Concerned about mold in your home? You are not alone. Mold can be found in just about any environment and at any time of year. Inside your home, mold is most likely to grow in areas that are warm, damp, humid or that have been exposed to water damage.
Health effects of mold
Some people are more sensitive than others to mold-related issues, including:
- Stuffy nose
- Red/itchy eyes
- Red/itchy skin
- Potential development of asthma in some children
Individuals with mold allergies, asthma or weakened immune systems may experience even more severe reactions.
Because mold can affect your health and damage or permanently discolor affected surfaces, remediation is recommended as soon as possible.
Mold remediation part 1: the cleanup
Mold remediation starts with cleaning / removing the mold. For most hard surfaces, this can be accomplished with:
- Commercially available cleaners
- Soap and water
- Bleach and water (up to 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water – never mix bleach with other cleaners)
Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s usage recommendations and warnings with any of the products you use. If you choose the bleach and water method, here are some additional tips:
- To avoid generating dangerous or toxic fumes, bleach should never be mixed with ammonia or other cleaning products
- Be sure the area is properly ventilated – open windows if possible
- Protect your eyes and skin with goggles, rubber boots and rubber gloves
- Remove dirt, grime, or any other build-up that can interfere with your cleaning solution’s ability to remove the mold
If the mold is growing on a porous material, like ceiling tiles or carpet, properly dispose of the material. And, if the source of the mold is from sewage or other contaminated water, or if the area is 10 square feet or bigger, contact an experienced, professional mold remediation company.
Mold remediation part 2: prevention
Reduce or slow down a recurring mold issue by taking preventative measures, including:
- If the mold growth was the result of water damage, be sure to have the issue or issues repaired in a timely manner.
- Using your air conditioner’s settings and/or a dehumidifier, try to keep your home’s humidity below 50%. Many Carrier® air conditioner systems and thermostats offer convenient humidity monitoring and control settings.
- Be sure exhaust fans are in good working condition and replace or upgrade them if necessary. Consider adding whole-home ventilation by a professional HVAC contractor.
- Be sure to clean problem areas more frequently.
- Avoid using carpet in moist or humid locations such as a basement or bathroom.
Finally, if you suspect or know the source of your mold issue is coming from your heating, ventilating or air conditioning system, discontinue using the system and have it inspected and cleaned by your local Carrier HVAC dealer.