You hear about it on TV, the news, and maybe even your neighbors. Mold is a problem that no one wants to have. Once it infests a home, it is very expensive to clean up. To make matters worse, many home insurance companies are denying mold claims. Health costs can also be a problem. Mold causes strong allergic reactions in many people. If the mold level is high enough in the home, or if those exposed have vulnerable immune systems (e.g. children, elderly), it can also cause neurological effects. Because of all these things a mold infestation can cause the value of your home or building to drop tremendously. If it is not cleaned properly through expensive remediation efforts, it may not even be inhabitable. Here are a few things you should know about mold as well as how to prevent it in your home.
Conditions Favorable for Mold Growth:
- A relative humidity of roughly 50% or higher. Some people use hygrometers in their homes to track and maintain proper levels of humidity.
- Damp, dusty conditions, such as piles of rags, clothing, or other mold food sources.
- Areas that have had flooding or where leakage has occurred in roofs, pipes, or walls, or areas around house plants, especially ones that sometimes are over-watered.
Some places where mold can grow in your home:
Your walls, floors, appliances, carpet, or furniture – they can all provide the food mold needs to grow. But the thing all molds need most is moisture, so you’re most likely to see mold in damp places such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces.
Tips in preventing and solving mold growth in your home:
- Basements is often the most likely place to find mold, so putting a dehumidifier in your home’s basement is a great way to lower the moisture level in the air.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean. Make sure drain lines are free of obstructions and flow properly.
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, which carries heat to cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.
- Be sure crawlspaces are well ventilated by using fans and having vents installed on outside walls if necessary.
- Make sure the laundry vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
- Use area rugs in bathrooms, which can be taken up and washed often instead of wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Avoid leaving damp towels on the floor or in laundry hamper.
This post was written by Greg Drusch