Finding mold in your home is both disturbing and cause for concern. It’s a living organism and part of the fungus family. With over 100,000 different species of mold already identified, if it’s growing in your home, you could have a big problem.
It’s common knowledge that some types of mold are extremely toxic and can cause serious health risks. Surprisingly, 10 to 20 percent of the world’s population are allergic to mold spores, so prevention is key to maintaining a safe environment.
Here are the top 4 ways to prevent mold in your home:
- Reduce Moisture
Mold grows in humid conditions so bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are common problem areas. While a hot, steamy shower might feel great after a long day at work, running a bath fan will help keep the moisture content in the air down. Running a vented exhaust fan in the kitchen will eliminate food odors and take some of the excess moisture with it. Using a dehumidifier in the basement during humid summer months will keep the air dry and get rid of that musty smell.
- Eliminate Leaks
Whether you have an older home in need of updating or a new home with the latest technologies, there’s always a risk of leaks. Old plumbing pipes and fixtures can produce slow leaks inside walls or under floors to create the perfect environment for mold growth. In new homes, basement foundations can settle and crack, allowing water infiltration and a food source for mold. Regular inspections will help discover and repair potential problem areas before disaster strikes.
- Prevent Flooding
If you have a basement, there’s always the risk of flooding. Make sure your sump pump is operating properly and invest in a battery backup unit in case of a power outage. If your home is built on a slab, pay close attention that the exterior grading slopes away from the house and that gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home during heavy rain storms.
- Perform Maintenance
Keep dust levels down by using an HEPA air filter on your furnace and air conditioning units. Changing them regularly will keep dust levels low and cut off a mold food source. Repair or replace leaky faucets, remove carpeting or upholstered furniture that’s been exposed to flood waters, and fix roof leaks to avoid mold growth inside ceilings and walls.