By Kent the Maintenance Gent
Are there shitake mushrooms growing next to your bath tub? Maybe you are a gourmet chef or maybe you have serious mildew and mold issues. If you are a gourmet chef, I have to question why you would grow those mushrooms in your bathroom. If you’re not a gourmet chef, then welcome to the Pacific Northwest and please read on.
First, the health concerns. You know those pharmaceutical commercials where they spend most of the ad rattling off the most gruesome side effects? Well, it’s not quite as scary as those commercials, but reactions do range from usually mild to occasionally severe. They include sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, headaches, asthma and rashes. Even a minor reaction can be a nuisance so learning how to conquer the spore is worth it.
The first rule of fight club mold prevention: air circulation.
- Keep your doors open, windows cracked and fans running, especially when there is moisture in the air.
- When showering, use a ventilation fan (known in the industry as a “fart fan”) so the moisture in the air has a way to discharge.
- Keep ventilation space around your furniture.
- Don’t live the cluttered life: try to keep your home neat and organized. Those old newspapers can be recycled… the horoscopes are no longer relevant anyway.
The second rule for dominating mildew and mold: Mold control.
- Vacuum regularly to pick up mold spores and prevent the growth of mold.
- Wipe up moisture and excessive condensation immediately.
- Consider a dehumidifier, especially when the weather gets cool and damp.
Rule three: Living the dry life.
- Keep the heat on. Cooler rooms tend to create condensation which makes mold happy and you sad. But if you need to use a space heater, stick to electric heaters that have ventilation.
- Be mindful of mold friends. Do you have a lot of houseplants or fish tanks? If so there may be fungus among us.
- Turn certain marathons into sprints. If you are cooking or doing laundry all day, you probably have a home that is on the moist side. Cover your pots, don’t boil water for too long, use the ventilation fan and do your in-home laundry in smaller chunks. If you do need to cook a daylong feast, at least crack window and invite over a maintenance gent.
So, those shitake mushrooms are screaming “You have a problem!” Now what? Here are a couple of basics that can help clear the air:
- Mix one part bleach to three parts water in a spray bottle for a “do it yourself” mold solution. Or you can buy similar products at your local store.
- Call your apartment or maintenance manager if there is a water leak, excessive moisture, or mold or mildew that cannot be removed with household cleaner and wiping. Also, give us a jingle if your heater, central AC or in-unit laundry machines are not working or if your doors and windows don’t open and close properly.
And for God’s sake, do not use Liquid Plumber ever for anything! That has little to do with mold, but I feel like it is my duty to say this at least once in every blog.
Keep it dry!
Kent the Maintenance Gent