Concrete patios are surfaces that are extremely prone to mold growth. Areas around pools are even more critical because of the constant wetness. Mold can discolor the patio color and more importantly make the surface slick and slippery. If you are looking to remove mold in an environmentally-friendly way, maybe these useful tips can help you.
Pressured Tap Water
One of the easiest and most efficient ways is to use a high-pressure water hose and tap water to blow the mold off the concrete surface. The power sprayer should be set to the most concentrated nozzle setting. However, a jet of water that is too strong may damage the patio surface. If you are removing mold from indoor concrete surfaces, you can use a power hose and a wet vacuum, so you can collect the wastewater as you are removing the mold.
Household Mold Cleaners
Some of your common household cleaning products are known to effectively kill mold. Organic solutions like borax, bleach vinegar and ammonia are recommended because they don’t damage plants and other living organisms when exposed to them. Still, these potent products should be diluted in order to avoid their environmental impact. For example, bleach and ammonia can cause respiratory problems if inhaled in their non-diluted form. You can apply these products to mold areas using a scrubbing brush and then hose the area with the tap water, or if you are working indoors, rinse with clean water and vacuum.
Steam cleaning is a very effective and undamaging method for mold removal. By using a good steam cleaner you can kill mold in concrete pores more effectively than with a pressure hose. Steam cleaners are easy to operate, you just pour the water in and let it heat up. Then blow the mold away with jets of scalding steam. The surface must again be rinsed with clear water. Keep in mind that this operation requires protective clothing and shoes as hot steam can cause severe burns on unprotected skin.
Safe Chemical Products
If your mold problem is persistent, you may need to resort to commercial mold cleaning solvents. Luckily, there are some brands that are environmentally-friendly. These products are biodegradable, pH-neutral and contain no volatile elements and pesticides that can harm living organisms. Some of those are Naturally Clean Mold & Mildew Remover by ChemFree Solution Safe Shield, Oxy-Mold, and MoldOff. They use natural plant enzymes to deal with mold, some of them don’t require scrubbing, and therefore are less abrasive, but on the other hand, these products can be costly if applied to large areas.
Some essential oils like tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract can be used to effectively kill mold. Add 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to two cups of water and spray the mixture onto the moldy area and leave it to dry. Tea tree oil also has natural anti-microbial properties which makes it effective for removing mold. These essential oils are cheap, eco-friendly and non-toxic. However, they have a strong fragrance which may remain for several days. To learn more about the effectiveness of tea tree oil, check out this great article on 30 Amazing Tea Tree Oil Uses for Health, Home, and Garden of Tea Tree Oil.
Dry Ice Blasting
This relatively new technology is getting increasingly popular among environmentally-conscious cleaning specialists. Particles of dry ice under pressure remove mold from surfaces in the same way as water jets or steam. The low temperature and high impact of dry ice removes mold with no need for scrubbing the affected areas. In addition, this method is 100% environmentally-safe as it uses no chemicals and produces no mold-rich dust in the removal process.
Whichever method you use, you should know that the rinsed wastewater contains mold spores. In order to prevent inhaling those, always wear a protective mask and rubber gloves. If removing mold inside the house, keep the surface wet to prevent spores from getting airborne. After cleaning wash your clothes immediately to prevent spores from spreading on.
Author Bio: Lillian Connors enjoys discussing an array of topics related to green living and home improvement. She is currently in charge of the sustainability segment on Smooth Decorator. You can check her out on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.