Mold is a major problem for Bradenton, Florida, homeowners. The weather is perpetually warm and damp, creating the ideal environment for this growth. It can cause allergies and asthma to flare up, making your family uncomfortable and even sick. Keep mold away with these smart spring cleaning strategies for your Florida home.
Examine Your Textiles
Shower curtains, window curtains, and other fabrics can create a habitable surface for mold and mildew. These fabrics are particularly susceptible to mildew growth in the bathroom or kitchen, where humidity is frequently high. However, if your windows aren’t properly sealed, you may have some perpetual condensation and dampness around other windows as well. Check all your curtains for white powdery spots that are a sign of mildew and darker stains that indicate other types of mold.
If you spot signs of mold and mildew, take the fabric outside and brush it off to get rid of loose spores. Allow the fabric to dry in the sun for at least three hours. If the fabric is colored, soak it in a non-chlorine bleach for 30 minutes, then launder. You can wash whites with a chlorine bleach solution, and you can even launder plastic shower curtains. However, you don’t need to brush these out. Simply drop them in the washer and use warm water on a gentle cycle.
Change HVAC Filters
Though your HVAC filter will ideally stay dry, moisture can creep into this area, particularly in a Floridian home. You should change your filter once every one to three months as a general rule. However, if you notice a musty smell coming from it or even pervading your home and blowing out the vents, you should change the filter immediately, no matter how long it’s been since the last change. Stock up on fresh filters and keep them in a dry place so you’re always prepared for this job.
If your filter looks clean, but you still notice an odor, consider a duct cleaning. This will get rid of any mold or mildew lingering in unseen areas in your ductwork.
Inspect Musty Furniture
Do you have upholstered furniture in your home with a perpetually musty smell? Mold and mildew have probably taken hold somewhere in the fabric. Thoroughly vacuum the entire piece to suck out mold spores. Examine the item for stains that indicate mold or mildew. Sponge these with a solution of one part rubbing alcohol to one part water. If possible, let the item sun-dry for several hours. If you can’t get it to a sunny spot, dry with a fan.
Use a spray disinfectant like Lysol to kill lingering spores in the padding. This process should eliminate the musty smell in your furniture. If the odor persists, you may have mold that’s too deep to get rid of. In this case, you should consider replacing the item.
Scrub Your Walls
Mold can take hold right on your paint if it has the right habitat. Inspect the walls closely, particularly in your bathroom and kitchen. If you’ve had any kind of leak, you should look for mold in this area as well. If you spot any signs of mold growth, take action immediately. Scrub the area with a mixture of three-fourths cup bleach in a gallon of water. Use a fan to dry the area after you’ve scrubbed the mold stain away completely. Keep an eye out for recurring growth in this area.
Treat the Deck
Outdoor areas are particularly prone to mold in Florida. Wash your deck thoroughly as part of your spring cleaning, both to eliminate existing mold and to keep new mold from taking hold. Begin by scrubbing with a bleach-free deck wash to get rid of dirt. Follow this with a mold-fighting solution. This will remove mold stains without damaging the underlying surface. Finally, apply a preventive solution designed to keep mold and mildew from growing on your deck in the future.
Don’t forget to include an annual AC tuneup in your spring cleaning routine. Our technicians at Aqua Plumbing & Air will thoroughly clean the inside of the unit, getting rid of dirt and other debris in places you couldn’t otherwise reach. Contact us at (941) 306-3715 to schedule your appointment today.
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