The first step to controlling mold in homes and buildings is to understand how mold is formed. Mold grows and reproduces by way of tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. These spores are always around and are continuously floating in the air. These spores are relatively harmless unless they land on damp or moist surfaces, which will cause them to grow and reproduce on whatever surface they are on, forming the visible mold we are accustom to.
Once you have identified the mold, the first step will be to clean and remove the growing mold from the contaminated surface. This is best done by using some sort of EPA approved mold disinfectant like Sanidate 5.0, but other disinfectants and sanitizers can work also. These products are either diluted with water or applied directly and typically should be allowed to sit for a few minutes. (Be sure to read labels carefully). The treated surface is then either rinsed off with clean water or wiped clean with a clean cloth. Porous, absorbent materials will most likely need to be replaced.
Next it is imperative to identify the source of moisture that created the environment for the mold to grow in the first place. Look for leaking pipes, sinks, windows or other areas where water or moisture is coming from. Once the source is identified, immediately have the problem resolved either by a professional or a capable repair person so that future leaks or moisture problems can be prevented.
Now that the current mold problem is controlled, you must take preventative steps to help ensure future mold problems do not occur. For instance quickly and efficiently clean off any damp surfaces or materials. It is advised that clean-up should be done with in 48 hours. Controlling indoor humidity will also help with long term mold control. It is recommended that humidity indoors be less than 60%. Increasing ventilation and using air conditioners and de-humidifiers can all contribute to the lowering of humidity.
Other helpful steps would be to check and improve insulation to reduce condensation build up, avoid the use of carpeting in areas where known moisture problems occur such as bathroom and kitchen areas and even having your air ducts examined by a professional HVAC service man.
There is no way to eliminate all of the mold spores that exist in the air, that is why the only effective way to control mold in homes is to control and reduce the available moisture that the spores require to grow in.
Casey Coke is a Marketing Manager for Natural Environmental Systems, LLC, a global supplier of eco friendly solutions for pond and soil management, wastewater treatment and building restoration. The company markets their own brand of microbial products as well as mold remediation products, disinfectants and other related products.