If you’re an apartment renter or homeowner, mold can be a serious concern. Not only can it be a health hazard, but it can also cause major damage to your home. This blog will teach you the important steps to prevent mold from growing, teach you how to effectively remediate it if it does appear, and inform you on the best remediation products you should be using for maximum safety and efficacy. Learn how to get rid of mold with the tips in this article below.
How to Prevent Mold Outbreaks
Keeping your apartment well-ventilated is the best defense against mold. Mold thrives in damp, poorly ventilated areas, so make sure to open windows or use exhaust fans to circulate air and keep humidity levels low.
If you don’t have great ventilation options, a good trick is to use a dehumidifier. If your apartment tends to have high humidity levels, using a dehumidifier can help keep moisture levels low and prevent mold from growing. We’re listing our favorite below, which is great for smaller spaces like bathrooms with poor ventilation.
In colder climates where it dips below freezing in the winter, it can be challenging to manage your humidity levels. Because the humidity is so low due to the cold air, it is often recommended to run a humidifier to improve your indoor air quality. However, it is possible to have too much humidity. If you notice significant condensation or ice build-up on your windows and you are running a humidifier, a good first step is to turn it down.
Bad mold infestations are always caused by moisture. Repair any leaks or water damage promptly. If you notice any water damage or leaks in your apartment, have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent mold from growing. If you live in a professionally managed apartment building, don’t hesitate to place a work order with the maintenance staff.
How to Treat Mold Outbreaks
1. Identify the source of the moisture causing the mold.
This could be a leaky pipe, a damp basement, or a humid room. Fixing the source of the moisture will help prevent any mold from returning.
2. Wear protective gear
When handling mold, it’s important to wear gloves, goggles, and a mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold spores. If you’re dealing with a tiny bit of shower mold in a wall crevice, you should be okay without a mask. If you’re dealing with a full-blown outbreak, do not hesitate to contact a professional.
3. Remove any moldy items
If the mold has grown on items such as furniture or clothing, it may be necessary to throw these items away to prevent the mold from spreading. If it can’t be bleached, the best policy is to get rid of the mold-infested item.
4. Clean the affected area
There are so many product choices to kill mold, though each are suited for different circumstances. You need to consider what material you’re cleaning (wood, tile, shower curtains, etc.) to determine the best treatment method. See our list of popular cleaning products below and to help determine which ones work best for your applications.
Detergent to Clean Light Surface Mold
Light surface mold is on the surface and hasn’t penetrated deep into anything (yet). For hard surfaces like tiles, wall framing, and baseboards, try using warm water, a mild detergent, and some elbow grease to remove the mold. Simply apply the water and detergent to a clean rag or scrub brush, then scrub the affected area. Repeat as needed, then dry the surface with another clean towel once you’re finished.
For walls, which are more porous than harder surfaces, try using only warm water and a rag to remove the mold. Even mild cleaners can sometimes leave a mark on permeable surfaces like walls, so it’s best to stick with water and elbow grease. If you notice a persistent problem, it may be a good idea to paint over the area to diminish the porousness of the wall to make it easier to clean; or, as we recommended earlier, invest in a dehumidifier to keep your space drier.
Use Bleach to Remove Mold from Hard Surfaces
Bleach is a great tool for removing mold on non-porous materials like tile and glass. However, it’s not effective on porous surfaces like drywall, concrete, unsealed tile, and wood, as it can stain and discolor the surface.
If you do decide to use bleach to remove mold, it’s important to follow a few precautions. First, mix one cup of chlorine bleach with one gallon of water. Never mix bleach with other household cleaners, as it can produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
Next, fill a spray bottle with the bleach solution and liberally spritz the mold-affected areas. Leave the solution to air dry, which will help kill all the mold.
Remember to wear rubber gloves and open a window for ventilation when using bleach, as it can make you dizzy if you inhale too many fumes. With these precautions in mind, bleach can be a safe and effective way to remove mold from your home.
Use Distilled White Vinegar to Remove Mold from Nonporous Surfaces like Tile and Showers
Distilled white vinegar is a non-toxic mild acid, and an affordable option for cleaning mold. It’s especially effective on non-porous surfaces like bathroom and kitchen counters, and porous surfaces like concrete, wood, drywall, and unsealed tile. It should not be used on marble or granite, as it can cause discoloration.
To use vinegar to clean mold, simply fill up a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Let it air dry and repeat every few days to prevent mold from returning. This cleaning solution should also help prevent future mold growth. Overall, vinegar is a kind and gentle option for removing mold from your home.
Use Baking Soda as a Pet-Friendly and Child-Friendly Mold Destroying Solution
Baking soda is a safe and natural cleaner that is great for removing mold, making it a great option for families with young children or pets.
To use baking soda to remove mold, mix one-quarter tablespoon of baking soda with warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray the mold growth, then scrub with a brush or scouring pad. Rinse the surface and allow it to air dry. To prevent future mold growth, lightly spritz the area with the baking soda mixture once more.
Baking soda is a kind and gentle way to remove mold from your home, making it a great option for those looking for a natural solution.
Use Ammonia as a Heavy-Duty Mold Killer with Caution
If you need a strong solution for removing mold, ammonia can be effective. Mix equal parts of water and ammonia in a spray bottle, then spray the solution on the affected area and let it soak into the mold for a few hours. Rinse and wipe dry, and the dangerous mold will be a threat no more. It’s important to note that you should never mix ammonia with any other type of cleaner, as the result can be highly toxic. The goal is to kill mold, not create a serious health hazard.
Ammonia is a powerful solution for removing mold, and if used with caution, it can be a safe and effective way to remediate mold in your home.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide from Your Medicine Cabinet to Kill Mold
You might be surprised to learn that hydrogen peroxide, the same stuff you use to clean cuts and scrapes, is great at removing mold. Simply put some three-percent hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spritz the affected area until the mold is well-soaked. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to bubble and fizz for 10 minutes, and voila. Using a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth, gently scrub the area. If the surface can handle it, you can increase the scrubbing intensity to remove the mold more effectively. Once you’re finished, dry the area with a towel. If necessary, you can spray the area again with hydrogen peroxide and repeat the process.
Hydrogen peroxide is a kind and gentle way to remove mold, making it a great option for those looking for a natural solution.
Know When to Call the Professionals
If you see mold covering a large portion of a wall or you can tell it penetrated the surface deeply you might need a professional to come in and remediate it. Sometimes drywall needs to be torn out and the area treated with heat and mold-killing chemicals. We would not recommend you do this yourself, it’s safer and more effective to call a professional – the wellbeing of your family and home are worth it.
By following these steps, you can help prevent mold from growing in your apartment or house. If you’re currently dealing with an outbreak, then hopefully we’ve equipped you with the tools and tricks you need to remediate your problem and keep your family and home healthy and safe. Remember, if you’re not sure how to handle mold or if the problem is out of your control, don’t hesitate to reach out to your landlord or a professional for assistance.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact your property manager! MHA Properties is here to help.