No More Mold: 5 Essential Tips for a Mold-Free Household
Did you know that an estimated 70% of homes have mold in them? While we'd like to tell you this is a myth, the fact is that it is unfortunately true. Mold can get into your home in a variety of ways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns homeowners that mold can creep inside through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. And when left unmitigated, mold can contribute to a wide variety of structural issues, not to mention health concerns for those who live in the home.
Maintaining a Mold-Free Home
Maintaining a mold-free home is essential for the health and well-being of your family. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that mold isn't a problem indoors unless is finds its way to a wet or damp spot and begins to grow. As those mold spores grow, and are left untreated,then can cause wood to rot, damage drywall, cause staining, and ultimately damage buildings and furnishings.
Further, the EPA indicates that mold can cause allergens, irritants, and even toxic substances. If you inhale or touch mold, it can cause an allergic reaction such as sneezing, a runny rose, red and scratchy eyes, or even dermatitis. To avoid such health concerns related to mold, and to avoid structural damage, mold mitigation strategies need to be put in place.
In this article, we will discuss important tips and practices for maintaining a mold-free home.
Why Are Prevention Measures the Key to Fight Mold?
As we said earlier, mold can contribute to a wide variety of health issues, not to mention structural issues. And since mold can cause various health problems, you can safeguard your home and the well-being of your family by following next prevention measures:
The most important thing you can do to prevent mold in your home is to control the moisture. And unfortunately, the EPA suggests that mold has become a bigger problem for homes and structures built since the 1970s. As building codes changed, it led to homes that are more tightly sealed. And while there can be advantages to this, it has also meant poor ventilation in many cases. But when there isn't adequate ventilation, moisture can build-up, contributing to the growth of mold.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests the following strategies to prevent mold accumulation:
- Promptly fixing roof leaks, leaking pipes, and wet basements
- Ensuring your home is well ventilated - use ventilation fans whenever possible in the bathroom and kitchen
- Control humidity levels in the home by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep it under 50%
- Keeping the amount of carpeting to a minimum
If you are renovating your home, we recommend the use of mold-resistant gypsum board instead of traditional drywall. While these products can be a bit more expensive, they can encourage mold resistance and prevent unhealthy conditions from developing.
Poorly ventilated homes tend to be more susceptible to mold accumulation. Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to improve the ventilation. The CDC suggests the following:
- Open doors and windows as much as possible to bring in the fresh air - even a window just cracked open can help
- Use an air filtration system such as bathroom exhaust fans and stove exhaust fans
- Invest in portable fans to help move particles from inside your home to the outside - this can help with virus prevention as well
It might go without saying that aside from moisture control and ensuring proper ventilation, that keeping your home clean is critical. Quite simply, regular cleaning not only helps prevent mold growth, but it helps you identify if it is beginning to form in the first place.
The team at Mold KO recommends employing the following maintenance steps to prevent mold from forming.
- Seek out areas where standing water can develop and eliminate the causes
- Check landscaping for places where water can be getting in
- Seal any cracks identified around the window sills and doorways
- Clean and dry areas prone to moisture with a disinfectant
- Keep all areas properly ventilated
- Repair leaks in the plumbing and replace old pipes when necessary
- Clean periodically behind your appliances, especially the refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine
When cleaning your home, make sure you pay close attention to these areas:
- Bathrooms and kitchens - be sure to get in all the corners and let everything dry before replacing items
- Vents and exhaust fans - clean your exhaust fans every six months.
- Check your attic insulation periodically for signs of mold - Smelling a musty, dank odor in the attic is a strong indicator that you have a mold problem.
- Any areas with poor ventilation - make sure you let the areas dry after cleaning, before closing them up again.
- Behind furniture and appliances - in particular, clean behind your fridge every three months.
- Around window air conditioning units.
Promptly Address Water Damage
When cleaning (or at any other time), if you identify water damage, you need to take immediate action. Mold can start growing in just 24 to 48 hours of water damage, so time really is of the essence. Take the following steps if you need to dry out your home from water damage:
- Leverage floor fans, dehumidifiers, and wet/dry vacs to prevent mold from developing on the carpet - borrow from friends and neighbors if possible
- Open windows and doors to improve air circulation
- Remove drenched items, especially furniture that can leak onto the flooring, fixtures, and walls
- Fan out books and papers to help them dry
- Contact a water damage restoration pro within 24 to 48 hours.
Mold is serious business. One of the best things you can do to protect your home and family is to regularly inspect your home for mold (or other potential safety issues). Pay attention to signs of mustiness, but know that this isn't the only indicator of mold in the home. Be on the lookout for discolored spots on your walls and floors and noticeable humidity. And, be sure to watch for developing respiratory issues in you or your family members.
In Any Case of Mold, Call the Specialists at Mold KO
If you find mold in your home, don't try to take matters into your own hands. The best approach is to contact mold remediation specialists, such as our team at Mold KO. We have the skills and experience necessary to help remove mold from your home safely. Not only that, but we can also help you identify areas of risk so that you can prevent reoccurences of mold development in the future.
Though we can help with any mold problem, if you have identified mold growth that is more than ten square feet, it is critical that you seek help immediately. Mold will continue to grow at a rapid rate until the moisture source is properly identified and treated.
Contact Mold KO Today For Your Mold Removal and Remediation Needs
If you believe you have a mold problem and need mold removal, there is no time like the present to contact a professional to help alleviate the problem. The team at Mold KO are highly trained, skilled, and experienced to handle mold problems of any size. Contact us today at 888-253-4551. We'll immediately schedule a visit to identify and resolve your residential mold issues.