Analysis of the causes of mold and prevention
Before starting to 'fight' your battle against mold it is necessary to know more about the 'enemy'. These are bacteria and spores that initially appear as simple dots and then spread to stain, first eating the paints and then the plaster. At an advanced level, if you do not intervene in time, the plaster ends up undergoing a progressive 'chalking' process. The main cause of mold on walls is water and humidity. Here is a shortlist of the factors that lead to mold growth:
- The rupture of a pipe and the infiltration of water will leave a trace on the domestic walls in the form of a yellow stain and detachment of the plaster.
- Poor insulation of walls, especially of external ones exposed to condensation.
- Rising humidity from the ground in the rooms on the ground floor or in the basements.
- Poor management of ventilation, especially when glass and windows have been installed that completely isolate the interior and do not allow air to circulate.
- Bad habits, such as drying clothes indoors in the winter.
Some easy measures can prevent the discomfort caused by the formation of mold on the walls:
- Install ventilators or forced aspiration hoods in the kitchen and bathroom, the rooms where condensation stagnation is more common.
- When painting the walls, choose anti-mold paints based on lime or silicates that allow the plaster to transpire and therefore make it less attackable by spores and bacteria.
Remove mold: do it yourself or not do it yourself?
The operation to permanently eliminate the mold can take a few hours and cheap products, as well as professional interventions, are even invasive to the home. It all depends on the cause that leads to the formation of mold and its progress. Before proceeding with the do-it-yourself, therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the condition of the walls and the factors that create mold. For example, if there is even minimal water infiltration, undetected, the problem will recur within a few hours. The intervention of a local pros therefore recommended to act in a more radical way both on the resolution of the problem and on its prevention. If the wall is peeling, it is advisable to remove the residue of the old paint, using a professional painter who can clean it properly and use suitable products, professionally applied.
What products to use to clean mold?
Have you assessed the current situation and have you decided to proceed in the first person? The first thing you need to learn about how to remove mold is to know how to choose between the different products on the market, analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Bleach: it is cheap and is usually found already in the ordinary household cleaning kit. But how to use it to eliminate mold from walls? First of all, you will have to take precautions for your health and for that of the house: wear gloves and a mask so as not to inhale the product, remember to open doors and windows to air the rooms, do not use it on colored walls but only on white ones because it can corrode the paint. It can be applied pure, in small doses, with a soft cloth or sponge, or diluted in water with a spray. Leave on the stain for a few minutes, dry, remove the residue and repeat the operation.
- Sodium bicarbonate: a natural remedy that not only cleans and sanitizes but also prevents the formation of new molds and can therefore be used as a preventive remedy on walls at risk. It must be diluted in water and the right proportion is about 200 ml of liquid with a soup spoon of baking soda. Always remember to wipe with a dry cloth after application, because leaving traces of moisture can favor the formation of new bacteria.
- Vinegar and coarse salt: the sanitizing properties of wine vinegar are known, as are the anti-humidity properties of coarse salt. Combining these features can help to buffer mildew conditions on non-advanced walls. Dilute the vinegar with water in a spray container. It can also be used purely but only in the most compromised areas. Spray directly on the stain, leave to act, and dry with a cotton cloth. Repeat the operation several times. Finally, leave a container with coarse cooking salt in the areas most subject to humidity.
Permanently eliminate mold: chemical or natural?
There are different schools of thought on how to remove mold, regarding the products to use: chemical and artificial or organic and natural? The answer is not so univocal, because the choice is often obligatory and depends on the extent of the stain and the severity of the damage. The advice - if the situation is not so compromised and in an advanced stage - is to start with the more 'soft' solution and then go to raise the level of incisiveness. Remember that bicarbonate and vinegar, non-toxic and natural products, require to be applied several times during the treatment and frequently throughout the year (approximately every 3-4 months). The biocide spray or bleach needs several applications, but a few hours away to be able to act in-depth and must be used with the precautions indicated above.