Prevent Mold in Your Home
- Do not put carpet in your bathroom or basement.
- Mold loves soap film so regularly clean surfaces like shower curtains, tiles, grout, and other bathroom areas with a product certified to kill mold and mildew.
- Clean your shower floor regularly.
- Don’t over-water houseplants.
- Store firewood outside.
- Check into adding mold inhibitors into paint when you buy a new can.
- Regularly inspect carpet on concrete floors as carpet can absorb moisture.
- Use your exhaust fan when cooking.
- Regularly check and repair the caulking and grout in bathtubs and showers.
- Ventilate whenever possible. If you home has a ventilation fan, use it.
- Keep doors and windows open whenever possible.
- Regularly clean ducts in your home’s heating and cooling systems. Remove and replace any insulation around air ducts that get wet; they cannot be adequately cleaned.
- Vacuum all areas of your home often, preferably with a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This includes furniture and drapes as well as carpets.
- Keep other surfaces clean with a product designed to kill household mold.
- Cut the clutter in your house. This will improve air circulation and decrease the areas where mold can thrive.
- Regularly clean your furnace filter. Replace it before it is completely clogged.
- Check your roof for places water can enter and keep your eavestroughs clean. Do this often.
- Make sure the grade of your lawn slopes away from to your home to keep water from pooling beside your home’s walls.
- Routinely clean your home with a product designed to kill mold.
The key factor in keeping mold from growing in your home is to control the level of humidity. Mold cannot grow without moisture, humidity is one of the biggest factors in helping white mold on wood spread.
- Fix leaks immediately.
- When showering turn on your exhaust fan and, if possible, open a window.
- Vent moisture sources to the outside (dryer, dishwasher, bathroom fans, stove exhaust fan, etc.). Ensure they are not being vented into your home.
- Use fans to circulate air.
- Use a dehumidifier if your home’s humidity level is out of control. Close the windows when the dehumidifier is in use.
- Turn your humidifier down if you have moisture collecting on your windows.
Indoor Humidity Levels
According to The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, the following indoor humidity levels should be in place in your home in relation to the outdoor temperature.
+20 F. – 35%
+10 F. – 30%
0 F. – 25%
-10 F. – 20%
-20 F. – 15%
A humidity level above 45% provides ideal conditions for mold growth and should be avoided.
To test the moisture level in your home, consider buying a hygrometer. They start at around $15 and can be found at most home improvement stores and on the Internet.
Water enters homes when there is a structural weakness. Moisture can accumulate if the home isn’t ventilated enough or properly. Water damage also occurs from leaks within the house. Any areas of your home that have been subjected to water damage need to be cleaned immediately. Absorbent materials like drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet that are moldy need to be replaced.
Mold growth can occur in just 48 hours with the proper moisture level, food source, and room-temperature conditions.
It is also important to take steps to prevent future water-damage. Prevention is usually less costly and less time consuming than cleaning up after the fact. According to Vicki Lankarge, author of “What Every Home Owner Needs To Know About Mold“, the top three sources of home water damage are burst washing machine hoses, leaks from shower tile grout, and ruptured water heaters.
By taking steps to prevent mold from growing in your house, your home and your family will be healthier for it.