Monday, May 15, 2017

Tips to Prevent and Eliminate Mold

Mold belongs to the group of fungi along with mushrooms and yeasts. The curiosity of this group is that it does not belong to the animal or vegetable kingdom because the cells that form them are different from the cells characteristic of these two kingdoms. It is believed that there may be hundreds of thousands of molds and we normally find in our homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria and Aspergillus.

In recent years there has been an increase in cases of people sensitive or allergic to mold. The reaction to indoor mold can cause asthma episodes in asthmatics and allergy and in people considered healthy can cause rhinitis, wheezing while breathing, affections in the respiratory system, cough, and fever. There is also evidence that seems to indicate a relationship between exposure to indoor mold and respiratory diseases in children. The construction of clever buildings in recent decades, which are airtight and where there is not enough ventilation or air renewal, seems to be the reason why some toxic molds that have always existed now affect our health more easily. The building materials we use today can also facilitate the appearance of mold, So many of them are also treated with fungicides, substances that are highly toxic. Mold is one of the causative factors of what we know as "Sick Building Syndrome."


Mold reproduces through spores that may be dormant for years until conditions are created to germinate and create a colony. These conditions are a correct level of oxygen and temperature and high humidity. A high temperature and humidity will facilitate the appearance of mold. It is not possible to keep the house temperature low without being cold, so the best weapon to prevent the appearance of mold is to control the humidity.

If we believe that we can be at risk of mold at home there is the possibility of determining the presence of toxic molds, such as Aspergillus, using simple and inexpensive household tests without having to go through the laboratory.

Humidity control

A poorly ventilated room with a high degree of humidity or condensation - such as in basements - or a suitable surface (clothing, wood, food, leather, plaster, etc.) that is wet for at least 24 or 48 hours Is the best place for mold to grow. Keeping moisture below 60% is one of the main ways to hinder the proliferation of mold since without moisture there is no mold.

To reduce the degree of humidity in summer we can use air conditioners and in winter dehumidifiers of calcium chloride or bentonite or electric dehumidifiers, if the degree of humidity is very high or if, for example, we have to lay clothes indoors. It is advisable to have a hygrometer to control the degree of humidity that we have at home.

Purification of the air and cleaning of the home

Mold spores move through the air, so a very good option to remove mold spores and prevent the appearance of mold is to use air purifiers with HEPA filters . HEPA filters filter particles up to 0.3 microns, so they can capture mold spores that are found in our homes. If we already have mold at home we must take into account that mold can release toxic substances, so in this case would be recommended an air purifier with two phases of filtration, HEPA plus active carbon, to remove these toxic substances from the environment.

Likewise, if we use a vacuum cleaner for home cleaning it is recommended that you have a HEPA filter to eliminate spores from the air passing through the vacuum cleaner. We can also easily find vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters plus active carbon.

Other methods of prevention
  • Ventilation: Thoroughly ventilate the house to avoid pockets of moisture or condensation.
  • Sunlight: Mold can not live to receive sunlight, so whenever possible we must ensure that our home receives the maximum possible sun.
  • Anti-mold paints: Use anti-mold paints on walls susceptible or already affected by mold. Fungicides are very toxic substances, so we should always opt for an ecological anti-mold paint, such as Masan anti-mold paint that contains no solvents or fungicides and is odorless.
  • Cleaning wet areas: Clean the wet rooms of the house, such as sinks and kitchen, with non-toxic mold-removing products such as bicarbonate, sodium percarbonate or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Clothing: Keep clothing dry, whether it is finished washing, clothing we have used for sports, rain-soaked clothing or used towels. If we lay clothes indoors, use an electric dehumidifier to dry it.
  • Footwear: Clothes are often washed but shoes are not, so it is a good practice to leave shoes at the entrance of the house to avoid bringing more spores to the house. Also, shoes that are not used in ventilated places should be stored after cleaning.


Conventional fungicides are toxic substances, so whenever possible you should opt for substances that are safe for mold removal. To replace this type of fungicides we have the option of using non-toxic and ecological fungicides such as the Jati brand, which is totally toxic. We can also use substances that act as eye but do not emit toxic vapors, such as sodium percarbonate or hydrogen peroxide. Another option is to use acids that we can find in any house like vinegar or lemon juice.

For the operation of eliminating the mold is convenient that the person who does it carries non-porous gloves and mask with a particle filter to avoid breathing and to have contact with the spores of mold. You should also wash your clothes after cleaning. In case the cleaning of the mold implies a large surface, it is convenient to pass the aspirator with HEPA filter after the cleaning or to place an air purifier while we make it and to keep it in operation for several days later to eliminate to the maximum the sports Which will inevitably be released.

Walls and roof: They are usually caused by leaks of water and condensation. If the surface is not porous, just wipe with a damp cloth. If it is porous, for example, unpainted gypsum, there is no choice but to scratch the wall and re-plaster or replace the plasterboard, since the material will be deeply affected.

Wood: With a sponge and a little-diluted vinegar you can remove mold from the affected wood. If the affected area is not very large and there is some surface stain of mold can be sanded a bit the wood.

Carpet and carpets: If the carpet is fixed you must change the affected area for new carpet, as it is the most effective and safe. Carpets that are not fixed and carpets should be removed to the outside, clean with water in which sodium percarbonate has been dissolved, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry in the sun. Afterward, they will have to be aspirated to remove the spores and put them back.

Tiles and Grout: A typical case of sinks. Mold can easily be removed with vinegar, sodium percarbonate dissolved in water or hydrogen peroxide, allowing them to act for about 15-20 minutes. In case there are stains in the grout since it is porous and the mold may have deepened, it will be necessary to scratch it a bit and place a new layer of grout.

In walls, ceilings, wood and carpets or carpets it is advisable to apply a sealant to prevent mold spores that may have been left to create a colony. Sealants that do not emit toxic Maid or AFM brands can be found.

Clothes: Washing clothes a few times by adding a spoonful of sodium percarbonate to the washing machine (can be used together with the detergent) and letting it dry in the sun is the best way to remove mold and also mold stains in the case of That is white clothing. Instead of percarbonate, you can use vinegar, adding a couple of cups to the wash.

Leather: The leather is easy prey of mold, especially if we keep it in cupboards or places moist and without ventilation. In this case, you should brush the leather clothing on the outside and let it dry in the sun. Then mix two parts of water with a white vinegar and wipe a small part of the garment with a cloth and then dry it (to avoid deteriorating the leather). Then return to the sun to dry completely.

Washing machine: Do a laundry without laundry by adding a couple of spoonfuls of sodium percarbonate and with the water temperature at least 40 ° C.

For mildew that may be in the past: Dilute a small spoonful of sodium percarbonate in half a liter of water and add a little vinegar. Spray it on the rubber and let it act for a few minutes. Then rinse with water.

In addition to leaving the washer door open for drying, using baking soda instead of fabric softener when washing clothes also help prevent mold buildup.

Mold is, along with dust mites and particles from domestic animals, one of the most prevalent biogenesis in the interior of our homes and usually goes unnoticed or is invisible until it has already affected a large area. For this reason, it is important to eliminate it and above all take the necessary measures to prevent its occurrence.

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