Remove and avoid mold in the home

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By admin

Mold in the apartment should be removed immediately because it can make you ill and damage the building. With a few simple measures, the development of mold can be prevented.

Mold grows wherever there is too much moisture. The causes are manifold. The main reasons are:

  • wrong insulation
  • leaks or cracks in roofs, masonry, and windows
  • improper heating and ventilation
  • Condensation of humidity on cold walls

Mold often occurs in old buildings if the exterior walls do not have adequate thermal insulation but have new, well-closing windows. In new buildings or after construction work, mold can form if the rooms are not properly dried out.

This is how mold forms

Moist air that condenses on cold walls or near windows offers mold spores to ideal habitat.

 

Even in apartments without structural defects, moisture is constantly forming. In a multi-person household, everyday activities such as cooking, showering, or drying clothes produce more than ten liters of moisture every day. It stores warm room air. However, as soon as it hits a cold spot – preferably on outside walls – the humidity in the air condenses, and wet spots form. Mold can settle and multiply here. They are actually a harmless, natural part of the environment. 

 

However, if their concentration in living spaces exceeds a certain level, they can cause health problems.

Avoid mould

Mold should therefore be combated. The most important thing is to eliminate the causes because Anti-Mold agents only have a short-term effect and often only superficially. The bleach the fruiting body of the mold but do not destroy the actual heart. If nothing changes in the external conditions, the mold will be back after a few weeks. Effective mold control means:

  • Fix construction defects
  • heat sufficiently
  • air regularly
  • keep walls dry
  • If the outside walls are cool, do not place furniture directly against the wall, but keep a minimum distance of about ten centimeters
  • keep relative humidity below 65 to 70 percent.

The humidity can be checked with a so-called hygrometer (cost: around 15 euros). In living rooms, it should be between 40 and 60 percent. The measuring devices are also available in combination with thermometers or weather stations.

Tip: Along with the curing of mold you should also often remove it from your space. So, if you are looking to hire mold removal services in your area the option is to look mold abatement near me online. 

Mold: rights and obligations of tenants

When it comes to mold in rented apartments, landlords often argue that the tenant has not heated and ventilated enough. According to experts, heating and ventilation are actually among the tenants’ obligations to prevent mold. However, the landlord must prove that the cause of the mold is not in the so-called structure, for example in insufficient insulation. However, tenants are not required to set up cupboards and shelves at a certain distance from the wall to prevent mold growth.

Agent against surface mould

As a rule of thumb, if the area of ​​mold growth is larger than a credit card, it should be removed by a specialist company. If it is not possible to eliminate the mold in a timely manner, further spread can be prevented by spraying the affected areas with hairspray. The mold spores are encapsulated in this way. You can also remove small areas yourself, for example in the bathroom at joints, silicone seals or window reveals.

Various cleaning agents are commercially available to combat surface mold. Vinegar essence is an old household remedy for mold removal. However, caution is advised here: Mold can metabolize the acetate contained in vinegar, so vinegar forms an additional source of nutrients for mold and allows it to continue growing.

Most mold removers are based on the active ingredient benzalkonium chloride, a powerful disinfectant. It destroys the cell walls of the fungi. However, benzalkonium chloride can irritate the skin and cause severe allergies – just like chlorine, the most aggressive agent in the fight against mold. High proof isopropyl alcohol is less irritating. The smell also dissipates faster than that of chlorine, so that the room can be used again immediately after intensive ventilation.

Wear protective clothing

In principle, the following applies to all mold removal measures: Do not touch the mold, do not inhale the spores or allow them to get into your eyes. Therefore, wear gloves, safety goggles and a respirator with the FFP3 label when working. Thoroughly clean after removing mold.

Tips for correct heating and ventilation

  • Heat the apartment evenly so that the temperature differences in the rooms do not become too great.
  • When showering or cooking, immediately drain the moisture outside.
  • Ventilate regularly so that the air can circulate properly.
  • Open the windows wide to ventilate (shock ventilation). It is best to open several windows in opposite rooms at the same time so that there is a draft (cross ventilation). There is no point in tilting individual windows for a long time. There is hardly any air exchange. In addition, energy is lost and the rooms cool down more. This in turn encourages mold growth.
  • Strong airing in the mornings and evenings is recommended. Depending on the outside temperature, leave the windows open for five to ten minutes. In winter, two to three minutes are often enough. In the warmer months of the year, the window should remain open longer so that air can be exchanged.
  • Even rooms that are not occupied around the clock must be adequately heated.