Regardless if you’re a new homeowner or if you’ve been in the same home for forty years, it’s absolutely vital to make sure you take the proper precautions to fight off and prevent mold and mildew in your home or office. Mold is basically tiny fungi that grow in branch-like filaments called hyphae. While some mold and mildew can be scrubbed away with the right cleaning products, other types of mold can do severe damage to the structure of your home and it can be very expensive to repair. Not only is mold horrible for your home, but it’s also very dangerous. Mold can cause a number of health problems, especially for those with allergies or immune disorders.
Mold can bring on coughing, nasal congestion, throat irritation, upper respiratory tract infections, and other cold-like symptoms. For those with compromised immune systems, the effects of mold can be much more serious. Unfortunately, certain kinds of toxic mold are undetectable by the naked eye. That’s why it’s so important to follow these guidelines to make sure that you’re protecting yourself and your home from the potential risks of mold and mildew.
Be Aware of Air Flow
When trying to prevent mold, take note of the arrangement of furniture and other items in your home. You want to make sure you have a proper air flow throughout the house. When moisture gets trapped, you’re increasing your chances of mold. Always be aware of odd smells or odors in the home that may represent mold or mildew. Any kind of musty smells will most likely be a sign of mold growth.
Know Your Moisture Levels
Most people don’t really know how much moisture they have floating around their home, but it’s important to keep an eye on these levels, especially in basements. Basements should always be below 50% humidity to prevent mold. If you’re worried about how much humidity is in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer. A lot of the new thermometers for central air and heat in more modern homes will include a humidity level setting on the monitor.
Check All Storage
When moving into a new home, it’s easy to toss unwanted cardboard boxes and bins into the garage and then forget they were ever there. If it’s been a while since you’ve explored through the storage in your garage, basement or attic, you may want to give it a good check. Cardboard boxes in low ventilated areas are a breeding ground for mold. You also want to stay away from keeping your items in cardboard boxes or on wooden shelves.
Keep Moisture Rich Areas Clean
To prevent mold it’s important to consistently clean areas of the house that are exposed to moisture often, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Routinely remove all of the items on your countertops and use anti-mold or mildew cleaning products. If water gets trapped in areas for longer than 48-hours, then mold can become apparent.
Utilize Exhaust Fans
When showering or cooking, remember to always use your exhaust fans. Some people will only turn exhaust fans on after showering, but this is a big mold prevention no-no. Always be sure to have the fan on during a hot shower, as well as for some time after a shower to make sure that all of the humidity has dissipated.
Be Aware of Leaks
It’s important to have your house checked randomly throughout the year for leaks. A leaky pipe that goes unnoticed can create havoc in a household. Something that might be simple to fix one day, can turn into a nightmare if it goes undetected. Have a mold remediation company occasionally check your home for potential leaks to save yourself money in the long run.
Remove Carpet in Basements
While some carpets may feel cozy and look great in a basement, they can turn into a fuzzy hotel for fungus. Basements are infamous for holding in moisture and carpets can make these matters much worse. If you’re looking to upgrade your home in the near future, tearing out carpets in the basement not only saves you from potential mold, but it can also increase your property value.
Keep Roof and Gutters Clean
With heavy rain, moisture can clog up your gutters and cause cracks in your roof. It can build up near corners or crevasses in doorways. Keeping your roof and your gutters clean throughout the year can help you to prevent mold in these areas.
Use Mold Prevention Based Paints
If you happen to be renovating or moving into a new home, it’s the perfect time to find quality mold inhibiting paints and primers. Ask any expert at your local home improvement store which kind of paints are best for fighting off mold and mildew
Change Out Air Filters
Everyone should always be aware of the air quality in their home. As mentioned above, many of the air-borne illnesses that come from mold are very difficult to detect. Changing out air filters or purchasing air purifiers can add an extra layer of protection in your home.
Having the above ten steps on your checklist will help you to prevent mold in your home. If you do suspect there is mold in your home, call the experts to inspect and remove it for you.