Mold spreads very fast and can be extremely hard to get rid of entirely. It can grow almost everywhere plus it has allergenic properties that can cause even fatal symptoms. Below is a compilation of top 10 ways to prevent mold in your home.
1. Monitor humidity levels in your home
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that the indoor relative humidity is kept below 60 percent and preferably between 30 and 50 percent.
A humidity meter can help in regular tracking of the moisture levels in your home. However, indicators like condensation on pipes, walls, and windows is a clear sign of high humidity levels.
2. Ensure there is proper ventilation and air flow
The fact that low temperatures hold less moisture proves that good airflow and proper ventilation will keep moisture at bay.
Most daily activities like cooking, doing laundry or taking a shower, causes a buildup of moisture in your home which in turn encourages mold growth.
Ventilation systems may also be the cause of high humidity levels if the AC units or dehumidifiers are producing moisture themselves. A regular checkup and cleaning of the vent appliances as directed by the manufacturer will not only increase their efficiency but also improve air circulation.
All combustion and vent appliances must be properly vented to the outside, and not to the attic or the garage. Moving furniture away from the walls, opening up a window or a door between rooms also helps in improving airflow.
Musty basements can benefit from the building of a foundation drain, running of a dehumidifier and generally getting more air circulation into the space.
3. Identify and address potential risk areas in your home
Seepages, burst pipes or leakages should be identified and fixed as soon as possible. The water leaks will have far-reaching effects including rusting the pipes and promoting mold growth.
Replacing the old pipes will ensure no moisture is collected and hence no mold growth. Leaking roofs, condensing water pipes, and leaking fire-protection systems should be replaced or repaired quickly.
4. Avoid household plants
Household plants are a haven for mold due to the moist soil. If getting rid of the plants is not an option then you can add Taheebo tea when watering them.
The oil in the Taheebo tea has been found to make it withstand fungi even in the wettest climatic regions like rain forests.
5. Install and use mold-resistant products
Mold-resistant products like mold inhibitors for paints and moisture-resistant drywall are a first defense in preventing moisture absorption and mold growth.
Traditional drywall is made of a gypsum core sandwiched between plies of paper making it very susceptible to moisture absorption.
On the other hand, mold-resistant drywall has the gypsum covered by fiberglass making its surface highly water-resistant. Surfaces like floors and sinks are also easy targets for mold growth thus should be made of non-porous materials like laminate, tile or stone.
6. Ensure you have a proper drainage system
A good drainage system (indoor and outdoor) that ensures water is directed away from the home will help prevent water seepage into basements or crawlspaces.
This can be an issue especially in homes where the ground isn’t sufficiently sloped further away from the building’s foundation, in which case a qualified contractor can help.
7. Understand the climate
Different regions experience diverse climatic conditions with varying moisture responses. Thus educating yourself on your region’s conditions can help in determining how to control moisture levels in your home and more so prevent mold growth.
8. Repair and regular cleaning of roof gutters
Regular inspection, repairing and cleaning of roof gutters and downspouts where necessary will improve in preventing dampness on the given surface. This practice will ensure you address water stains, leaks or paint peeling before they become an issue.
9. Drying wet surfaces and materials quickly
Mold will grow within two days given the right conditions therefore to prevent this it is highly advisable to dry all wet material and surfaces immediately after use.
You should always dry the bathroom floor and walls after every shower and also never leave wet clothes in the washing machine for too long instead hang them outside to dry preferably in areas with good air circulation. An exhaust fan can help in reducing moisture in bathrooms.
If you have pets, make sure you clean up the pet dander and hair. Keep in mind that mold can affect your pets too. Damp pet hair on your floors and cushions provides an environment that encourages mold growth. Invest in a pet hair vacuum like these to keep your living space clean.
10. Unclutter your basement
Having many items in the basement blocks air circulation regardless of the use of an AC unit or even dehumidifier. Avoid storing books, clothes, wood among others in the basement as they become a home to mold growth. To improve ventilation try your best to unclutter the space and also avoid storing items in direct contact with the walls.