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Doing Battle with Mold and Mildew

Posted 20 March 2015 5:26 PM by admin

There’s something quaint about the idea of a mudroom. One thinks of an old New England farm house. A drafty “air lock” of sorts attached to the main house, the mudroom is lined with shoes and boots for winter. Coats and jackets are hung willy nilly on pegs. Heavy rugs or matts cover the floor. A shovel stands idle by the door in a fresh puddle of melted snow. But while the name remains the same, like so many other features of the modern home the concept has been updated.

Here’s what you need to know to win the battle with mold and mildew:

• Be sure that basements, bathrooms, kitchens and attics are well ventilated and that there are no leaks. Mold will form anywhere water pools regularly.
• Use a dehumidifier, air conditioner or fans during times of high humidity. If your basement takes on water regularly install a sump pump and a year around dehumidifier for best results.
• Clean and dry thoroughly any fabrics before storing.
• Do not store old papers, photographs or books in a damp place and avoid using cardboard boxes for longterm storage purposes as they will absorb moisture over time.
• In the bathroom be sure to spread towels out to dry, wipe down the shower after using, and wash and dry shower or bath curtains on a regular basis.
• Mold can begin to grow on any damp surface left unchecked. That includes upholstered and wooden furniture as well as carpeting. Vacuum surfaces with soft brush and air carpets thoroughly.
• For bathroom and kitchen surfaces use non-ammonia detergent and chlorine bleach to disinfect.
• Be sure to wear rubber gloves. Discard old gloves, brushes, sponges and plastic buckets after using.

Of course there are also any number of commercial cleaners available for specific surfaces, particularly bathroom tiles etc. Be sure to read directions carefully when using.

Lastly, if you can’t get it clean and keep it dry, throw it away. There is no sense in risking the health of you and your family because of a little mold and mildew.

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