14 Tips to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

by Tracy · 0 comments

When it comes to mold, prevention is better than a cure. Toxic black mold can cause serious health issues for you and your loved ones. For those with mold spore allergies, even the more run of the mill molds can cause misery. Mold infestations can reduce the value of your home (or make it almost impossible to sell) and can cost thousands of dollars to clean up. Here are some tips to help you avoid mold growth in your home and how to tackle the problem while it’s still small.

1. The most important thing to remember is that mold needs moisture to grow. Take care of any leaks or drips as soon as possible and dry the area thoroughly. Look for permanent solutions for areas of the house that always flood or leak when it rains. This will not only stop mold growth, it will prevent structural damage as well.

2. Go on a hunt for mold in your home! Be sure to bring a flashlight and wear an air filtration mask, gloves and goggles. If you find any patches of mold, take steps to eliminate it immediately. Homeowners can safely remove patches of mold less than 10 square feet on their own. Areas that are larger than that should be taken care of by professionals, per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You can find guidelines for safe mold removal on their website.

3. If your home has high humidity levels, run an air conditioner or home air dehumidifier to reduce the level of moisture in the air. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level in your home, 30-60% is considered ideal.

4. If your bathroom and kitchen don’t already have them, consider investing in exhaust fans to vent out the warm, moist air before it can cause damage.

5. After showering, wipe down the shower walls and any moisture on the floor. Wash your shower curtain regularly with a bit of bleach to prevent mold and mildrew growth.

6. Cover the dirt in your crawlspace with a plastic cover and take steps to ensure that the area is very well ventilated.

7. Check the drip pans under your refrigerator and air conditioning units and empty them regularly.

8. Cover areas prone to condensation, such as cold pipes, with insulation to prevent moisture build up.

9. Avoid storing things that are prone to grow mold in damp areas like the basement. Clothes, books, papers and other soft objects can not be salvaged once they start growing mold.

10. Use electrostatic filters that are rated to remove mold spores in your home’s heating and cooling system. Change them as often as recommended by the manufacturer for best results.

11. Mold spores can lurk in houseplant soil. This isn’t usually a problem but if you or a family member are allergic to mold spores, it’s a good idea to find new homes for your houseplants.

12. Foam pillows and mattresses have been known to grow mold. If you have mold on any bedding, throw it out. It’s not worth the risks to continue sleeping on it.

13. Use chemical moisture remover canisters in small, enclosed areas like closes, storage areas and small basements to keep things dry. Check on them often and replace per the manufacturers instructions.

14. If your house floods, a pipe leaks or other major water damage occurs, call in the professionals as soon as possible to begin drying your house. It’s important to get carpets and walls dry within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Your home insurance agent will be able to assist you in finding a water removal specialist and advise you on what you can have reimbursed or covered by your policy.

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