5 Tips to Save Your Home from Mold Growth
Mold can grow just about anywhere in your home: on walls, carpet, clothing, upholstery, ceiling tiles, food, paper products, and wood products. It’s not only unsightly but also a potential health risk. It can produce allergens, irritants, and even toxins that may cause health problems like wheezing, chronic cough, and increased occurrence of asthma attacks. As if that’s not enough, extensive mold damage can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
The best approach to take to save both time and money is preventing mold growth in your home before it turns into a problem. Here are five useful tips:
Dry Wet Areas Quickly
Mold can’t thrive without moisture. For that reason, be sure to check the areas of your house that collect condensation or water regularly. Windows, water tanks, sump pumps, basement doors, refrigerators, household plants, bathrooms, and crawl spaces are some of the places where moisture tends to collect. Dry any water you find in these places immediately.
You should dry any spills on your carpet as soon as possible. After showering, dry off the walls, floor, and tub. Don’t leave wet items like towels and clothes lying around inside the house. Even the smallest leaks can encourage mold growth, so fix any leaks you come across in your home.
Keep Your Home Properly Ventilated
Everyday domestic activities such as cooking dinner, doing laundry, and taking a shower can promote mold growth in your home. Properly ventilating your kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, and other moisture-prone areas helps prevent humid air from settling indoors and causing a mold problem.
Vent moisture-producing appliances such as stoves and clothes dryers to the outside rather than the attic. Consider opening a window or running an exhaust fan when washing the dishes, cooking, or showering to minimize moisture levels and the possibility of mold growth. It may be impractical to keep windows open in the winter, so you could choose to open them for just a few minutes instead.
Monitor Indoor Humidity Levels
Controlling the humidity levels in your home is key to preventing mold issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should keep indoor humidity between 30% and 60%. Indoor humidity monitors are available at local hardware stores. It’s important to deal with the extra moisture once the relative humidity in your home reaches 60%. Some mold species can start growing once the relative humidity exceeds 70%.
An excellent way to remove excess moisture from your home’s air is by running a dehumidifier which can avoid the possibility of any growth of mold species. And if you live in a very humid area, consider installing a whole-house system. However, if you’re only looking to deal with occasional dampness and mustiness, a portable dehumidifier will suffice. But make sure you take the necessary steps and check reviews and rating of a dehumidifier which will also help you determine the right type and size of the dehumidifier for your home.
Improve Airflow within Your Home
When temperatures drop, the amount of moisture that air can hold reduces. If the airflow in your home isn’t good, the extra moisture may settle on your floors, windows, and walls. You can increase air circulation by opening the doors between your rooms, opening windows, and moving furniture away from walls.
Draperies and furniture can block supply grilles, causing condensation that promotes the growth of mold. Make sure you move them away from any vents and grilles so that air can keep circulating freely. It’s also important to minimize your household clutter as it can prevent your home comfort system from properly circulating air.
Use Mold-Resistant Products
Are you planning to renovate your current home or building a new one? Consider using mold-resistant materials. Such products are manufactured in such a manner that they help prevent the growth of mold in your home. For example, mold-resistant drywall has a gypsum core that’s covered in fiberglass, unlike traditional drywall’s core that consists of piles of paper. The water-resistant surface of mold-resistant drywall makes it ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements.
Other products that you can use in your home to boost your mold prevention efforts include paint with mold inhibitors, mold-resistant insulation, and mold-resistant wood.
A mold problem can be extremely challenging and expensive to fix. With some effort and little preventive maintenance, you can prevent mold growth and protect the health, comfort, and finances of your family.