You can inadvertently make your house a welcome haven for mold spores. Once mold takes up residence among you and your loved ones, you face an expensive and potentially deadly uphill battle to get rid of it once and for all.
However, you can take the first step in keeping it out of your house for good by controlling the moisture, water, and humidity in your home. Use these mold prevention and control tips to make your home comfortable and safe for your family and inhospitable to toxic mold.
Discourage Water from Getting Inside Your Home
The first step you should take involves keeping water out of your home. This measure can be as simple as cleaning up water that spills onto your floor, walls, and elsewhere in your house. You should clean up water spills within 24 to 48 hours for the best chance of preventing toxic mold spores from taking root and growing.
You should also get clean or get rid of wet materials like towels, newspapers, mops, and other items that come into contact with water. Drying out or throwing away items that are drenched and dripping wet are major draws for mold that could put you and your family at risk of mold-related illnesses.
Another one of the practical mold prevention and control tips involves keeping your gutters cleaned out and repaired. Your gutters perform the important duty of keeping water off of your rooftop and away from the exterior of your home.
If they are clogged, dented, or broken, they cannot drain away the water. The water in turns pools on your roof and on the ground where it can seep into your foundation or crawl space. From there, it can become a breeding ground for toxic mold.
Finally, you should be on the lookout for condensation in your home. When the humidity inside the house gets too high, condensation can accumulate and appear on:
- hardwood or tile floors
If you see condensation on any of these fixtures, you should take steps to lower the humidity levels in your home.
Keep Humidity Levels Low
So how can you lower the humidity in your home? This mold-prevention measure is relatively simple and inexpensive to accomplish.
First, you should use a dehumidifier if you live in a climate that is naturally humid or one that experiences a lot of precipitation throughout the year. A dehumidifier can be a valuable resource in keeping humidity levels inside your house low and inhospitable for mold spores.
Second, you should make sure that the vents for your appliances face to the outside of your home. Appliances like dryers, stoves, and some types of kerosene heaters utilize vents. Point them outside and make sure that the vents stay clean to avoid humid conditions inside the house.
If you have a central air conditioner, you should run it during the hottest and most humid times of the year. The cold air from your central AC will help keep humidity at bay and make it more difficult for mold spores to grow if they get inside your house.
You should also use your ventilation fans when you take a shower or a hot bath. While the hot water and humid air in the bathroom can feel perfect after a long day at work or on a cold winter night, they also make it easier for mold spores to gain a foothold in your floor, walls, shower curtain, window sills and elsewhere.
Dry out the air in your bathroom and keep mold away by running the vent fans while bathing or showering. You should run them while you bathe and shower rather than turn them on after you finish.
Finally, using your exhaust fans in the kitchen while you cook or in the utility room while you do laundry can be a great way to keep mold out of the house and humidity levels low. Make sure you clean out the exhaust fans regularly so that they are more effective in circulating and drying out the air.
Prevent Condensation in Your Home
The last measure you can take to keep your home dry and safe from mold involves preventing condensation. Of course, part of preventing condensation in your home centers on keeping the humidity levels low.
However, more than that you can also discourage condensation buildup by circulating the air in your home. Many homes today are built to be airtight for the sake of energy efficiency.
These airtight conditions make it difficult to circulate air in every room of your house and can actually create an environment that is very welcoming to mold spores. You can encourage the air to move around freely by opening the windows and running fans.
You can also prevent condensation by insulating cold surfaces like cold water pipes. Insulation is key to keeping fixtures like plumbing and pipes dry and condensation at bay.
If you do see mold, you do not necessarily have to panic or move your family out in a hurry. Depending on where it is growing and how much it has spread, you may be able to get rid of it yourself without having to hire a professional contractor.
You can clean the area with bleach. You can also tear up carpeting, tiles, and upholstery that is infested with mold. You should wear protective gear like goggles, a respirator mask, and gloves before starting the tasking of removing mold from your house.
However, if the mold has already spread throughout your house, you should hire a mold remediation service to get rid of it safely and effectively. You also should check into what legal options are available to you if you have just purchased the house and found it to be infested with black or toxic mold. You may have recourse against the real estate agent, inspector, contractors, or others who were involved the remodeling, upgrades, or selling of your home.