Have you ever noticed the black mold on window sills at home? It not only make your house ugly but also make you an unhealthy environment to live. It can cause fall allergies and make you sick. About 20% of the population are affected by allergy symptoms when they are exposed to mold.
It is so important to understand more about the mold and its effects. Then take corrective actions to live free of mold around you.
What is the mold?
Mold is also is a living fungus organism and is toxic. It is also called Mould. Mold can grow in indoors and outdoors. Mold grows in the wet and damp surfaces. There are as many as a hundred thousand mold species in the world.
Black mold is the most common one that is seen in windows sills. Mold spreads by releasing mold spores into the air. It further spreads with the wind to the larger area. Mold grows over the year and releases mold spores in the air. Mostly release of spores happens early and during the fall season.
The mold spores are microscopic and it can not be seen by the naked eye. Mold spores are capable of surviving high temperatures and any kind of pressure. It can grow within 48 hours sooner it comes in contact with the wet or damp area. Mold spores are the one that causes allergies in people during the fall.
Mold removal from the windows sills
You are advised to do it by yourself only if the mold patches are small. For larger patches or areas of mold never attempt to clean by yourself. Larger area means a patch of mild bigger than one square meter. For larger patches of mold get the local environmental health personnel to do the job.
Keep your windows tightly closed during fall and winter. This will lessen the accumulation of moisture inside the window casing. Otherwise, it will become a great place for mold to grow and spread fast.
Precautions before cleaning the black mold on window sills
Make sure to wear a pair of disposable gloves and masks before starting anything. It is good to prepare yourself well. Cover yourself with long pants. Wear a shirt with long sleeves. Cover your hair with a shower cap. Wear disposable shoes as well. To cover your eyes wear a pair of safety goggles.
At your progress cleaning, make sure mold does not touch your skin. Do not let mold spores to reach your lungs by any chance.
Step by step guide to mold removal from window sills
- Keep children and pets away from the area. This is to avoid them getting affected by mold spores and producing allergy symptoms.
- Close all the other windows and doors. Also, cover with tape any vents around to prevent mold spores spreading to other areas of the house.
- Open the affected window with black mold. This will make enough space to work in removing the mold from window sills.
- Spray mist over the window casing and over the mold. Use a spray bottle with water. This is to cut mold spores from getting spread into the air.
- Prepare baking soda and warm water mixture. Or, you also could use dish detergent instead of baking soda.
- Wipe off the black mold from window sills. First, dip the paper towel into the baking soda solution. Then wipe off the black mold slowly. Wipe off all the visible black mold on window sills and other affected areas.
- Disposing of the paper towels. Put all used paper towels inside a plastic bag. Seal it tightly to be disposed of later. So that mold spores cannot escape from the plastic bag into the air.
- Prepare a mixture of bleach and water. Mix ½ a cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Bleach works as a disinfectant agent against the mold.
- Apply the bleach mixture over the window casing and sills. Apply generously. Let it be there for about 15 minutes allowing all the mold spores to get killed.
- Point to note on the disinfection agent. Sometimes bleach is not effective. See below for more details o disinfection agents. Choose the one that fits your need.
Post cleaning of tasks
- Rinse and dry. Rinse the area with clean water thoroughly and let it dry. Place a fan nearby against the area to dry fast. If you have a hair drier, you can use it to make the area dry fast.
- Dispose of used materials carefully. Dispose of masks, gloves, and shoes in a proper manner is essential. Wash your clothes you were wearing in hot water. Well, I know surely you will be taking a good shower afterward.
- Using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to clean the air is more effective. You can be sure of removing black mold spores from the air almost 100%. Use it after cleaning off black mold on window sills work is over.
Disinfectant Agents and their effectiveness in killing mold
The Bleach is not the right disinfectant agent for the mold surface with lots of porous. Bleach cannot seep deep into the porous. Thus on such surfaces bleach cannot kill mold completely.
In case of nonavailability of other suitable disinfectant, agents keep re-applying bleach. Keep watching for the reappearance of mold. Reapply bleach to kill all the mold gradually.
2. Baking Soda
As you know, baking soda is being used as a cleaning agent for many tasks. Baking soda is good to kill the mild patches only. The dense patches of mold can not be fully removed by baking soda
Here again re-application of baking soda is required to fully eradicate the mold.
3. White Vinegar
This is a natural but mild disinfectant with no chemicals in it. Because it is not strong enough, can not eradicate mold fully. So not recommended for this task.
Borax is another cleaning agent that works well in removing the mold. But using borax requires scrubbing the surface to remove the mold. The risk is during the cleaning process it can end up with mold releasing spores into the air.
Some countries banned have banned for usage. The main reason or the ban is for using as a food additive.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide considered to the best disinfectant agent to eradicate mold fully. It is an anti-fungal product and much safer to use. This product is available in the market and anyone can buy it.
An article published in NCBI shows the effectiveness of Hydrogen peroxide. By nebulizing of Hydrogen peroxide over massive mold patches.
Ammonia is a good surface cleaning product. But it also can not penetrate the porous surfaces like the bleach. Use it only on the surfaces have no porous. Not recommended for porous surfaces with dense mold.
7. Tea Tree oil
This is the best of all the mold removal products. Unfortunately, it comes with a heavy price tag. Tea Tree oil can go down to the roots and kill all the mold effectively and with no traces.
A study published in NCBI indicates that tea tree oil is the most effective anti-fungal agent.
Prevention of recurrence of mold
At the beginning of the spring season check the windows and other surfaces for mold. If you spot any take action to remove it.
The below prevention efforts should be carried out particularly during the winter season. In the other times of the year, the temperatures are high. So that damp impact is less and mold formation is also less.
1. Appropriate Ventilation
More ventilation in the house means less moisture in the room.
Ensure enough ventilation is available particularly in bathrooms and kitchen areas. Here where you get steam when you take a hot bath or while cooking. Use exhaust fans help to keep the kitchens and bathrooms always dry.
Keeping the house dry with less humidity inside the house helps prevent mold growth.
2. Avoid excess moisture
Whenever possible, open the windows of your house and let the areas to dry. Use a dry towel to wipe any dampness in the window sills. Observe carefully and seal if you spot any leaks from the windows.
Keep roof gutters free of leaves and no rainwater splashing on the windows. Avoid snow getting melt and running over the windows and damping window casing.
3. Extra care to prevent mold formation
Use vinegar and baking soda solution to clean the windows and window sills. Vacuum the house to remove any mold spores in the air.
4. Early detection of mold
This is the way you can be ahead of the mold. Yes, the early detection of mold formation in your house. Check the areas for mold formation that can occur easily. Areas like windows, ceiling, basement, kitchen, and bathrooms.
Hope this article is useful to keep your house free of black mold and be free of fall allergy symptoms.