How to prevent mold in your home
Mold. Yuck. It’s not a pretty topic.
Yes, mold can be good and is necessary for the decomposition of organic matter in nature — but it can also be very, very bad, especially when it grows undetected in your home.
Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. And, it can grow anywhere, which is kind of scary. Not only is a mold problem difficult and costly to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants that may compromise your health.
The best way to approach mold is to prevent, before having to restore and the key to this is moisture control.
Here are nine ways to avoid moisture indoors, and the mold that prospers in it.
- Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.
- There’s no way to mold-PROOF your home, but you can make it mold-RESISTANT. Check the problem areas in your home. Any water stains on your ceiling? Wetness in your basement? Frequent condensation on your bedroom window? Preventing a mold build-up can be as simple as ripping up a carpet in a damp basement or replacing a window. It can also be more of a major excavation. Addressing the problem now will save you a large amount of money down the line.
- Dry wet areas immediately.
- Moisture is mold’s best friend, so confront wet areas immediately. Whether the moisture is caused by floods or even just leaving wet clothes in the laundry, mold does not pick and choose it’s battles. Dry any wet areas right away, even if it’s just a spill. Hang them to dry or put them in the dryer straightaway. Mold is preventable if moisture is tackled properly.
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.
- Your everyday routine could be what encourages mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture – clothes, dryers, stoves – to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers. Open windows while cooking, washing dishes or showering, or run a fan.
- Equip your home with mold-resistant products.
- Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock and mold inhibitors for paints. Of course, these are solutions that coincide more with building a new home or renovating an old one, but if you are doing so – these preventative measures work wonders.
- Monitor Humidity indoors.
- The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity using a moisture meter which can be bought at any local hardware store. You can also detect humidity by keeping an eye out for potential problem areas in your home. A good way to tell is seeking condensation on windows, pipes and walls. If you notice this, dry the surface immediately and address the source.
- Direct water away from your home.
- If the ground around your home isn’t sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
- Clean or repair roof gutters.
- A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking due to full or damaged gutters. Regularly clean and inspect your roof gutters. Keep an eye out for water stains after storms.
- Improve air flow in your home.
- According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air can hold less moisture. Excess moisture can appear on your walls, windows and floor if there is bad air flow in your home. To increase circulation, and open door between rooms, move furniture away from walls. Fresh air is a great way to reduce moisture.
- Keep mold off household plants.
- Mold loves plants. The moist soil in indoor plants is a breeding ground for mold. You don’t have to get rid of these beautiful plants that keep your air clean, just add Teheebo tea to the water you give to the plants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.