Atlanta’s humid climate is a prime environment for mold and mildew. In addition to damaging items, mold can also trigger asthma and allergies, among other health issues. Removing it and preventing it is key.
Considering the humidity and rain in North Georgia, what should you do? Here are a few tips to help you stay ahead of the game.
Tips to Prevent Mold and Mildew
- Make sure rooms are well ventilated: When rooms, especially bathrooms, aren’t well ventilated, moisture builds and creates prime conditions for mold and mildew. Make sure the bathroom fan works well and if not, crack a window! Squeegee the shower stall, including the curtain after each shower to minimize opportunities for mildew. Other rooms can get mold and mildew as well. Make sure windows are sealed and if rain does leak in, dry the area as soon as possible.
- Keep things dry: Yes, this is often easier said than done, but keeping bathrooms, kitchens, decks, etc. dry is one of the best ways to prevent mold. If you have outdoor furniture, cover it when it rains, or dry it promptly after a storm. Often times the hot summer sun will get the job done, but that doesn’t always work on high humidity days. Plus, the undersides of the furniture should be wiped down since the sun’s rays often don’t reach there. Wiping down the furniture will also clear out spider webs from the furniture.
- Don’t take spills lightly: Spills aren’t a big deal, but when they happen on carpet, it’s important to clean them up right away, and thoroughly. If a spill on carpet has time to sink into the carpet, it can get to the pad underneath and those dark conditions are perfect for mold. If there’s been some kind of leak in your home or a severe spill, it is worth the effort to lift up the carpet and dry the area underneath. A box fan can help dry the carpet as well as the pad.
Tips to Remove Mold and Mildew
- Use a vacuum and change the bag or empty the canister outside: When removing mold or mildew from fabric, vacuum it first. That will help keep spores from floating around in your home and possibly attaching to something else. Launder the fabric in chlorine bleach and hot water. Only use oxygen bleach if the fabric would be ruined by chlorine bleach. After laundering, make sure to dry the fabric thoroughly, drying it in the sun is ideal.
- Use Chlorine Bleach: When cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, chlorine bleach is your best bet. For stubborn mold stains, you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaner. They often have stronger bleach.
- Getting Mold Off Wood Furniture: Use a soft brush to wipe spores off the furniture, then vacuum. Remember – clean out the vacuum or change the back outside, away from the furniture you are cleaning. Wipe down the furniture with a dry cloth, and then wash with a damp sponge. Dry again and stain, polish or seal the furniture to prevent more mold from making a home there.
While these techniques are great for day-to-day care and maintenance, if you experience a severe flood, or discover mold in difficult to reach areas, you should consider hiring a professional company that specializes in mold removal. These companies have experience removing mold and often have access to stronger cleaners and better cleaning tools than can be found in the typical hardware store.