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This may be an obvious answer to some but I know next to nothing about molds / fungus etc. Is this mold, or black mold? I've been finding it throughout my house, usually by window sills, and am hoping to find out what it is, and how to treat it. Any info would be appreciated, thanks

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Hopefully not black mold...

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3 Answers 3

Yes, it's mold. This happened in my apartment after an extended stay away from home during the summer. I used plain old soap and water and it has worked for me. I had no problems doing it this way. There is no way to indefinitely get rid of all the mold (you will inevitably leave some mold spores behind) as long as there is enough moisture in the air.

There are many ways to prevent mold growth. I bought a dehumidifier and it seems to have done the trick. I have not had any mold since. No mold will grow without moisture. Get rid of the moisture and you will get rid of the mold.

Update
I found an article that does a good job explaining how to get rid of mold.

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Use bleach in your cleanup. It kills mold and will reduce the remaining spores. –  bib Aug 9 '13 at 12:15
    
EPA reccomends soap over bleach for removing mold. Bleach won't dislodge hyphae (mold "roots") from surfaces anyway –  Jessica Brown Feb 1 at 20:23
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I live in an extremely wet and mild area and have always battled mold/mildew in the windowsills. I have found that bleach works most effectively. But really trying to keep your house moisture free, well lit, and properly aired out are the best ways to avoid mold infestations. Also some people are allergic to mold, getting headaches or flu and asthma like symptoms.

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You need continuous moisture for an extended period (like months) to grow black mold (the toxic kind). Plus, black mold typically doesn't grow on windowsills--it's usually found in places near leaking sinks or showers, for example. So you're probably not dealing with the really nasty stuff, that's the good news.

What you're most likely seeing is ordinary mold growing on dust, dander, dirt, mold, skin cells, and the like that have landed on the windowsills/edges. Mold doesn't feed on aluminum...but it does feed on debris from particulate in the air that lands on the sills. You tend to get mold problems right around the windows because of condensation from warm damp air being exposed to cooler temperatures on the window surface/sills.

First, you want to remove the existing mold from the surface. Ordinary household dish soap (mixed with water, preferably foamy) is adequate for this purpose. As a secondary effect, cleaning with soap will also help remove the debris that feeds mold growth.

Secondly, regular cleaning of the sills to prevent accumulation of organic debris will help prevent mold from re-growing. Reducing or removing condensation will also help prevent mold growth, such as using a de-humidifier, exhaust fans while cooking or showering, or opening a window periodically during dry weather to let moisture out of the home.

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