MOLD PREVENTION – HOW TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH
Mold, the mere mention of the word is enough to make you cringe.
Some molds, however, are good for us and incredibly useful. Mold is essential to break down organic material in nature. It’s also essential for the production of life-saving penicillin or making delicious blue cheese.
But some molds found in your home (like black mold), can be extremely toxic to humans and pets and cause severe health problems. Mold prevention is important to ensure dangerous mold doesn't become a problem. The longer mold in your home goes undetected, the higher your risk of developing mold exposure symptoms.
Why Mold Is A Problem
The more you learn about mold, the more you'll understand just how difficult and dangerous it can be to get rid of yourself. Removing the visible signs of mold is only the tip of the iceberg. If you don't address the root problem and eliminate it at its source, it will grow back again and again.
Mold often grows in hard-to-reach or hidden areas of the home such as underneath carpet, behind walls, or inside air vents. It grows almost everywhere, and removing all the spores nestled deep into fabrics and materials, in the air, and hard-to-reach areas are extremely difficult.
If you already have mold growing in your home, call a certified mold technician. Only they will have the right equipment, experience, and knowledge needed to safely eliminate mold and improve the air quality in your home or business.
While the removal of mold should be left to professionals, mold prevention starts with you. The best approach to remediation is preventing it before it becomes a problem.
Many conditions lead to mold growth, but moisture by far outranks them all. Moisture control is the key factor in the fight against mold infestation.
In this article, we’ll explain some simple ways to control moisture and prevent mold from thriving in your home or business.
8 Tips To Prevent Mold Growth
Regular Home Inspections
Small leaks are the number one cause of mold growth in a home. So make sure you do a full audit of your home at least twice per year. Some high-moisture and leak-prone areas to check include:
- All plumbing, including faucets, toilets, and showers.
- Air vents and ducts
- Roof shingles
Any discoloration around the ceiling, flooring or furniture is a good indication there’s a leak around somewhere. Any frequent condensation should also be watched closely.
Keep in mind that where watermarks and leaks appear is often not the same place as the source. If you can’t safely find the source, call in a professional home inspector. Home inspections and minor repairs or water-proofing are well worth the money to ensure your home stays mold-free and prevents more expensive repairs and mold remediation later on.
Fix & Prevent Leaks
If you do find a leak, even a very small leak, get it fixed right away. Mold only needs 24-48 hours in ideal conditions to grow and multiply, spreading spores throughout your home to find other areas to settle down and grow. Call in a professional plumber if you’re unable to fix leaks right away.
Wet Areas? Dry Them Immediately
Mold needs moisture to grow. It’s best to take care of wet areas right away to prevent mold from growing. Have you experienced flooding due to heavy rains or leaking/burst pipes? It’s crucial to act immediately. Remove any water-damaged areas including carpet, furniture, bedding until it’s completely dry.
One of the most important areas to keep dry is your washing machine. The inside of your washing machine provides some of the most ideal conditions for mold to grow. Leave your door open a crack between washes to air it out and let moisture evaporate make sure you clean the washing machine rubber seal from leftover standing water.
Don’t leave wet clothes on the ground or in the washing machine, and clean up those spills right away, especially if you have carpet. The carpet absorbs moisture and is much harder to keep dry. If you notice a funky smell after a few days, call for professional mold testing.
Air Flow Is The Way To Go
Proper ventilation is one of the easiest ways to reduce moisture inside the home and prevent mold growth. Small changes to everyday domestic activities make it easy to increase ventilation.
Vent all appliances that produce heat or moisture such as:
- Stove (hood vent)
- Air conditioner
- Heating unit
Make sure that all of these appliances are vented outside the home and never to the attic or other place inside the home. If these appliances don’t have direct access to a vent, open any nearby windows to promote airflow. Turn on ceiling fans or standing fans for additional ventilation.
Use Mold-Resistant Products
Are you building a new home or renovating an existing one? There are several effective mold-resistant products available to help control moisture and add additional layers of protection. You can now buy mold-resistant paint, mold-resistant drywall, mold-resistant, mold-resistant wood, and more.
These materials are especially effective in high-moisture environments such as bathrooms, basements, attics, laundry rooms, and outside.
Moisture barriers made from polyethylene (landscaper’s plastic) can be installed in the crawl space to prevent moisture as well.
Monitor Your Humidity Levels
You should always aim for humidity levels in the home to be below 50%. A home inspector or mold technician will have moisture meters to detect moisture levels in the home, but these products are available at most local hardware stores.
If you live in a high-humidity area or have poor ventilation, get yourself a good dehumidifier. These units remove excess moisture from the air and should be placed in high humidity areas such as basements, attics, and kitchens.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are designed to direct rain away from your home, but only if they’re regularly cleaned and cleared of leaves and other debris that can clog them up. Remember that mold thrives on this moist decaying organic material. This moldy debris can get into your home via roof leaks caused by clogged gutters.
Even if there’s no water leak, mold growing directly around your home is more likely to release spores that can easily fly through open windows and doors.
Take a page from Marie Kondo’s book and get rid of all that clutter. Not only will you “spark joy” clearing away the rubbish, but decluttering is also a great mold prevention technique.
The more stuff you have, the less airflow throughout a space. Remember that airflow is an important part of moisture control.
Ok, so you now know some key ways how to prevent mold. But that doesn’t mean the battle is over. Moisture is a constant threat and mold will find a way to grow with the slightest of favorable conditions. Mold is both hard to remove and dangerous to work around.
If you’ve discovered mold in your home, call in the professionals for safe and effective mold removal.
Mold doesn’t have to be a problem for you and your family. Contact Mold Removal Calgary to schedule your appointment today.