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An ounce of prevention is worth of a pound of cure when you need to control mold. By making it difficult for mold to thrive, you can greatly reduce how much is in your house, and you should remove the fungus as soon as it starts to show. Do not give mold a chance to gain a foothold, as it can spread spores all over the house, resulting in a moldy nightmare.
You should also check closely for signs of mold and mildew in a prospective new house, because they can be difficult to eradicate once established. It can be a challenge to remove mold from your house, but if you stick with it, you will ultimately be successful, unless previous tenants allowed it to set in.
Mold and mildew are actually different types of fungus, although they are often confused. The rules to reduce and remove mold fortunately apply to mildew as well. Primarily, the best way to prevent mold is to keep the house clean and dry. Mold and mildew thrive in damp, warm environments, so make sure that spills of liquids and foods are promptly cleaned up, so they have nothing to feed on, and take steps to reduce the humidity in your home. A dehumidifier can be used to dry the air. Proper ventilation is also important, and you may want to invest in fans to improve air circulation.
If mold and mildew do start to appear, your approach to remove it will vary, depending on the substance the mold is infesting. If possible, the fungus should be exposed to sunlight. A rug, for example, that begins to show mold can be taken outside and sunned to kill the spores. The same can be done with other textiles, and they can be treated with a mild bleach and water solution before being washed and hung outside to dry so that the sun will kill any remaining spores. Paper products should be discarded, as it can be impossible to remove mold from your house when it has established itself on books, magazines, and newspapers.
To remove mold when the area of infestation is not as movable, as is the case with moldy walls and bathroom fixtures, you will need to be a little bit more aggressive. Mix a bleach and water solution or use a commercial mold removing product to wash the area, and make sure to keep the work space well ventilated. When you remove mold from your house using this technique, make sure to spot test the surface for staining. You may need to try a few options before you find a cleaner that is safe for wood or paint. Never paint over mold, because it will continue to grow underneath, and it will be even more difficult to get rid of.
On carpeting, use a vacuum to pull up as much mold and mildew as possible, and make sure to wipe the vacuum down and expose it to sunlight afterwards. Use a cloth soaked in a bleach solution to blot the moldy area, first spot testing on a hidden area. Use a dry cloth to absorb as much moisture as possible from the area, and a fan to help it dry quickly. Other types of flooring such as wood, linoleum, stone, or tile can be thoroughly mopped to remove mold.
Garages are particularly notorious places for mold, as they often have no natural light through windows and damp, dirty floors. Try to keep the garage door open on sunny days, if possible, to help deter fungus growth, and build shelving to keep articles stored in the garage off the floor. If mold does appear, empty out the garage, wash it well with a strong bleach solution, and allow it to dry entirely. Check individual items in the garage for signs of mold and mildew, discarding paper products that have become moldy and cleaning everything else thoroughly.