Mold Prevention – Protecting Your Home And Health
The 4th and final step in our mold treatment process, after we have de-sensitized you and de-toxified your system of the type of mold you have been exposed to, is to make sure you stay free of mold.
Even the most expensive, well-maintained, and thoroughly cleaned home can still face the ever-present risk of mold. Mold prevention is as simple as knowing where and what to look for in your home. There are a number of common culprits to mold and those may be the simplest places to begin. But first it is important to know what mold is and why it is dangerous.
Mold is a type of fungi that grows literally anywhere moisture and oxygen are present. It will grow on most all organic surfaces including wood, paper, carpet, foods, and even insulation within walls. Eliminating all mold spores in an indoor environment is impossible; however, by controlling moisture and temperature present indoors, mold can be hampered and controlled.
Everyone has moisture present in their homes much of the time. Mold prevention depends on how well that moisture is controlled. Condensation from an appliance or simply on the inside of your windows can provide all the moisture needed to spark mold growth in one form or another. Always take action as soon as you notice condensation or moisture collecting on surfaces in your home. Pipes, walls, and windows may be the most common places to check frequently. To assist in preventing an over-abundance of condensation, one simple tip would be to keep humidity low inside a home. The ideal levels would be below 60% relative humidity. This single preventative measure can greatly reduce the chances of dangerous or persistent mold developing.
There are many maintenance tips around the home which can assist in mold prevention. Cleaning and repairing the gutters on a regular basis can easily be one of the best and simplest tips, saving a surprising amount of hassle down the road. Make sure ground slopes away from the building, as rainwater draining repeatedly over time will almost certainly create risk for deadly mold to take up residence. Finally for mold prevention to work in those hot summer months, keep the drain lines of your air conditioning unobstructed and the drip pans clean.
Appliances indoors will often be the common causes of mold in a home. Mold prevention can be as simple as knowing your appliances and taking very easy steps while using those appliances to prevent water vapor or condensation from building up over time. Combustion appliances like stoves or kerosene heaters are known for producing water vapor, therefore increasing the humidity, unless those appliances are properly and responsibly vented to the outside of a home. Clothes dryers as well should always be vented when possible. A mold prevention technique while showering, always open a window or use an exhaust fan while the water is running. Finally, when cooking or running the dishwasher, use exhaust fans where available and when not, open a window to assist in basic mold prevention.
But what are the signs mold is already in your home? How can you be sure you have safely taken enough steps to protect both your home and your health? There are clear visual signs, easily seen with the naked eye, and there are also odors that can be detected in severe cases. Look for obvious signs of unwanted moisture, such as rust on the pipes or black or white growth on air conditioning units and other moisture rich appliances. Check windows from time to time when the humidity is high, making sure moisture isn’t forming as condensation. An important part of mold prevention is mold awareness.
In the case of a moldy smell and no visual signs of moisture, you may be dealing with hidden mold. Common places worth checking if hidden mold is suspected are the back sides of dry wall, wallpaper, and paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, pipes hidden within cabinets and walls, surface of walls behind furniture, and the ductwork inside your home.
Mold prevention is not impossible and while important to both home and health, it can be tackled easily enough by remembering 5 easy tips.
Tips on how to keep your home mold free with proper mold prevention:
- Always clean up spills within 24 hours. Mold will not grow if water or moisture is cleaned up and dried quickly.
- Keep indoor humidity low, whether by venting appliances, opening windows, or using a home de-humidifier.
- Make sure the land around your home slopes away to prevent nature from hindering your mold prevention efforts.
- If you smell mold but do not see it, investigate. Check hidden potential havens for mold to spread inside walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Keep your roof and gutters in good repair.
By following these simple tips and keeping an eye on potential moisture risks inside your home, you can handle mold prevention in a safe and effective way which will prevent potential costly damage to your home as well as the direct risk of allergen and health-affecting mold spores from being a nuisance or something worse to your family.