffering from allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions. Individuals, who are exposed to a high concentration of white mold or for sustained periods, are at risk for fungal infections as well as lung, skin and digestive tract infections. They are also susceptible to allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and rhinorrhea – watery eyes and a runny nose which might be accompanied by coughing. According to recent studies, an alarming 50 percent of homes suffer from mold growth to some extent. It is important that you recognize the Health Risks Posed by White Mold and seek early treatment.
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