Removing Mold: What to Know

Photo: © RioPatuca -

When mold and mildew appear at home, it can be irritating or even scary. The most important thing to do is to be proactive and remove the mold right away. But which products are most effective against it? Utopia helps to understand when alcohol is enough to get rid of mold, when to turn to chemical cleaning agents, and when more might be needed to get remedy the situation.

How to remove mold

We are often asked: Is mold on the walls a big problem? In short, yes, it is. Mold always has to be removed. But what is the best cleaning agent to get rid of the mold?

Because the spores and gaseous by-products of mold, as well as the special cleaning agents used to target mold, can be harmful for your health, you should make the final decision about how to remove the mold in your home. You can use the following advice as a guide on how to best remove mold:

1. If the mold/mildew is a recent development:

You can usually use a mild anti-mold agent if the problem is not too widespread. Cleaning agents containing alcohol (80 percent ethanol – beware the fumes!), hydrogen peroxide (three to ten percent), or sodium bicarbonate (soda ash, five percent) are often quite effective.

If the mild cleaners aren’t enough to stop the mold, it may be time to try a more intensive cleaning agent. Some chloride-containing cleaners can destroy the spores in as little as ten seconds. These chemical products are very effective, yet they are not always recommendable because they come with health drawbacks of their own. Read the product directions carefully to avoid putting yourself at more risk.

2. If the mold has been there for a while:

Seek help from professional mold remediators! If the mold has been sitting on your walls for a while, it has probably started to move into the paint, the wall paper and sometimes even into the plaster or drywall. When this happens, you will not be able to remove the mold by just cleaning the surface. You will need a professional to renovate your home. It is important that all affected materials are removed carefully and thoroughly.

What causes mold to grow?

Simply removing mold is not good enough solution in the long run. You have to find out why the mold is developing, or it will just start to spread again. The most common reasons for mold in homes are poorly-insulated walls, high humidity (from plants, bathtubs/showers, drying laundry, etc.), improper ventilation, and insufficient heating.

How to prevent mold

  • Once the mold has been removed, you should treat the affected areas with fresh plaster or paint. Lime plaster and lime mineral paint, which are often more expensive, offer great advantages in that they allow water to pass through and evaporate. The lime also works as a mild fungicide.
  • Avoid putting wallpaper or textiles on or near the affected areas. They can serve as a breeding ground for new mold. Some types of mold are said to cause allergies and forms of lung disease, because the spores can be transmitted through the air, onto your face and skin, and into your respiratory tract.

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