Living in Korea | How to Deal with Toxic Mold in your Home in Korea
Updated: Jun 7
Well first of all, mold in your home is always your problem since you have to live with it. Korea gets humid especially during rainy season and summer. Mold is a pervasive problem that affects many and if not treated can lead to serious health concerns. If you’ve been having respiratory problems and noticing a musty smell and patches of black, grey or green on your walls don’t ignore it. Mold grows fast in hot humid environments and if it gets deep into your walls it can be extremely hard to treat.
The best way to combat mold is to avoid it and control the humidity level in your home. Keep it well ventilated with fans especially in areas that create moisture, like the kitchen and bathroom. For older homes in Korea, the bathroom is notoriously wet since shower spaces are not always separated from the rest of the room. Wipe it down if you can with a squeegee. Make sure you leave vent fans on during the day if you have them or bring in a portable if necessary.
If you don’t have a clothes dryer, hang your clothes outside. Also consider placing house plants in a well ventilated area. If there are leaks anywhere in your ceiling, walls, or windows these need to be patched up immediately. At the first sign of mold spots anywhere, wipe it up. Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda are three good non-toxic cleaners to try if you want to avoid chemical-based cleaners. You can find these at your local 'yakguk' 약국 or pharmacy.
Dehumidifiers and air conditioners are the most effect tool for eliminating humidity in your home. While they can run up your utility bills, the longer term implications of letting mold get out of hand may make it worth the investment. Many people refer to the most dangerous mold as ‘black mold’ or ‘toxic black mold’. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches.
If you feel the mold has gotten out of control already, then getting professional help is a must. If mold has penetrated drywall or wood, it’s possible you may have to replace and treat the whole wall. As a foreigner in this country, you may find it difficult to seek professional help, but this is where Wonderful can help coordinate a mold specialist to come treat your home. As a personal assistant service dedicated to helping foreigners in Korea, we can help you overcome the language barrier with organizing important services. We are dedicated to making life easier for expats.
Usually mold specialists will visit your home in advance to assess the situation and then provide treatment solutions. Then they come clean and eliminate all the mold in your home through deep cleaning at another scheduled date. They also apply special paint to more troublesome areas to limit future mold growth. Depending on the severity of the problem they may recommend replacing wallpaper, walls, furniture, or adding ventilation.
If treatment requires a lot of work, you should consult with your landlord to see if they are willing to take on some or all of the cost. Since mold is quite common in Korea, most landlords expect you to provide proper upkeep for the home. But it is often hard to tell if mold existed before you moved in so it’s worth having the conversation with your landlord to see if they are willing to help. It’s a problem they cannot avoid either since mold can be seriously damaging to them as property owners too.
If you think you need a mold specialist and have had a hard time finding one, Wonderful's bilingual personal assistants can help. Just send a message to chat instantly with an on-demand assistant. Send photos and a description of the issue and your assistant will locate a specialist in your area to set up an appointment quickly.
Regarding our pricing, we charge for the time taken working on your request at 800 KRW/min (There is a 15% discount for first time users), and you can get a refund on the remaining time within 3 months. Scheduling an expert to visit your place can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, based on past requests. There are NO processing fees when you pay us via bank wire transfer. (You will pay only the cost of the item(s)). When we charge your bank card, there is an 8.5% processing fee that goes to the payment processor for their services. We do NOT benefit from this fee. For more information regarding our pricing, please follow this link.
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