How to Conquer Nasty Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are close relatives –and they want to crash at your house for free. Instead of the spare bedroom or couch, though, these uninvited guests invade your kitchen, bathroom, car, basement, and that fruit bowl you forgot all about. What’s the best way to kick these pests out – and keep them out?

Mold and Mildew: Not-So-Fun-Guys

Mold and mildew have a vital job: break down dead organic matter. Without them, we wouldn’t have Penicillin or some varieties of cheese – and nature would be a mess! But they don’t need to have a prominent place in your home. While mold and mildew do not appear to affect some people, many experience respiratory and other health difficulties that can be severe or, in rare cases, life-threatening.

Microscopic mold and mildew spores travel easily through the air and into your home. They’re looking for moisture-rich surfaces, preferably in warm and dark environments, on which to grow and reproduce. Then it’s chow time: they produce digestive enzymes and begin eating away at the organic surfaces. Favorite meals include:

  • Drywall backing.
  • Wallpaper.
  • Fabric.
  • Insulation.
  • Carpet backing.
  • Wood products.
  • Food.
  • Plants.
  • Inorganic surfaces.

You thought your inorganic surfaces were safe, right? While mold and mildew cannot grow on tile, plastic, glass, and other inorganic surfaces, they can grow on the dirt, dust, or debris that are present there.

Why Are They So Hard to Remove?

Mold and mildew colonies are invisible to the naked eye. But what about the tell-tale signs of infestation that we see on tubs, tiles, floors, or ceilings? Or the musty odor we detect? Those are the byproducts of digestion. In other words, the mold and mildew have been camping out in your home for quite some time before you start noticing signs. They can make their ways into the cracks and grooves of surfaces, making it difficult to remove them completely.

Another problem is that you can’t completely eliminate spores from the air, nor can you completely eliminate moisture from your home. Luckily, though, there are several steps you can take to mitigate mold and mildew and improve your indoor air quality.

Getting Tough on Mold and Mildew

  • Take action at the first sign of mold or mildew growth so you can prevent larger problems and extensive damage.
  • Fix any leaky plumbing, pipes, roofs, or windows to reduce moisture.
  • Improve ventilation in your home. In summer, run your air conditioner to keep moisture and heat levels down. If you live in a humid area, consider a dehumidifier.
  • Fight enzymes with enzymes. Use a non-toxic, biodegradable enzymatic cleaner that contains both Ordenone and alcohol.

Enzymes break down organic compounds, including mold and mildew. While the cleaning enzymes are getting down to business, Ordenone, a nontoxic, biodegradable compound, encapsulates the malodors caused by these pesky microorganisms. This seals in the odor until the enzymes can completely destroy it. Finally, the alcohol sanitizes the area and allows the product to dry quickly. No moisture for hungry spores!

Mold and mildew can – and do – grow in every home. Fight back by sealing up leaks, ventilating properly, and investing in a good enzymatic cleaner.