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Stop and Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home with These Tips

Stop and Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home with These Tips

Mold is a type of fungi that grows on all types of surfaces, objects, and structures. Mold has a useful role in breaking down and decomposing dead and rotting plants; it isn’t something you particularly want around your house. It can grow practically anywhere that is moist and warm. You can find them on the upholstery of your furniture, on clothing, the fabric of your carpets, on wood, on walls, ceilings, and floors. Their visible black, gray, and green growths destroy the aesthetic appeal of your home.

They also affect the quality of air by filling rooms with a foul smell and cause respiratory diseases and trigger allergies. Don’t allow mold to take over your house. Stop and prevent the growth now with these proven methods.

Prevention

girl-opens-window
    Woman looking out big bright window by Elena Elisseeva via 123rf

    The first step in preventing mold growth is by eliminating the conditions of growth.

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    1. Eliminate Moisture

    Prevent the growth of mold by reducing moisture in the air and eliminating water from surfaces. Reduce moisture in the air by using dehumidifiers in houses that are situated in hot and humid areas. Have a hygrometer handy to measure the humidity of the air. Adjust your dehumidifiers to keep the humidity below 60% at all times to prevent mold growth. Dehumidifiers and hygrometers are readily available at hardware stores.

    Other major culprits are leaky water pipes, ceilings, and rooftops. Make sure these are all sealed tight. In addition, make sure any water basins such as your sinks and bathtubs are dry and clean when not in use. When it comes to carpets, use wool carpets and fabric that do not retain moisture. We also suggest not keeping wet clothes in the house. Immediately take washed clothes outside to dry in the sun.

    2. Regulate Warmth

    Open windows for good ventilation and allow warm air to escape outside. Open doors between rooms to increase circulation in the house. If you want to take it up a notch, switch on your air conditioners to keep the air flow circulating around your home.

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    3. Lighten up Dark Spaces

    Mold growth thrives in dark spaces, and so you should draw up curtains to allow enough sunlight in your rooms. Still, surfaces also favor mold growth, so try to ensure that the sunlight hits your unused bed covers and pillows that lie still all day long.

    Stopping Mold Growth

    man-vacuuming-carpet
      Man vacuums carpet via Carpet Vida London

      1. Vacuum Wet Materials

      Sometimes it’s just not enough to dry the surfaces. Certain materials (such as carpets) absorb the moisture. The purpose of wet vacuuming is to pick up and remove these pockets of moisture to ensure completely dryness. It might seem like overkill, but the cost (from a financial and health point of view) are not worth the risk.

      2. Scrub with Water and Detergent

      Sometimes you just need to get your hands dirty, and there’s nothing like scrubbing your house. No pain, no gain, right? You should scrub all the moldy surfaces with water and detergent. In your bathrooms, you should use cotton coils dipped in detergent to wipe off the mold. The cotton is smooth and friendly on tiles. As soon as you are done scrubbing, wipe the surfaces clean and keep them dry to discourage further growth.

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      3. Discard Objects that Have Excess Mold

      Sometimes dry cleaning, scrubbing and vacuuming are not enough to remove mold completely. To stop the spreading of mold altogether, the easiest solution might just be to throw it away. We all have things we love, but the last thing you want is it spreading across other things you love. You may need to remove entire wooden ceilings, burn clothes, peel wallpapers, and replace furniture. Put the identified mold infested objects in plastic bags if possible, and have waste disposal services pick them up.

      When working with mold, always wear protective equipment such as face masks and rubber gloves. These would reduce contact between you and the mold spores that when inhaled or ingested could cause a variety of illnesses. Most of this is common sense – as long as there are no visible molds, discolorations on the wall or wet surfaces, you will probably be fine.

      Mold is tricky and painful to deal with, but just know that the cost of getting a remediation team in can be thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands depending on the severity and home size), so be proactive. If you do need some help in removing mold, there are various cleaning companies that can help. It is better to have the job done well even if it would be costly than to have it half done and risk the reoccurrence of mold growth.

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      Featured photo credit: Black mold symptoms via blackmold-symptoms.com

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      Vikas Agrawal

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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