Black Spots on the Wall: Beware of Mold to Save Your Health and Money

#LifeInCzechia It’s winter, which means we’re all in danger of getting mold. Us Czechs are used to heating and airing out every day to make sure our homes don’t get too damp. However, you as foreigners might not be as accustomed to this. In this article, we’ll explain how to properly air out your rooms to avoid getting mold. We’ll also give you tips on how you get rid of it if you do find it.

Did you find black spots on the wall?

 

Recognising mold

Mold is a formation of fungi with a dust-like appearance that can come in many colors, including black (see picture above), blue and green. It grows in places with high humidity and moisture. In buildings and rooms, it often forms around windows, pipes, vents and leaks. It likes to grow on various surfaces, including tiles, wood, drywall, paint, wallpaper, and even carpets and upholstery.

This means that if you’re not careful about the level of humidity in your home, mold can pop up in various nooks and crannies of your apartment without you even noticing. However, rest assured that once it grows bigger, you will be able to smell it.

 

Mold-related health and financial risks

Mold isn’t good for your health, which is why you should make sure it doesn’t grow in your apartment. Breathing in mold spores can lead to a number of respiratory issues, including clogged sinuses and wheezing. It can also affect your eyes and give you bad headaches. The risks are even higher for people with asthma and allergies.

Mold can also be a huge financial issue, however. If you aren’t careful and don’t spot the early signs, it can grow large and completely destroy your apartment. If you rent, your landlord will definitely use your deposit to pay for the damage. Therefore, if you want to save your money and your health, read on!

 

Make sure to check around your windows.

 

How to avoid getting mold

  • Air out your home regularly (every day or even multiple times a day). The trick is to open the window wholly and let the room air out properly. Opening it just a crack is completely insufficient! 
  • If you have the option of creating a draft (opening two windows in opposite parts of the apartment), do it!
  • Air out your bathroom after taking a bath/shower at least until the fog on the mirror goes away.
  • Turn on the kitchen vent hood over your stove when cooking.
  • If you’re drying your laundry in your home, open the window for the first half an hour at least.
  • Turn on your heat in winter to warm up the walls so they don’t get damp.
  • Fix any leaks in your apartment or contact your landlord if you feel like there are any issues with your windows.
  • If you can, measure the level of humidity in your home and try to keep it between 30 % and 50 %. Consider getting a dehumidifier if the levels are too high. 
  • Regularly check and clean all the spots where the mold might form (around windows, vents, in corners, under furinture etc.) to catch it early if it does appear.

 

How to deal with mold

If you do find mold in your apartment, don’t panic. Here are some tips on how to deal with mold:

If you prefer using natural cleaning agents, try using a mixture of tea tree oil, vinegar and baking soda. Use a spray bottle to gently spritz the moldy spot and let it sit for about an hour before wiping it with a sponge dipped in warm water. If necessary, use a brush to wipe the mold off. 

If this doesn’t work, you might have to resort to using chemicals. In Czechia, we recommend buying “Savo proti plísním”, which is an acid that will kill the mold. Make sure to use gloves and to properly air out the room afterward so you don’t poison yourself.

 

Not a fan of cleaning? Get a cleaning service!

Some people simply don’t like cleaning up and that’s completely understandable. However, you still need to keep your apartment in good condition, so you don’t lose your deposit when moving out. In that case, we recommend you get a cleaning service

Do you need help apartment-hunting in the Czech Republic? We are here to help with everything that concerns finding the apartment, signing the lease, and moving in! Just let us know.

Article sources: prozeny.cz, cdc.gov
Image source: Canva.com

Tereza Walsbergerová

Hello! I'm Tereza and I'm a wordsmith and literature nerd from Brno. Although I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, I know all too well from my time living in Texas what it's like to be a "stranger in a strange land." I am excited to share all kinds of information with y'all!

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