Mold is one of the most common threats to both human health and your household. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can also cause objectionable odors, promote the spread of germs, and aggravate asthma and allergies.
Fortunately, there are some common sense steps you can take to reduce or eliminate the threat of mold in your home:
- Inspect areas at high risk of mold formation. These include basements or crawlspaces, upstairs windows, clogged gutters, or any room in which leaks or large spills have occurred in the past.
- Clean up wet spots immediately. Mold requires a moist environment, so removing spills and seepage right away denies spores a place in which to grow. Check your basement or crawl space after heavy rains, areas around pipes, and any items that may have suffered water damage, including furniture, bedding, and rugs.
- Proper ventilation helps to prevent mold growth. Make sure your home is well-vented in areas likely to accumulate moisture, such as your laundry room, bathrooms, and even the kitchen. Ensure that moisture-producing appliances like laundry dryers vent to the outside of the home, not your attic. If you live in a moist climate, then you may wish to invest in dehumidifiers. If nothing else, opening a window or running an exhaust fan can stop mold from forming.
- If you’re building a new home or renovating an old one, then use mold-resistant products such as mold-inhibiting paint and drywall.
- Keep an eye on your indoor humidity. Environmental agencies recommend maintaining an indoor humidity level between 30-60%. You can measure your indoor humidity levels with products found at most hardware and home-improvement stores.
- Keep your gutters clean and in good condition. Nothing causes mold to grow faster than clogged or damaged gutters.
- Ensure good airflow in your home, especially during the warm months. Moving furniture away from walls and opening closet doors during the day can help promote good air circulation.