Mold can be a pretty serious problem, but most people don't understand how mold works, where it comes from, or how to efficiently get rid of it. To help make sure that you are prepared for any mold-related problems now and in the future, here are some tips to keep in mind:
How can you find and identify mold in your home?
It can be difficult to tell the difference between types of mold, especially if you have had problems with food-related mold in the past.
In general, plumbing-related mold is going to grow in dark areas of your home that have access to warm water. This mostly narrows down the options to areas in your bathroom, below your sinks, and in your walls.
If you find a substance that resembles mold, then its better to be safe than sorry and treat the substance like a mold.
What kinds of health threats does mold pose?
In general, most mold is actually fairly harmless. Handling mold is dirty, but it won't do any serious damage to your health. Your biggest concern will be inhaling mold spores, which can irritate your respiratory system a fair bit. For most individuals, this will be a minor inconvenience at best, but for individuals with compromised immune and respiratory systems (the elderly, young children, and the very ill), these spores can be extremely frustrating.
For that reason, you want to handle mold as quickly as possible, making sure to contain the mold and wear respiratory protection at all times.
How can you safely remove mold?
Safe removal is actually a much simpler process than you might imagine. You need to isolate the mold, protect yourself, kill the mold, and remove the remains.
Isolating the mold is easily accomplished by sealing off the room in question from the rest of your home. You can open windows for fans to blow the mold out of the room in question, but you don't want to circulate the mold into the rest of your home.
As far as protection is concerned, you mostly want to cover your skin, eyes, mouth, and nose. Long sleeves, a respirator, and safety goggles should be more than sufficient for your purposes.
Killing the mold can easily be accomplished with a bleach or ammonia solution, but make sure to dilute the cleaner with plenty of water. Bleach can be combined with water in a 1:10 ratio, while ammonia is quite a bit weaker and should be combined in roughly a 1:1 ratio. Apply it to the mold with a spray bottle and wait a few hours for the mold to die.
Once the mold is dead, you want to remove every trace of it and dispose of the mold in sealed containers.