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The process of cleaning up and preventing mold is not as complicated as many people would have you believe. Mold is a part of the natural environment and there is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores from the indoor environment.
Mold is spread when the spores that naturally drift on the air currents land on a moist surface. When the spores land on a moist surface they begin to grow after about 48 hours.
The health effects of mold can include allergic reactions in some people as well as asthma and other respiratory complaints.
Although the phrase "toxic mold" is common, it is not accurate. Certain molds can produce mycotoxins but the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous.
To prevent mold from developing, you must control the moisture in the home. This is accomplished through proper ventilation and the use of an air conditioner or dehumidifier. When the moisture level (humidity) of the home is below 60%, you will not have a problem with mold growth. If you have a water problem in the home, you should fix the problem before cleaning up the mold or it will just return.
To remove mold from hard surfaces, you should begin with the proper safety equipment. This includes gloves, goggles, and a respirator. You can remove the mold by washing the surface with detergent and water. Then you should completely dry the surface.
There will probably be a discoloration left behind. You should repaint the effected area with a mold resistant paint. This, along with proper moisture control, will prevent future problems.
On softer surfaces such as drywall, the materials will need to be removed or encapsulated with a product to kill and contain the mold. Things such as cloth furniture may need to be discarded if the spores have penetrated the fabric.