Strategies for minimizing mold

Moldy_Housecorner_both_Sides

Ever had a mold problem? It’s one of the biggest challenges we’re dealing with in our current house, and though it’s an ongoing battle, I’m happy to say we’re gradually getting the situation under control. Read more in my latest Mother Earth News post:

“Mold isn’t just unsightly and nasty-smelling. It can have potentially serious health consequences such as respiratory problems or symptoms akin to allergy and asthma. Treat it promptly and uncompromisingly as you would a dangerous enemy.”

I’m telling you, in the first weeks of moving here it was like battling some malicious, purposeful enemy rather than colonies of fungus. Every spot that wasn’t completely dry, toasty and thoroughly aired would be covered with ugly black mold dots within days. Persistent airing and copious amounts of bleach made these attacks recede somewhat, but we still have to be extra diligent when it comes to maintenance.

By the way, when we first came to see the house, it was impossible to know there was a mold problem at all. The place was spotless! Which is something I always keep in mind whenever I feel challenged. It’s definitely doable.

I’m ready to try methods other than bleach, because I hate the way it smells. Vinegar and baking soda did not make an iota of difference. Anyone has any good tips?

Image source: Wikipedia

10 thoughts on “Strategies for minimizing mold

  1. Someone told me that clove oil was supposed to kill mold so I bought a little bottle, put the oil on a cloth and rubbed it on the mold spot but it didn’t come off. Maybe I did it wrong, I’m not sure. You could also try white vinegar mixed with baking soda to kill the mold. Apparently bleach just bleached the mold spot rather than killing the mold spores, so maybe use vinegar to kill it then bleach to cover it up. Hope this helps somewhat 🙂Lisa

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    • Hi Lisa! I have never tried clove oil or hydrogen peroxide (another anti-mold nontoxic remedy). Might have to give them a try. What we call “mold” is actually many different strains, so what works for one might not work for another.

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  2. The last place lived had this problem. The landlord had to remove the drywall and put metal plates inside the walls and put up new drywall. I’m not sure if you are renting or not or what the laws are in Israel are but here in the US landlords can’t ignore this problem. Tentants can take you to court over mold.

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    • Alfreda, this house belongs to my mom so we can’t exactly take her to court. 😁 The house is made of concrete blocks and sits on a concrete foundation with a wood frame. Not sure yet what we can do beyond maintenance.

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  3. We use a mobile dehumidifier in our place here in somewhat moldy NWestern Washington state…it DOES help. I realize it takes electricity and you must empty out the water catcher a couple times a day…but it keeps humidity lower and that makes mold less likely. Also using the bathroom fan a great deal and the kitchen fan maybe some extra too. I am sorry you have that problem. If it is under the paint, you may need to take more extreme measures to rid yourself of it.

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  4. OH and I clean with straight apple cider vinegar also…my aunt told me that bleach is outlawed in Germany and when they went there to do some work one time, the only mold cleaner they used was vinegar…

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  5. Are your walls painted concrete blocks? Try scrubbing them down really well with bleach and then re-painting with special mold inhibiting paint. It’s pricier than regular paint, but it’s worth it to take care of the mold problem if you’re going to be in this home long term.

    If you have drywall over the concrete, you will need to replace it in order to get rid of the mold, cause the spores are in there and they will just come back. We had to do this a few years ago when we had a leak inside a wall. We sawed out the affected drywall and bleached and dried out the wood framing inside the wall. We had a mold expert come and test for spores. When we got that taken care of, we had to patch in new drywall. It was a pain, but worth it.

    Also if your flooring is right on the concrete slab, the flooring installer should have taken steps to mitigate the moisture coming up through the slab. If this didn’t happen, you’ll unfortunately need to deal with the slab first and then replace the flooring.

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