Preventing Mold Growth
Mold needs moisture to grow. High humidity and water leaks create an environment that is conducive to mold. Mold can grow under carpeting, behind wallpaper, on fabrics, beneath cabinets, and on tile grout. Eliminating moisture is the key to preventing mold.
Use Proper Ventilation
The bathrooms and kitchen are common areas for mold growth. Use ventilation fans when showering or cooking to improve circulation and help reduce humidity in these areas.
If you don’t have a fan in the bathroom, open a window after your shower to circulate the air and dry the area. Cooking also increases humidity in the home. Use the fan above your stove to help reduce moisture from food preparation.
Dry Wet Areas Immediately
A water spill in the living room seems like a minor accident, however, the moisture left behind can lead to mold growth. Water will seep into the carpet, where it can cause mold growth on the subfloor. Take a few minutes to thoroughly dry up any spilled liquid. By removing moisture, you’ll help prevent mold in your home.
Repair Leaks to Prevent Mold Growth
Any area of your home with leaks or that’s experienced water damage is a likely candidate for mold. Check your roof and look for missing shingles and broken flashing. Examine the attic. You may be able to find damp insulation or dark stains that are signs of water damage. Make repairs to the roofing to stop water intrusion.
You’ll also want to pay attention to plumbing leaks. Look for signs like discoloration on walls or ceilings or a higher than usual water bill. You might notice a small leak under the sink. Fix leaks as soon as possible to help reduce the chances of mold growing in the area.
The guttering system on your home is designed to allow water to flow off of your roof and away from your siding and foundation. When it gets clogged with leaves and other debris, the gutters will back up. This can cause water to seep under your shingles or spill over the sides of the gutters, possibly leaking into your basement. Keep the gutters clean and functioning properly to reduce the likelihood of mold growth.
Monitor Humidity to Help Prevent Mold Growth
Humidity is a measure of moisture in the air. Ideally, indoor humidity should be no higher than 60%. Purchase a hygrometer at your local hardware store or order one online.
If you’re trying to combat mold, stay informed about the humidity level in your house. When levels are high, use a dehumidifier to keep moisture under control in that area. Running the air conditioning system in the summer will also help keep humidity levels down throughout your house.