Mold Prevention Tips for Avoiding a Big Problem
Complete Guide to Preventing Mold – 10 Fantastic Tips
Ultimately, mold has a main purpose and this is to consume all the dead organic materials. Therefore, spores can be found outside wherever these materials can be found. However, it is when they start to move inside that it causes a problem because they eventually release mycotoxins and various other toxins that lead to health problems for all people who reside or work in the building.
Sadly, the conditions we see in our homes actually make for a perfect breeding ground for mold because our homes are built from the foundation up with dead organic materials. As soon as it gets the invitation to come inside, it will spread through carpet, paper, clothing, food, and even behind wallpaper and the like. When it gets inside the walls, this has a double-effect because you can’t see it and it wreaks havoc with the piping.
In terms of you as the homeowner, the very first sign is likely to be the smell before you see anything. After this, you might notice patches of water on the walls or even the ceiling; of course, you could also see the actual mold but the first two symptoms are likely to come first. Whilst on this note, we should point out that mold can come in a variety of different colors from gray to orange, green to black.
Today, we want to provide you with a guide so that you won’t have to suffer mold inside your home. As well as practical tips, you will soon have the knowledge required to take action as soon as you spot the first signs of mold inside. Before we head into more detail, let’s look at a brief breakdown of the key points;
- Firstly, taking no action at all will lead to dry rotting and the mold will eventually cause structural damage to the building which will make it a nightmare for you to sell.
- Secondly, mold becomes more expensive and difficult to remove the longer it is left.
- Thirdly, your health can be compromised by mold because it releases mycotoxins as we saw before. However, it also releases irritants and allergens so it becomes hard to avoid breathing in the spores and impacting your body.
With those negative points out of the way, we can discuss the good news – it can be prevented as long as you are careful and diligent. As we have touched upon, mold thrives in warm conditions where it has easy access to food and moisture. Just like the three elements required for a fire, you can remove one of these three factors to prevent mold from spreading. For the easiest solution, you should look to remove moisture and we have ten great tips here today.
Improve Ventilation – Whenever you take a shower, wash your laundry, or even cook your dinner, excess moisture will be created in your home. Therefore, we need to remove this and it can be achieved with proper ventilation. With this in mind, you should be opening your windows when showering or cooking and keep doors open between rooms. Furthermore, you could even rearrange your furniture so they aren’t blocking the walls. Aside from this, follow these tips;
- Utilize AC units and dehumidifiers as long as they aren’t creating moisture themselves. If you keep them clean and check them regularly, they should be fine.
- Make sure appliances like stoves and washing machines vent outside rather than a small space as this will prevent the perfect home for mold.
- Use an HVAC system that will bring in air from outside and keep the air in your home healthy and clean.
- Finally, we should point out that opening windows and doors becomes even more important for energy-efficient homes because they are generally sealed tightly.
Inspect Your Home – As well as keeping your home well ventilated, you should also perform regular checks. If you frequently see flooding, condensation, water stains, damp, or a water flow within your home, you should look to find the source of the problem and get it fixed as soon as possible.
If a particular part of your home sees moisture often, area rugs that can be cleaned will be a much better option than wall-to-wall carpeting. Finally, you should also research mold prevention products if you have plans to renovate or even build your own home. For example, this could include mold inhibitors for paints, mold-resistant drywall, and sheetrock.
Keep Materials Dry – Wherever moisture is seen, mold can appear in as little as 24 hours so you should always;
- Dry wet clothes outside (if possible).
- Failing this, put it in the dryer immediately.
- Remove any spills on the floors and carpets.
- Dispose of damaged goods immediately after experiencing a flood including furniture, carpets, bedding, and more. If you believe the job is too much and you want extra precaution, contact a professional for best results.
- Dry any water damage seen from heavy rainfall and contact someone who will fix the issue to prevent it happening in the future.
Clean and Disinfect – Although mold is more about the moisture, you can’t be too careful and keeping things clean will slow the growth process. Therefore, vacuum regularly, clean all bathrooms that hold moisture, and use disinfectant on non-porous surfaces such as stone, laminate, and tile.
Keep Water Away – Often, water can get into the basement or crawl space but you can prevent this by ensuring that the land outside slopes away from your home. Furthermore, leave a gap in the garden before planting shrubbery as the watering could seep through the earth and into a crack. Finally, any sprinklers in your front or back lawn should be well away from the home without hitting the house directly.
Check Plants – For a home, indoor plants can be great because they add life and color. However, they also welcome mold into the soil and this can spread to the leaves. Once this occurs, there is no reason why it won’t move from the plant to other areas of the house. To prevent this, keep a watchful eye and perhaps add Taheebo tea as a mild solution. In the rain forests, these trees withstand fungi in harsh weathers so they will do the same for your small plants. Normally, you should find this product in all good natural food stores.
Be Careful of Humidity – If you see condensation on your windows nearly every day, this suggests that you should be controlling the humidity a little better. Alternately, you should wipe windows clear or choose to install a dehumidifier. If you aren’t sure, moisture meters can be found in hardware stores and they are fairly inexpensive.
After testing the humidity, try to keep the levels between 30-60%. In the winter, the upper limit drops to 40% so this is something to keep in mind if you want to reduce condensation and the likelihood of mold.
Repair Issues – Although this is perhaps a little more straightforward than the other tips we have here today, it shouldn’t be left unsaid. If you see any water leaks in the window, roof, or anywhere in your home, you can fix these to prevent moisture buildup.
Clear Debris from Gutters – In truth, this is one that people often forget but a blockage in the gutter will block the flow of water. After this, you could also have a professional come to assess the condition of your gutter system. Additionally, the area underneath your downspouts should be graded; this way, the rainwater will flow away from your home. If you find that the water is pooling or falling the other way, you might want to extend the downspouts.
Inspect Your Storage Room, Attic, Crawl Space, and Basement – Finally, we have a breakdown of the different areas you should inspect for mold.
Storage Room – If you have a room set aside for clothes, camping gear, books, or any other items, the humidity of this room is vital. In all likelihood, mold will love whatever it is you are storing here so moisture is a huge problem. If possible, move as many items as you can into a garage or shed rather than the inside of your home and ensure that enough air is circulating when the doors are closed.
Attic – Firstly, exhaust fans should never vent into the attic as mold will come from the excess moisture. Other than this, ventilation is important as is insulation because snow on the roof in winter can cause ice damning and various other moisture problems.
Crawl Space – When mold appears in the crawl space, this more of a concern because it directly affects the air quality in your home. If you do find mold in this area, you should be looking to clean extensively and this may require a professional service. If humidity is an issue, a dehumidifier might be a good investment.
Basement – Since the walls and floor of a basement tend to be rather cool, this leads to moisture and then mold along with a musty smell. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid this problem including a dehumidifier, improving the air circulation, and maybe even a foundation drain. To warm the walls a little, insulation can be important and a contractor should be able to waterproof the room if you see seepage regularly.
Summary – There we have it, ten superb tips for preventing mold that you can use today. As long as you are vigilant and take these tips into account, you should be putting yourself in the strongest position to avoid mold in the future!