Kimberly Van Hal, REALTOR
How to Prevent Mold
Mold inside a house can cause serious health problems, including sinus irritation, congestion, headaches, and respiratory difficulties. The health effects of mold are more serious in children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and people with respiratory problems.
Mold can grow in any moist environment, which makes a home a perfect breeding ground. Mold spores can accumulate on surfaces and travel through the air in a house. Here are some strategies to control the level of moisture in your home and prevent mold from taking hold.
Reduce Moisture Levels in Your House Walk through your house and look for areas where moisture tends to accumulate. The bathroom is an obvious one, but moisture is also often found in the kitchen, laundry room, basement, and around windows.
Remove laundry from the washing machine quickly to avoid the growth of mold. Hang bath towels to dry and avoid leaving containers in the shower where they can accumulate moisture. Wipe down the shower after each use to minimize the amount of moisture in the bathroom. Vacuum and clean carpet and furniture to remove mold spores. If a surface or piece of furniture is contaminated with mold and cannot be cleaned, discard it.
Keep the humidity inside your home at a moderate level. You can buy a meter to monitor the amount of moisture in the air. You can reduce the level of moisture in your home by using a dehumidifier or setting your air exchanger to a lower humidity level.
NOTE: Turn off your air exchanger in the summer; it will draw in humid outside air. Instead, in the summer, adjust your air conditioner setting.
Clean and inspect your air conditioner and dehumidifier to make sure they’re not producing moisture. If you notice water accumulating around windows or on walls, open the windows to dry out the room.
Ventilation can reduce or prevent the growth of mold. Turn on a fan or open a window when taking a shower. Appliances that produce moisture, such as the dryer and stove, should be vented to the outside.
If any part of your home experiences water damage, dry it out as soon as possible. Wipe up spills immediately. If there is a roof or plumbing leak or flooding, remove wet carpet and have wet furniture professionally cleaned. Have the roof or plumbing problem repaired quickly to prevent future growth of mold.
Water that accumulates around your house can lead to mold. Make sure the ground is pitched in a way that allows water to flow away from the house. Clean your gutters regularly to keep them free of blockages so water can flow freely to the downspouts.