Mold is one of the biggest concerns of homeowners. It is unsightly, damaging to property, and hazardous to your health. Unfortunately, there are many factors that contribute to an environment that is conducive to mold. Here are some easy steps to take to reduce the likelihood of mold in the home.
Keep Areas Dry to Discourage Mold in the Home
Water splashed from the shower or tub, spilled in the kitchen, or dripping from wet laundry will eventually disappear. However, the moisture evaporates into the air, increasing humidity and contributing to mold in the home.
Take a prompt, thorough approach to drying wet areas. Wipe up spills with a towel, then promptly launder it or hang it outside to dry. Garments that cannot be machine-dried can be hung on a clothesline outdoors. A shaded area is a perfect place to hang fabrics to dry without being faded by the sun.
Reduce Humidity to Reduce Mold in the Home
Mold requires moisture in order to grow. Humidity is simply a measure of moisture in the air. Reduce the humidity levels in the home to under 50% to help prevent mold growth.
Your crawlspace should be well-ventilated and have adequate air circulation. Make sure there is a moisture barrier in place between the crawlspace floor and the house. If your basement tends to be humid, use a dehumidifier. Don’t leave windows or doors open on rainy, foggy, or humid days.
Repair Leaks Around the House
Even if you are able to maintain appropriate humidity levels, you may still have mold in the home. Active water leaks encourages mold growth.
Repair leaking appliances and pipes. A cracked foundation, leaking roof, and gaps around windows and doors may allow enough water in to support mold growth. Examine your attic for signs of moisture. Look for water-damaged wood, damp beams, and wet insulation. Make roof repairs as needed, seal foundation cracks, and caulk around windows and doors to minimize leaks.
Proper Cleanup of Mold
Unlike dirt, mold cannot simply be wiped away or mopped up. If you don’t remove the entire organism, it can grow back. Effective mold cleanup requires removing any visible mold and using cleaning agents like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar to kill remaining spores. Thoroughly removing mold reduces the likelihood of a reoccurrence, especially when the clean-up is done in conjunction with indoor moisture management. It is recommended to hire a professional for mold removal, since the process can be hazardous to your health and ineffective if done incorrectly.
Preventing mold growth requires managing moisture and humidity year-round. Eliminating mold requires an effective cleanup process to keep your home environment clean and healthy.