Last week, we talked about the long-term effects of mold exposure.
We also talked about how it affected seniors and the risks that came along with it.
This time, we will be discussing how to deal with mold around the house. We will also be sharing tips on how you could avoid mold infestations in your elderly’s home.
So let’s get it started!
Now that you know how dangerous molds are, you also have to be aware of the signs that it’s present at home.
The tricky part is that molds are everywhere. And it can also grow on any surface, including wood, paper, carpet, and even food.
Keeping things clean can be challenging for seniors, especially if they’re home alone. And because there are corners they can no longer reach, senior homes can be a perfect place for mold infestation.
So how would you know if your aging parents’ homes have dangerous black mold and other mold types? Here are five signs you need to watch out for.
You would know if a home has mold if it has a musty, funky smell.
Most of the time, people don’t notice it around their homes because they’re already used to the smell.
Mold volatile organic compounds or MVOCs cause these unwanted smells. It’s the indication that there’s decay going on from the chemical byproduct of the mold reproducing.
Some compare this odor to old cheese, dirty socks, a wet dog, or a dank locker room.
Molds love the dark and damp. That’s why they thrive in places like cabinets, cupboards, and other corners.
Sometimes, our elders don’t get their laundry to dry off completely. And the moisture left in the clothes makes it the perfect breeding ground for mold to grow.
Leftover organic substances on clothes also encourage mold growth.
Carpets, furniture, and towels often have organic matter in them. And if left damp, mold can grow easily on them.
Do you see bubble formations on painted walls?
Mold infestation can be seen in bubble formations on walls in your kitchen, bathroom, and basement.
Rust can also be an indication of potential mold infestation.
This can come from water leaks from rain or pipes. And if left unattended, this can be a haven for black mold to grow.
If your loved ones often have asthma attacks, persistent coughs or colds, and allergy flareups, better check for molds.
It might seem like a little thing. But as you know, long-term mold exposure can cause respiratory problems for the elderly.
And if not taken care of correctly, molds can cause respiratory infections and even death to seniors.
Are the bathrooms slimy? Do you see black spots on the walls and corners?
That’s mold right there.
Most molds are relatively harmless. But for people with allergies, it can cause some form of irritation.
Slimy tiles are also a fall risk for the elderly. Rugs, wet towels, and other items can also be a vessel for mold growth.
Learn more about the long-term effects of mold exposure here.
If you see any of the signs above in your elderly loved ones, the question now is, what do you do next?
Before you panic, know that mold problems can be managed.
The first thing to do is clean the house and fix the moisture problem.
Most molds can be removed with soap and water, white vinegar, or a simple bleach solution.
Don’t forget to use protective equipment when dealing with mold.
Have rubber gloves, eye goggles, and, if necessary, an N-95 respirator. This will filter out any spores from entering your respiratory system as you go.
You’ll need a bit of elbow grease for cleaning.
Scrub all surfaces with a stiff brush to remove mold from walls and surfaces. And make sure you rinse the area clean with water and let it dry thoroughly.
Once cleaned, make sure to disinfect surfaces with bleach or disinfectant spray. Then let the surfaces air dry completely.
It’s essential to take note of the cleaning agents you’re using.
Mixing bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners will produce toxic gas. So it’s best to use no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in one gallon of water.
Keep windows and doors open when using bleach to allow good air circulation.
Also, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using them.
It also makes sense to eliminate items with mold instead of cleaning them.
Check carpets, mattresses, and other items with molds and discard them immediately.
You can opt to wash beddings, curtains, drapes, and clothes. But it’s safest to get rid of them, especially if it has too many mold spots.
No time or energy to clean? Hire a mold removal company to help you.
It also makes sense to get a home inspector to check for potential mold issues inside your home.
Professional mold inspectors can help locate hidden areas where water damage happens. It will also help you identify what causes excess moisture inside your home.
Get in touch with a home inspector here.
Nobody wants to deal with the side effects of mold, especially if it’s with the elderly.
But there are also practical ways to get rid of molds before they worsen.
First, keep the home clean and disinfected regularly.
It’s also a must to control the moisture levels by having enough air circulation inside the house.
Use dehumidifiers in enclosed spaces like basements or cellars. And check for potential water leaks which increase moisture and dampness.
And last but not least, have your home checked by a home inspector to find hidden mold-infested areas.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!